University of Maine research productivity at all-time high, despite the pandemic

Dear Colleagues,

While fiscal year 2021 will be marked by COVID-19 and the considerable challenges that come with a global pandemic, it will also be marked by the great accomplishments and the inspiring collaborations, teamwork, and resilience that have taken place at the University of Maine.

As Maine’s research university, its research impacts all areas — from student success and cutting-edge academic programs, to workforce development, innovation and economic advancement. Moreover, in recent years, while advancing as a modern 21st Century research university, there has been considerable emphasis on the growth and development of the research enterprise, and its resulting impact on Maine and beyond.

Significant advances have been made, and despite the daunting challenges caused by the pandemic, this has been an outstanding year for research and scholarly achievements at Maine’s land, sea, and space grant university. It has set another new record, by generating $133.6 million in external funding during fiscal year 2021, in support of research and development activities. This corresponds to a 135 percent increase over the past five-year period, and an all-time record high realized by the university.

In fiscal year 2021, R&D expenditures, which support faculty, staff and students in their research endeavors, also reached a new all-time record high of $179.3 million, corresponding to an increase of 80.2 percent over the past five-year period. It is also noteworthy to point out that research centers and institutes, through their affiliated faculty and staff, have generated 74 percent of sponsored awards in fiscal year 2021.

Moreover, with respect to graduate enrollment, in spring 2021 doctoral enrollment for the first time in the university’s history exceeded 500, and in fall 2021 graduate enrollment exceeded 2500, also an all-time high record for the university.

These achievements stem from the university’s strategic pursuit of growth in research, its talented and dedicated faculty, staff, and students, in conjunction with its research centers and institutes, in partnership with its academic units and external collaborators. Moreover, the research development and administration resources and services that have been developed and grown in recent years, and coupled with university-wide research initiatives, in combination have contributed to the realization of the given achievements.

Please visit our research webpage to obtain additional information about the impactful research and scholarly achievements realized at the University of Maine or contact us at

Kody Varahramyan
Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School