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UNF achieves Carnegie’s R2 University High Research Activity designation

The University of North Florida has achieved the prestigious R2 Doctoral University High Research Activity status by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Learning, signifying the momentous recent growth in the University’s innovative research and development activities. The Carnegie Classification is the leading framework for recognizing and describing institutional diversity in U.S. higher education.

“The R2 classification is a notable achievement for the University as it validates our persistence and continued commitment to grow research and development at UNF,” said UNF Interim President Pamela Chally. “This includes recruiting and retaining innovative faculty, who are engaging our students in meaningful, cutting-edge research.”

UNF’s distinguished research standing is growing rapidly. Since 2013-14, the value of external funding awards made to the University has increased by more than 50%, resulting in UNF surpassing more than 100 other universities on the NSF Higher Education R&D rankings. External support includes competitive grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Education and the Small Business Administration, among numerous other federal and state agencies.

Beneficial large industry partnerships account for a growing percentage of UNF’s externally funded research, anchored by major collaborative agreements with companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Crowley Maritime and Mayo Clinic. Since 2015, research and development spending at UNF has increased 335%, and patented inventions, spinoff companies and licenses on UNF intellectual property have quadrupled.

UNF invests in research activities that are responsive to a wide range of community partners — research that meets local needs while contributing solutions to global challenges. This includes interdisciplinary research on topics such as transportation and logistics, coastal sciences, advanced manufacturing, applied health, and advanced data analytics. Supporting these efforts are 20 centers and institutes as well as dedicated administrative units that proactively help faculty and students secure the resources needed to conduct impactful research. 

UNF also uniquely emphasizes the engagement of our undergraduate students in research. Many students who receive bachelor’s degrees at UNF graduate having been directly involved in faculty-mentored research and often as collaborators with faculty on conference papers and published articles. 

The Carnegie designation is only for those institutions that awarded at least 20 research/scholarship doctoral degrees and had at least $5 million in total research expenditures as reported through the National Science Foundation Higher Education Research & Development Survey. Recognized universities enjoy advantages in securing more external research grants, recruiting high-quality faculty and attracting the interest of industry partners. 

View the Carnegie Classification list and methodology.