Skip to Main Content

Fast Facts about Research at UMBC

  • UMBC is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a Doctoral University – Higher Research Activity.
  • UMBC’s key research strengths comprise Environmental Sciences – including atmospheric physics, High-performance Computation – including cybersecurity and big data, Life Sciences – including marine biotechnology, health sciences, and Public Policy and Social Sciences.
  • UMBC is home to 652 full-time faculty and 13,839 enrolled students, including 2,596 graduate students.
  • UMBC is among the fastest-growing research universities in the nation. Annual extramural research expenditures in FY2016 were $77.6 million, a remarkable growth from only $20 million in 1996. These overall expenditures include $43 million provided by federal funded programs.
  • UMBC ranked #156 among National Universities in the 2015 US News & World Report College Compass.
  • UMBC 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 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 Research and Exploration in Space Science and Technology (CRESST).
  • 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 faculty have secured 30 NSF CAREER Awards since 1995, including one so far in 2016 – to Dr. Matt Pelton in Physics to provide a quantitative understanding of the non-Newtonian effects that arise in conventional liquids, such as water, when they interact with a rapidly moving solid nanostructure. Over the past decade, two UMBC 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. 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’s Dr. 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. Dr. Michael Nance in Philosophy received a 2016 Humboldt Research Award for his work and will conduct research wth the Goethe Institute in Frankfurt, Germany.
  • 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 is ranked #4 among the Nation’s “Most Innovative Schools” according to U.S. News & World Report in its 2016 Best Colleges Guide, joining Stanford and MIT in the Top Five.
  • UMBC also is ranked #6 among the Top National Universities with the “Best Undergraduate Teaching,” according to the 2016 Best Colleges Guide by U.S. News & World Report , tied with Yale and ahead Stanford and Duke.
  • 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 listed among the nation’s “Top 100 Public Universities,” according to Kiplinger’s list of Best Values in Public Colleges.
  • UMBC is one of just eight US universities listed among “100 International Universities under 50,” as compiled by Times Higher Education in the UK.
  • UMBC’s Research Park – bwtech@UMBC– comprises 525,000 square feet, houses 120 tenants providing 1,200 jobs and three incubators (cybersecurity, life sciences, and clean tech). Over half of the companies are working in the cyber realm.
  • 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.