Research Funding and Expenditures
Research funding comes from many sources. Funding for externally sponsored programs comes primarily from federal agencies, state agencies, industry, associations and foundations. Competitive internal grants programs and Facilities and Administrative (F&A) cost return also support research. Because funds for conducting research are generally awarded in multi-year contracts or grants, the amount recorded as received each year may not reflect the research being done in that year.
Research expenditures – that is, the funds spent to conduct research – are the most frequently cited numbers for comparing research levels among colleges and universities. The National Science Foundation (NSF) surveys all recipients of federal funds annually, asking about their research expenditures from all funding sources. Research expenditures shows the data MSU has reported in that survey since 1998, when NSF began asking for expenditures for non-science and engineering projects as well as for science and engineering projects. The NSF numbers provide the most comprehensive listing of research expenditures and are the most consistent for comparisons with other institutions.