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Fast Facts about Research at UMBC

  • UMBC’s key research themes comprise Environmental Sciences and Engineering, especially Atmospheric Physics, Remote Sensing and Contaminant Remediation; on Life Sciences & Biotechnology, including Marine Biotechnology and Health Sciences; on Computer Information Systems & Engineering, with special focus on Cybersecurity and Cognitive Analytics; as well as Health Equity, Policy Studies and Public Humanities and Art.
  • UMBC is home to 533 full-time faculty and 13,640 enrolled students, including 2,498 graduate students.
  • UMBC is among the fastest-growing research universities in the nation. Annual extramural research expenditures in FY2017 were $78.5 million, a remarkable growth from only $20 million in 1996. These overall expenditures include $45.8 million provided by federally-funded programs.
  • UMBC is ranked #151 in federal research and development expenditures, and #165 in overall R&D expenditures in 2014 out of 634 institutions surveyed, according to the current NSF Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) survey.
  • UMBC is ranked #156 among National Universities in the 2015 US News & World Report College Compass.
  • UMBC is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a Doctoral University – Higher Research Activity.
  • UMBC was designated a Minority Serving Institution for the U.S. Department of Education in February 2017.
  • UMBC has a leadership role on the recently awarded Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) for Cybersecurity under the NIST National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence – a partnership between the University System of Maryland (UMBC and UM College Park) and MITRE. The contract for this FFRDC has a maximum value of $5 billion over 25 years.
  • UMBC is ranked among the Top 20 US universities in NASA funding. UMBC’s NASA-funded centers at NASA Goddard are the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET), the Goddard Planetary Heliophysics Institute (GPHI) and the Center for Space Sciences and Technology (CSST).
  • UMBC’s Dr. Michael Summers, Robert E. Meyerhoff Chair of Excellence in Research and Mentoring, University Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and one of only two Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators at a public university in Maryland, was elected to National Academy of Sciences in 2016. His research is aimed at under-standing how retroviruses assemble and how they specifically recognize and package their genetic material.
  • UMBC junior faculty members have secured 34 NSF CAREER Awards since 1995, including three in 2017 – to Dr. Tinoosh Mohsenin and Dr. Ting Zhu in Computer Science & Electrical Engineering and to Dr. Lee Blaney in Chemical, Biochemical and Environmental Engineering.
  • Over the past decade, two UMBC-affiliated researchers have received the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE) awards – one from NSF in 2005 and one from NSA in 2014.
  • UMBC’s Dr. Deborah Rudacille in English received a 2017 Guggenheim Fellowship, one of only two recipients in the category of Science Writing. She will be writing a book on “The Family Disease: Alcoholism, Addiction, and Inheritance.” 
  • UMBC’s Dr. Michael Nance in Philosophy received a 2016 Humboldt Research Award for his work and is conducting research with the Goethe Institute in Frankfurt, Germany. Curtis Menyuk in Computer Sciences and Electrical Engineering is the recipient of a 2015 Humboldt Research Award for his work in nonlinear optics and “self-similarity” in light propagation.
  • UMBC’s Dr. Jeffrey Gardner in Biological Sciences received a 2015 DOE Early Career Award for his work in understanding the degradation and regulatory modeling of plant biomass for renewable energy production.
  • UMBC’s Dr. Carlos Romero-Talamas in Mechanical Engineering received a 2014 DARPA Young Faculty Award for his work on new computational models for nuclear fusion technology.
  • UMBC’s Dr. Danielle Beatty Moody in Psychology received a 2015 NIH Early Career Development Award from NIH for her work investigating how racial disparities in exposure to early life social disadvantage (ELSD) promote accelerated subclinical and clinical brain pathology in African Americans.
  • UMBC is home to three 2016 Goldwater scholarship recipients (Daniel Ocasio, Naomi Mburu, and Andreas Seas) and UMBC students have received 11 Goldwater scholarships from 2006 through 2016.
  • UMBC launched more undergraduate careers of African American MD-PhD graduates than any other US institution over the past five years – with a total that is more than double of the next institution, Yale University, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
  • UMBC is ranked #5 among the Nation’s “Most Innovative Schools” according to U.S. News & World Report in its 2017 Best Colleges Guide, joining Stanford, MIT, ASU Tempe and Georgia State in the Top Five.
  • UMBC is also ranked among the Top 20 National Universities with a particularly strong commitment to undergraduate teaching, alongside Princeton, Yale, Dartmouth, and UC Berkeley, according to the 2017 Best Colleges Guide by U.S. News & World Report.
  • UMBC is listed among the nation’s “Top 100 Public Universities,” according to Kiplinger’s list of Best Values in Public Colleges.
  • UMBC’s Research Park – bwtech@UMBC – comprises 525,000 square feet, operates three incubators – focused on cybersecurity, life sciences, and clean tech – houses 130 tenants providing over 1,500 direct jobs. About half of the companies at bwtech@UMBC are working in the cybersecurity and IT domain.