Academic Funding

UNC Chapel Hill Tops for Federal Social Science Funding

December 13, 2016 1039

The Consortium of Social Science Associations has released its 2017 College and University Rankings for Federal Social and Behavioral Science R&D, which highlights the top university recipients of research dollars in the social and behavioral sciences. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill takes the top spot, with more than $92 million logged.

Based on federally collected data from the National Center for Science and Education Statistics’ Higher Education Research and Development Survey, the COSSA rankings use an inclusive selection of fields (social sciences, psychology, law, communications, and social work) to calculate the total federal R&D funding received by universities in the social and behavioral sciences. The 2017 rankings reflect spending from fiscal year 2015, the most current available data.

You can find more information on how COSSA produces its rankings and see data on more than 450 U.S. institutions on COSSA’s website.

The top 10 recipients for 2017 are:

  1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – $92,039,000
  2. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor – $88,373,000
  3. University of Maryland, College Park – $58,793,000
  4. University of Pennsylvania – $43,314,000
  5. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities – $38,279,000
  6. Pennsylvania State University, University Park and Hershey Medical Center – $37,264,000
  7. University of Washington, Seattle – $36,876,000
  8. Florida State University – $31,382,000
  9. New York University – $30,804,000
  10. Arizona State University – $29,812,000

Nine of this year’s top 10 recipients of federal funding in the social and behavioral sciences are COSSA members. Florida State is the exception.


The Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) is an advocacy organization that promotes attention to and U.S. government funding for the social and behavioral sciences. It serves as a bridge between the academic research community and the Washington policy-making community. Its members consist of more than 100 professional associations, scientific societies, universities, and research centers and institutes.

View all posts by Consortium of Social Science Associations

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