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UW researcher file photo

Lisa Bartz, a senior research specialist with UW-Madison's Soil and Plant Analysis Laboratory, works in the lab's sample preparation area in this November 2014 file photo.

John Hart -- State Journal archives

With more than $1 billion spent in 2013 on research at UW-Madison, the university has maintained its ranking as one of the top U.S. universities in research expenditures.

UW-Madison came in fourth in research expenditures, behind Johns Hopkins, Michigan and Washington, according to the National Science Foundation's Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) survey, released on Wednesday.

The 2013 expenditures of $1,123,501,000 at UW-Madison on research of all kinds were down about $46 million from fiscal 2012.

For more than 20 years, UW-Madison has been in the top five in research expenditures among U.S. universities, according to a university news release.

Marsha Mailick, interim vice chancellor for research and graduate education, said the university is able to keep up with the other universities because of the quality of work by the faculty, staff and student researchers.

"The federal government is spending less, and the competition for fewer research dollars is fierce," Mailick said. "We need to position ourselves strategically to compete successfully for research grants, which is critically important to our ability to generate new knowledge and support Wisconsin residents."

Mailick said attracting and retaining faculty, staff and student researchers could be jeopardized if budget cuts come to fruition at UW-Madison and the UW System.

The HERD survey looked at 891 degree-granting institutions spending at least $150,000 on research.

University spending on research in all fields totaled $67.2 billion in 2013.


Bill Novak is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.