Overview of U-M Research and Scholarship

A wellspring of ideas and expertise

The University of Michigan is a publicly-chartered, state-assisted institution with its main campus located in Ann Arbor, a lively and diverse city (population: 114,000). The Ann Arbor campus enrolls about 41,000 students and includes professional schools in Dentistry, Law, Medicine, and Pharmacy. Two branch campuses conduct research and provide undergraduate education. UM-Dearborn has about 8,725 students, four schools and colleges. UM-Flint has four schools, 6,500 students.The University’s instructional staff numbers about 5,000, with a non-instructional staff 26,000, for a total employment of 31,000. It awards about 11,500 degrees each year. Research is central to the University’s mission and permeates its schools and colleges. The Office of Research (UMOR) and the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects (ORSP) have central responsibility for administration and support of research activity by the faculty. University research expenditures for 2011-2012 totaled $1.27 billion, an increase of 3% over the previous fiscal year. (See Annual Reports for details.) Source of these expenditures included:

  • United States Government — $795 million
  • University of Michigan Funds — $380 million
  • Industry — $42.8 million
  • Foundations & Public Charities — $38.8 million
  • State & Local Governments — $.5 million

The disciplinary reach of the University’s research programs is exceptional. Research is conducted within the nineteen academic schools and colleges. Only agriculture is not represented among them, and even this discipline receives basic research attention in the biology units and the School of Natural Resources and Environment.

The University of Michigan is noted for its interdisciplinary research initiatives, such as nanoscience and technology, energy, and life sciences that involve faculty from many units on campus, including the Medical School, College of Engineering and the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

Several large-scale research institutes outside the academic units conduct full-time research, usually focused on long-term interdisciplinary problems. The Institute for Social Research is comprised of renowned Survey Research Center, the Populations Studies Center, and several other large social science programs. The Life Sciences Institute opened in 2004. The Michigan Energy Institute is another all-campus interdisciplinary effort launched in 2006.

These institutes join numerous research museums, libraries, laboratories, centers, and other units to form a vast network of research resources. Notable resources include astronomy observatories in Michigan, Arizona, and Chile, and the Biological Station on Douglas Lake in Northern Michigan

The University’s research draws upon a comprehensive library system that includes the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library, the Harold T. and Vivian B. Shapiro Undergraduate Library, the Taubman Medical Library, 19 divisional libraries, 7 departmental and area collections, and these special libraries: Law Library, William L. Clements Library of Americana, Michigan Historical Collections/Bentley Historical Library, and Kresge Business Administration Library. Total University holdings number more than 7 million volumes. The University of Michigan collection is one of great breadth and depth. The UM Library is the sixth largest academic research library in the country. UM is a leader in building digital collections, converting approximately 5,000 volumes a year. This rate of digitization exceeds that of any other academic library.

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library is located on the North Campus adjacent to the Bentley Library and houses Mr. Ford’s Presidential, Vice Presidential and Congressional documents.

The University of Michigan researchers have access to some of the finest computer resources in the nation.

Excellence in research is a crucial element in the University’s high ranking among educational institutions. National surveys consistently rank the University’s professional schools among the top 10, reflecting a research record of important publications and other contributions to the advancement of scholarship.

March 2013