Blue Ridge Ranking

Every year we await the results of a variety of ranking systems that impact how our Medical School is viewed externally. Yesterday we received our 2020 Blue Ridge Ranking, which compares universities across the USA by the amount of NIH funding they receive.

This year we are ranked 28th. Last year we were ranked 27th, but there is far more to this story than just the numerical ranking. Here are the main points to know:

  • Our funding actually increased by $25,754,798 this year, to $226,088,969. That is an incredible increase.
  • The reason our ranking dropped was that another university received a huge COVID grant that lifted them from #38 to #21 in the rankings.
  • Thirteen of our departments maintained or improved their ranking, some with multi-million dollar increases in funding.
  • This ranking does not include many of our funding sources: collaborations where NIH research dollars are “housed” in other areas of the University, internal grants (over $800,000 was awarded internally in 75 COVID Grants), and philanthropy.

Of note, if the current proposed federal budget is approved, there will be a 7.4% increase to the NIH budget next fiscal year.

The takeaway from this year’s Blue Ridge Ranking? We should all be proud of the phenomenal efforts made by our researchers and everyone who supports them—from laboratory scientists, to pre-award and regulatory specialists, to our trainees and student workers, to SPA, to the people who administer the funds and manage the reporting.