US funding landscape and opportunities

The United States (US) is the largest investor in research and innovation in the world. As such, it maintains world-leading universities, researchers and facilities through an extensive network of federal funders, state funders, industry, foundations and university endowments. The Research Office presents a broad outline of this landscape as well as funding opportunities that may be of interest to the Graduate Institute’s research community.

The federal government has historically played a major role in funding university-based research and development (R&D), reaching a rate as high as 73 percent in the late 1960s. Even though the federal share of university R&D has flattened out in the last decade, it remains around 60 percent. Academic institutions come in second place, funding more than 20 percent of the total share of university R&D, as they are increasingly using their own internal funds to finance research expenses that were once covered by external sources. The rest of the funding comes from industry, private foundations and state/local governments.

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