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An Earth and planetary exploration technology student in a vacuum chamber.

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa is No. 91 out of the top 633 research institutions in the U.S. and No. 59 out of the top 410 public universities, according to the latest National Science Foundation (NSF) Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Data, which measures research and development federal expenditures across a variety of disciplines.

The following disciplines at UH Mānoa placed in the nation’s top 10%, according to the latest available data from FY 2022:

  • Ocean sciences and marine sciences: No. 7 out of 396 (top 2%)
  • Astronomy and astrophysics: No. 13 out of 493 (top 3%)
  • Geological and earth sciences: No. 15 out of 396 (top 4%)
  • Computer and information sciences: No. 27 out of 484 (top 6%)
  • Atmospheric science and meteorology: No. 41 out of 396 (top 10%)
  • Social Work: No. 47 out of 460 (top 10%)

UH Mānoa is also in the top 11% in agricultural sciences (No. 38 out of 332) and electrical, electronic, and communications engineering (No. 43 out of 388).

“The data shows that in a highly competitive environment, the federal government recognizes the expertise here at UH Mānoa by funding our research across multiple disciplines,” UH Mānoa Provost Michael Bruno said. “It underscores our continued success in fostering a dynamic research environment, attracting top-tier faculty and students, and further establishing ourselves as a hub for cutting-edge research to serve the people of Hawaiʻi and the world.”

UH Mānoa is a global leader in a wide range of disciplines, including earth and environmental sciences, sustainability, climate, food systems and the health sciences. Several examples of UH Mānoa projects that attracted the attention of funders:

  • In 1988, the Hawaiʻi Ocean Time-series (HOT) was established with support from the National Science Foundation to study changes in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. After nearly 350 expeditions to station ALOHA, the 35-year time-series record is still going strong. Read more about the HOT program on UH News.
  • A UH Mānoa student-led team was selected to develop a small research satellite for the NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative planned to launch between 2024–27. Read more about the project.
  • Kamaʻehuakanaloa (formerly Lōʻihi Seamount), a submarine Hawaiian volcano located about 20 miles off the south coast of Hawaiʻi Island, has erupted at least five times in the last 150 years, according to new research led by Earth scientists at UH Mānoa. Read more about this research.

“This achievement is a testament to the unwavering dedication of our faculty, staff and students who continue to elevate UH Mānoa as a beacon of excellence, propelling Hawaiʻi to the forefront of cutting-edge research and innovation,” UH Mānoa Interim Vice Provost for Research and Scholarship Christopher Sabine said. “The entire state should take pride in our collective commitment to advancing knowledge and contributing to the broader scientific community.”

Record extramural funding

UH brought in a record high of $515.9 million for FY 2023 in extramural funding, $10.9 million more than the previous record of $505 million set in FY 2022. UH Mānoa, the flagship campus of UH’s 10 campus system, led the extramural funding amount with $342.7 million.

Extramural funding is external investments from entities such as the federal government, industry and non-profit organizations that support research and training activities conducted by university faculty and staff. Extramural projects support research and innovation that help to increase knowledge and provide solutions to improve quality of life.

UH Mānoa, the flagship campus of the UH 10-campus system is classified as one of only 146 R1 research universities in the nation by the Carnegie Foundation, indicating “very high research activity.”

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