16,000+ U-M employees supported by research grants, report shows

January 21, 2020
Contact: Alex Piazza apiazza@umich.edu,
Dan Meisler dmeisler@umich.edu

Hand of doctor taking blood sample. Image credit: iStock

ANN ARBOR—More than 16,000 employees at the University of Michigan are supported each year by research grants, including about 5,000 students across the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses, according to a new report.

Research led by the University of Michigan not only serves the world through groundbreaking discoveries and technologies, but it also plays a critical role in accelerating the economy.
Rebecca Cunningham

The Institute for Research on Innovation and Science (IRIS), based at the U-M Institute for Social Research, recently released a report that details how university research spending impacts the economy.

Rebecca Cunningham

Rebecca Cunningham

“Research led by the University of Michigan not only serves the world through groundbreaking discoveries and technologies, but it also plays a critical role in accelerating the economy,” said Rebecca Cunningham, interim vice president for research.

The report outlines the geographic distribution of vendors that, between fiscal years 2002 and 2019, supplied goods and services to support the U-M research enterprise. Companies based in Washtenaw County, for example, received more than $976 million in research contracts from U-M over a 17-year span—the most of any Michigan county. Vendors in Marquette County received more than $53 million between 2002 and 2019 for their work in supporting the U-M research enterprise, while those in Kent County netted $17 million.

The report also shows the university contributed $5.6 billion to the national economy through vendor contracts and subcontracts between 2002 and 2019—$1.8 billion of which was spent in Michigan.

Jason Owen-Smith

Jason Owen-Smith

“Our reports clarify and explain the economic impact of university research through many different lenses,” said IRIS executive director Jason Owen-Smith, a U-M professor of sociology and executive director of research analytics in the Office of Research. “Other IRIS reports contain similar information on the career paths, earnings and outcomes for university employees and students. Through these data-driven reports, our goal is to better understand and explain, and ultimately improve the public value of higher education and research.”

IRIS is a national consortium of more than 30 research universities, organized around an IRB-approved data repository.

Through these data-driven reports, our goal is to better understand and explain, and ultimately improve the public value of higher education and research.
Jason Owen-Smith

Reports, including this one on the economic impact of U-M research, are available to IRIS members. Members submit their administrative data on research spending to IRIS, which then links them to various other datasets to produce the reports. No individual businesses, employees or students are identifiable in the reports.

IRIS also curates and produces an annual data release that is made available for researcher use.

 

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