Academics and Research

The University of Washington is preparing leaders of change and promoters of ideas, and we are developing a culture of collaboration.

We are ranked number one among public universities nationally to receive federal research and training funds, and since 1975 has been in the top five for public and private universities.

For FY 2012, we received $1.471 billion in sponsored research funds, tripling our research funding over the last 20 years.

The most recent report from China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University ranked the UW 16 among the world’s top universities (14 nationally).

The Higher Education Evaluation & Accreditation Council of Taiwan, which measures the quality and impact of research endeavors, identified the UW as the top public university in overall ranking worldwide.

Research Funding

  • $1,471,012,997 total sponsored grants and contracts
  • $470.2M non-federal funding
  • $1.001B federal funding
  • 5,029 grants, including 200 grants over $1M
  • $7,228,831 ARRA

Economic and Educational Impact

  • 280 start-up companies based on UW research advances over the last 20 years.
  • UW technology licenses generated over $41M in revenue.
  • In academic year 2011-12, 7,040 undergraduates participated in research with UW faculty for a total of 11,239 student-quarters of research (one student researching for one quarter = 1 student-quarter), and 1,293,496 hours devoted to undergraduate research.
  • In academic year 2011-12, 5,909 undergraduates participated in university sponsored public service, including service learning, public service internships and volunteer work, for a total of 8,185 student-quarters of public service, and a total of 556,335 hours devoted by students to public service.
  • Externally sponsored programs supported 7,445 full-time equivalent employees at the UW during FY 2010. Based on economic multipliers provided by the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board, UW research funding generated about 32,760 jobs statewide.

UW Faculty Honors

  • American Academy for Arts and Sciences: 81 members
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science: 162 Fellows
  • Institute of Medicine: 57 members
  • National Academy of Engineering: 28 members
  • Gairdner International Awards: 9 recipients
  • Albert Lasker Medical Research Awards: 5 recipients
  • National Medal of Science: 5 recipients
  • MacArthur Fellows: 15 recipients
  • National Academy of Public Administration: 1 recipient
  • National Academy of Sciences: 74 members
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom: 1 member

UW Faculty Nobel Prizes

Six UW faculty members have won Nobel Prizes since 1989. Since 1990, five have won Nobel Prizes in medicine, more than any other institution during that time period.

  • Hans Dehmelt, Professor Emeritus in Physics, 1989 Nobel Prize in Physics for research on immobilizing single subatomic particles
  • E. Donnall Thomas, Professor Emeritus in Medicine, 1990 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for research on bone marrow transplantation, done primarily at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • Edwin Krebs and Edmond Fischer, Professors Emeriti in Biochemistry and Pharmacology, 1992 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovery of reversible protein phosphorylation
  • Leland Hartwell, Professor of Genome Sciences and Adjunct Professor of Medicine, 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries of key regulators of the cell cycle
  • Linda Buck, Professor of Microbiology and Psychology, Affiliate Professor of Physiology and Biophysics, 2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries of odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system

Major Recent Grants

  • $13M from the US Department of State to support development of law faculty and Shari’a faculties at Afghan universities, through advanced training at the School of Law and through in-country workshops and assistance. PI: Jon Eddy
  • $7.9M from the Department of Defense to develop a vaccine to prevent breast cancer based on targeting proteins associated with breast cancer stem cells. PI: Mary L. “Nora” Disis
  • $6.7M from the Department of Social and Health Services for The Washington State Child Welfare and Social Work Learning Alliance. PI: Edwina Uehara
  • $3.5M from the Research and Innovative Technology Administration for developing safe and sustainable solutions for the diverse transportation needs of the Pacific Northwest. PI: Yinhai Wang
  • $3.5M from the National Science Foundation for the NSF Engineering Research Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering to develop devices that assist individuals with mobility disorders. PI: Thomas L. Daniel
  • $1.7M from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for investigating dynamics of cell-cell interactions shaping patterns of stomata, and how environmental conditions affect such dynamics. PI: Keiko Torii

Research Centers

There are over 289 specialized research centers at the UW, including one National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center (the Center for Materials and Devices for Information Technology Research).

There are over 20 National Institutes of Health Research Cores and Centers of Excellence, including the Institute for Translational Health Sciences, one of 60 NIH funded national Clinical and Translational Sciences Awards (CTSA). Leading centers include:

  • Center for Integrative Neuroscience
  • Center on Materials and Devices for Information Technology Research
  • West Coast Poverty Center
  • Center for Advanced Materials in Transport Aircraft Structures (AMTAS)
  • Center for Nanotechnology
  • Genetically Engineered Materials Science and Engineering Center (GEMSEC)
  • Center for Information Assurance & Cybersecurity
  • Center for Law in Science and Global Health
  • Center for AIDS Research (CFAR)
  • Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine (ISCRM)
  • Center for Intracellular Delivery of Biologics (CIDB)
  • Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME)
  • Indigenous Wellness Research Institute
  • Center for Local Strategies Research
  • Pacific Northwest Center for Construction Research and Education
  • Cleary Community for 21st Century Youth Literacy
  • Center for Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases
  • Pacific Northwest Udall Parkinson’s Disease Center (PANUC)
  • Centers for Comparative and Health Systems Effectiveness
  • Pharmacogenomics Research Network (PGRN)
  • UW Global Center for Integrated Health of Women, Adolescents, and Children
  • Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering
  • Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC)
  • Institute for Nuclear Theory (INT)
  • Center for Experimental Nuclear Physics and Astrophysics (CENPA)
  • UW Clinical Trial Center

Sources of UW Research Awards

Total Awards — $1.471B

  • Department of Health and Human Services — $609,309,217
  • National Science Foundation — $106,908,748
  • Department of Defense — $75,265,593
  • Department of Education — $72,661,149
  • Department of Energy — $30,369,559
  • Other Federal — $106,312,601
  • Industry — $72,287,658
  • Foundations — $74,966,744
  • State of Washington — $110,980,220
  • Other Non-Federal — $211,951,508

Total Grant and Contract Awards — $1,471,012,997

Research Awards by Schools and Colleges

  • Arts & Sciences $93,061,067
  • Built Environments $920,504
  • Dentistry $5,976,664
  • Education $28,111,976
  • Engineering $107,291,139
  • Environment $140,981,108
  • Evans School of Public Affairs $2,937,725
  • Foster School of Business $638,063
  • Graduate School $7,222,641
  • Health Sci. Spec. Programs $47,579,887
  • Information School $4,275,424
  • Law $15,230,125
  • Medicine $607,510,512
  • Nursing $16,496,158
  • Office of Research $59,599,905
  • Other Special Programs $125,352,151
  • Pharmacy $21,413,767
  • Public Health $153,009,187
  • Social Work $26,217,300
  • Undergraduate Education $944,534
  • UW Bothell and UW Tacoma $6,243,161


Sources of Current UW Operating Funds

UW Research

Total Operating Revenues — $4.8B

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