University of Memphis receives prestigious Carnegie R1 designation as a top tier research university 

Dec. 16, 2021 — The University of Memphis has been named an R1 institution by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, putting the UofM in the top tier of research universities nationally. 

This milestone solidifies the University as one of two flagship public institutions in Tennessee. Carnegie R1 status is a credit to the vision, work ethic and dedication of the faculty, staff and leadership at the UofM. 

​“The attainment of top tier Carnegie R1 status demonstrates not only the remarkable talent of our faculty and staff, but also our capacity to compete at a national level and succeed,” said UofM President M. David Rudd. “This is a truly remarkable accomplishment that will stand forever as a moment of great significance in the history of our wonderful University. We thank the Governor, state legislature and our trustees for their past, present and future support.” 

In addition to placing the UofM in a position to receive larger research grants, Carnegie R1 status has a significantly positive impact on the overall perception of the University. It increases the value of a degree, serves as an impressive recruiting tool and builds on the already extraordinary sense of pride within the UofM community. 

The criteria for Carnegie R1 evaluation includes research expenditures, grants received, degrees awarded in four doctoral areas and the amount of post-doc and non-faculty researchers employed. Both aggregate and per-faculty member measurements are considered.

“I want to thank our research faculty and staff who embraced our aspirational goal and responded,” said Jasbir Dhaliwal, UofM executive vice president of Research and Innovation. “It was heartening to see how they took it upon themselves to search out, compete and secure external research funding for their research ideas, efforts, labs and students. Never in my 30 years as a professor have I seen an entire campus mobilize so positively and passionately around a common goal.” 

The UofM reached $50.23 million in research awards in the 2021 fiscal year, a new institution record that put the University in a strong position to gain Carnegie R1 recognition. This continued a year-over-year upward climb in research awards as the UofM reached $40.76 million in 2020, $32.59 million in 2019 and $31.86 million in 2018. 

Approximately 20% of the faculty were responsible for 75% of proposals three years ago when the University began its research revitalization strategy aimed at reaching Carnegie R1 status. In 2021, that number rose to 38% of the faculty. The UofM has also seen an 80% increase in federal awards over the past three years and had 144 award-winning principal investigators and 20 departments securing $1 million or more in 2021.  

For more information, please go to https://carnegieclassifications.iu.edu/.