Research at UAlbany
A Comprehensive Public Research University
Home to nine colleges and schools, 57 centers
and institutes, and 675 full-time faculty scholars and researchers, the University at Albany is one
of SUNY's flagship, comprehensive research universities. UAlbany is widely recognized for its
long-standing academic and research strengths in atmospheric and environmental sciences,
biological sciences, business, computer science demography, economics, education, math,
political science and public administration, public health, psychology, sociology, and social
welfare. In addition, the University has made significant investments in emerging and new strategic areas of opportunity including engineering and applied sciences, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, emergency management and homeland security, minority health disparities, RNA science and technology, and advanced weather analytics.
Carnegie R1 – A Very High Research Activity Institution
Since 2005, the UAlbany has been recognized as a Carnegie R1 research institution – one of the elite "very high research activity" doctoral universities as ranked by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
Research Productivity – Total Expenditures
In FY 2019-20, extramural research and training expenditures totaled $94.7 million, which represents an increase of nearly six percent since FY 2015-16. UAlbany reported over $181.5 million of combined intramural and extramural research expenditures as highlighted in the last report of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) survey in 2019.
Research Excellence – A Pillar in the Strategic Plan
One of the pillars of the University at Albany's 2018-2023 Strategic Plan is research excellence. Through strengthening research, scholarship, and creative pursuits, UAlbany is addressing some of today's most significant societal challenges, advancing human knowledge, and driving innovation and discovery in new and unprecedented ways.
A Focus on Interdisciplinary Research
UAlbany's focus on interdisciplinary research is one of the University's unique opportunities to leverage its signature strengths to address complex societal challenges, such as weather-climate resilience, minority health disparities, demographic change and migration, clean air, and renewable energy. Building off of the emphasis of interdisciplinarity within intramural research across campus, UAlbany investigators are successfully pursuing interdisciplinary extramural pursuits as well. In 2020, there were 182 active awards demonstrating our investigators' cross-disciplinary research efforts supported by extramural funding.
Graduate and Undergraduate Education – An Emphasis on Research
UAlbany is a leader in undergraduate and graduate education, offering 150 undergraduate academic programs and 125 doctoral and graduate level programs across the disciplines, graduating 4,933 degrees in 2020. Recognizing the importance of experiential learning, UAlbany affords students a wide array of opportunities to complement the classroom experience through research, scholarship, and creative activities on campus, in the community, and within the public and private sectors.
In recent years, UAlbany enhanced its focus on student research with the establishment of the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Engagement (CURCE). It also created The Graduate School with a focus on promoting collaborative, innovative and interdisciplinary opportunities to secure new knowledge, advance discovery and solve societal problems.
UAlbany places a high value on community-engaged research, scholarship and creative expression. Our researchers and faculty serve as critical partners to numerous public and private sector organizations in studying and addressing an array of societal challenges. For more than a decade, UAlbany has celebrated this commitment through the President’s Awards for Exemplary Public Engagement. Health disparities, climate resiliency, sustainable communities, and the response to the COVID-19 pandemic are just a few examples of the ways our faculty scholars and students advance community-engaged research. In 2020, the University joined a select group of colleges and universities to receive the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification recognizing higher education institutions committed to public engagement. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this commitment was highlighted through the #OneUAlbany campaign designed to showcase the University’s endeavors through the lens of its strategic priorities.
State-of-the-Art Research Infrastructure
UAlbany spans a multi-billion dollar physical infrastructure across three distinct campuses -- the "Uptown (Main) Campus," the "Downtown Campus," and the "Health Sciences Campus" just across the Hudson River. Over the past two decades, the University has made significant capital investments into its research infrastructure including:
$110M Life Sciences Research Building (LSRB) – Opened in 2004, this 194,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art R&D facility on the Uptown Campus supports interdisciplinary research across a broad spectrum of life sciences disciplines. In 2009, the first brick-and-mortar RNA Institute in the country was constructed in the LSRB, dedicated to conducting ribonucleic acid-based research aimed at the discovery of new treatments for disease.
$45M Gen*NY*Sis Cancer Center – Completed in 2005, this 113,000 square feet R&D center, including laboratory and office space, is dedicated to advancing biomedical and cancer research. Located on the Health Sciences Campus, the Cancer Center is part of a larger campus footprint which incorporates 500,000 square feet of existing lab, office and support space in East Greenbush, NY.
$64M School of Business – Completed in 2013, the 96,000 square-foot state-of-the-art School of Business located on the Uptown Campus is dedicated to supporting business education, innovation, entrepreneurship, and excellence in research.
$180M ETEC building on the Harriman Campus – Set to open in Summer 2021, UAlbany will unveil a pioneering 245,000-square-foot R&D complex known as ETEC. This facility will bring together the University's internationally recognized weather and climate enterprise together with the nation's first College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity – all under one roof.
Strategic Location & Competitive Advantage – UAlbany is located at the hub of New York State government, the State's capital city in Albany, NY, which is home to one of the world's largest economies. UAlbany's geographic proximity to the state's most influential government leaders provides a unique geographic advantage that no other comprehensive public research university in New York State can rival. Over the years, this strategic advantage has helped shape UAlbany's academic and research programs. For example, UAlbany's top-ranked Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy, the School of Criminal Justice, the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity, and the School of Public Health on the Health Sciences Campus – are academic and research endeavors that were borne out of the University's close proximity to the State's capital and its elected officials.
The School of Public Health is a prime example of the opportunity and power of UAlbany's strategic location to state government. Established in 1985, this academic enterprise is the only school of public health in the country jointly created and operated by a research university and a state health department. Today, more than 100 scientists from the NYS Department of Health and its renowned Wadsworth Center have their primary academic appointments in the School of Public Health.
Future research opportunities for collaboration with the NYS Department of Health and its Wadsworth Center continue to emerge. The Wadsworth Center has received a state capital appropriation to build a $750 million R&D laboratory complex on the State Harriman Campus, which will centralize all of the Wadsworth's labs in one location. Adjacent to UAlbany, this groundbreaking R&D facility, within walking distance to researchers in the Life Sciences Research Building on the University's Uptown Campus, will create new and unprecedented opportunities for future joint research, training and development across our institutions.
Accordingly, the proximity of UAlbany's location to the Governor, the State Legislature and the Executive Agencies in Albany, New York, provides exceptional access to elected officials and public policy leaders. This is truly a unique and competitive advantage for growing the University's future research portfolio. No other public doctoral research university in New York State has this level of access and strategic advantage to attract and grow extramural research funding.
Support for the University's Research Enterprise
The Division for Research provides a number of financial supports to investigators and academic/research units across the University. From intramural funding programs, conference and journal support, and bridge and seed funding, to pre-submission peer review, incentivization funding, and ICR back to units, the Division for Research returned to the University research community an amount equivalent to approximately 30 percent of total Indirect Cost Recovery (or $3.77M) in FY 2020.
Division for Research leadership and staff also work closely with faculty and researchers to provide a wide array of supports such as grants development, pre-award proposal submission, negotiating awards, finalizing grants and contracts, post-award expenditures, research and regulatory compliance, animal laboratory, intellectual property, commercialization, and economic development. In total, more than 70 FTE across seven offices provide administrative and sponsored funds support services to UAlbany investigators throughout the entire lifecycle of an externally sponsored project.