UMaine achieves R1 Carnegie Classification, ascends to top-tier of research universities in the nation

The University of Maine has been designated an R1 university by the prestigious Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The R1 designation signifies “very high research activity” in recent years and it is the highest possible tier a doctoral research university can achieve in the Carnegie Classification. Updates are completed every three years.

As of February 2021, only 146 of the nation’s 3,982 degree-granting postsecondary institutions in the United States are classified as top-tier doctoral research universities. This places UMaine among the top 3.7% in research institutions in the country.

“The research enterprise at the University of Maine is a vital state economic and educational asset,” said University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy. “The R1 designation is the world standard for research universities. With it, we will attract more talent, investment and innovation to Maine. Thanks to the dedication of our research faculty and staff at our flagship university, and the strategic leadership of President Ferrini-Mundy, Vice President for Research Kody Varahramyan, and their teams, Maine is becoming a global destination for discovery and innovation.”

UMaine’s research enterprise spans the entire state, including the newly launched UMaine Portland Gateway. And in the University of Maine System’s unified accreditation environment, faculty at other UMS universities have the opportunity to partner with UMaine researchers, allowing them to expand their own research along with the reach and impact of the flagship’s well-established research infrastructure.

Over the last five years, research and development expenditures at UMaine have grown 80.2% to an all-time high of $179.3 million for 2021. External funding in support of R&D increased 135% to $133.6 million, and UMaine has achieved record graduate and doctoral student enrollments. See UMaine’s 2021 Research Report online.

“The R1 designation affirms that UMaine has reached the highest Carnegie Classification that identifies top doctoral-granting national universities with very high research activity,” said Kody Varahramyan, UMaine Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School. “This is also in recognition that at UMaine, we have been creating a modern 21st-century research university, with nationally and internationally recognized programs of global impact and local relevance that address the workforce needs and advance the social and economic development of Maine and beyond.”

Pips Veazey weighs in on the historic achievement. “The R1 research designation affirms the great work being done by faculty, staff, students and administrators to collectively achieve this national recognition. By working together, we can do great things, and the UMaine Portland Gateway is focused on amplifying the impacts of our research across the state and beyond.”

Read the full story on UMaine News.