UNH Reaches Top Tier of Carnegie Classification for Research Universities


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Monday, January 14, 2019
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DURHAM, N.H.—The University of New Hampshire has risen to the top echelon of research universities in the country as designated by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education and is now among the 130 doctoral-granting universities in the “very high research activity,” or R1, category.

“This is a powerful recognition of UNH as one of the nation’s highest-performing research universities,” said Jan Nisbet, senior vice provost for research at UNH. “It underscores our ongoing commitment to research and scholarship that improves the lives of people here in the Granite State and across the globe.” UNH was previously in the second tier — doctoral universities high research activity, or R2 — of Carnegie Classifications; ascending to the top level has been a focus of Nisbet’s for the past decade.

Designation as an R1 university will boost UNH efforts to attract talented undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, faculty and staff, Nisbet said. It also indicates to federal and state agencies, private foundations and philanthropists, and business and industry that UNH has the capacity to conduct high-quality research and education. 

“UNH’s classification as an R1 institution reflects the excellence of the innovative research that our faculty and students are pursuing across our campuses,” said UNH President James W. Dean Jr. “This confirms UNH’s growing reputation as a national leader, and as a great place for students to work side-by-side with faculty mentors on cutting-edge research.”

The Carnegie Classification is the leading framework for describing the diversity of the more than 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States. Updated every three years, the quantitative analysis is widely used by state legislatures, federal agencies, grant-making institutions, news media and others.

“This top Carnegie classification signals that UNH is among the most research-intensive, doctoral-producing universities in the nation. It speaks to the excellence of our faculty and graduate students,” Nisbet said. “Only 43 universities in the country without medical schools, which generate significant research, made the top tier, and we are happy to be one of them.”

Among New England public universities, only the University of Connecticut and University of Massachusetts-Amherst are also categorized as R1; both institutions are nearly double the size of UNH.

Research at UNH, the state’s flagship public research university, attracts more than $110 million in competitive external funding each year. Research strengths include space physics, Earth and the environment, marine science and ocean mapping, vulnerable populations and American history. Nearly 600 students pursue doctoral degrees at UNH, which is also home to the nation’s largest undergraduate research conference.

The University of New Hampshire is a flagship research university that inspires innovation and transforms lives in our state, nation and world. More than 16,000 students from all 50 states and 71 countries engage with an award-winning faculty in top ranked programs in business, engineering, law, health and human services, liberal arts and the sciences across more than 200 programs of study. UNH’s research portfolio includes partnerships with NASA, NOAA, NSF and NIH, receiving more than $100 million in competitive external funding every year to further explore and define the frontiers of land, sea and space.