AMHERST, Mass. (State House News Service) – Research work at the University of Massachusetts expanded by 23 percent over the past five years, with almost all of it in STEM fields and a portfolio that’s the fourth largest in New England, behind Harvard University, MIT and Yale University.

UMass on Wednesday released its annual report on research enterprise across its five-campus system. Research work grew 8 percent in fiscal 2022 over fiscal 2021, to reach $813 million, the report said. The growth marked a second straight year of success in the research realm, coming on top of a 9.4 percent surge in R&D spending at UMass between fiscal 2020 and fiscal 2021.

Over the past five years, state and local support for UMass research work was down 20 percent, to $28.5 million. The university made up for that decline in other areas. The federal government boosted support by 28 percent over that same period to nearly $484 million while institutional support jumped 17 percent to nearly $213 million. The biggest buckets of research spending in fiscal 2022 occurred at the Chan Medical School in Worcester ($358 million) and at the flagship campus of UMass Amherst ($245 million).

Areas of research include:

  • Developing “smart” roadways to improve safety and reduce congestion (UMass Amherst)
  • Enhancing digital connections to minority communities (UMass Boston)
  • Maritime technologies and the “blue economy” (UMass Dartmouth)
  • Impacts of misinformation on “extreme behavior” (UMass Lowell)
  • Caregiver engagement in serious illness and the impact of structural barriers, including racism (UMass Chan Medical School).

“The world class research being conducted at each of our nationally ranked universities is driving innovation in every region of Massachusetts and enhancing the education of our 74,000 students,” UMass President Marty Meehan said in a statement. “The discoveries made in UMass laboratories have been critical to society’s ability to confront major challenges, from COVID-19 to climate change, and will continue to be essential in our fast-changing world.”