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4/15/14 - Mississippi State yet again among top 100 research universities

Mississippi State continues to rank among the nation's top research universities, according to a new survey by the National Science Foundation.

The recently released NSF Higher Education Research and Development Survey for Fiscal Year 2012 places the university at 92nd overall among public and private institutions, based on $233.2 million in total research and development expenditures.

At 48.9 percent, MSU research also accounts for nearly half the total $476 million expenditures reported by all Mississippi institutions, the survey found.

"The NSF survey provides important benchmarks, and it is gratifying to see the hard work of our faculty, students and staff compare very well with, and in many cases surpass, our peers," said David Shaw, vice president for research and economic development.

Shaw said the $233 million expenditure total is a record high for MSU, as well as "a testament to every one of our researchers."

"I expect us to hit greater milestones in the future," he emphasized.

The survey is the primary source of information about research and development expenditures at U.S. colleges and universities, according to the NSF.

Nationally, MSU is ranked 54th in non-medical school R&D expenditures; 62nd among all public institutions.

The latest report also lists the 136-year-old land-grant institution at sixth in the nation for research and development expenditures in agricultural sciences among public and private institutions -- a jump from ninth in FY 2011. MSU has ranked among the Top 10 in this category for 15 consecutive years, spending $102.8 million in agriculture-related research in FY 2012.

Other inclusions in the NSF survey included:

-- With $54.8 million in engineering R&D expenditures, Mississippi State is 51st, and in the Top 30 of two subfields: electrical, at 24th, and mechanical, at 26th.

-- In computer science, MSU is 43rd and achieved Top 25 status in social sciences, and

-- In environmental science, moved up to 73rd from 75th.

Though frequently recognized in science and engineering categories, MSU also is a top 50 institution for the humanities, according to the survey. It now ranks 39th overall in the humanities among public and private institutions, based on $2 million in expenditures.

"Mississippi State's research enterprise is very diverse," Shaw said.

"Our researchers are pursuing initiatives that are solving challenging problems, creating knowledge and unlocking mysteries in our state and in communities across the globe," he explained.

The complete NSF report may be read at

In addition to its high NSF status, Mississippi State holds the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching designation as a "Very High Research Activity University" -- the highest level of research activity for doctoral-granting universities.

MSU remains the only Mississippi institution of higher learning with that Carnegie Foundation distinction, and is one of 108 nationwide.

For more about Mississippi State's research and economic development activities, visit

Jim Laird | Public Affairs

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