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WSU Research Facts and Figures

Facts and figures

Numbers tell a story of the powerful economic impact of WSU research

Washington State University is one of just 115 U.S. public and private universities—out of 4,500+—singled out for its “highest research activity” in the Carnegie Classification.

Sponsored project awards

Sponsored project awards received 0 $50,000,000 $100,000,000 $150,000,000 $200,000,000 $250,000,000 FY 2015 FY 2016 $137,237,387 $140,714,791 $59,852,123 $78,454,069 $197,089,510 $219,168,860 Non-federal Federal

Commercialization activity

Commercialization activity 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 66 103 113 124 194 250 232 285 83 69 61 95 43 49 55 71 4 5 9 7 2013 2014 2015 2016 Disclosures Inventions Patent applications U.S. licensesissued Number ofstartups


  • The uncompromising pursuit of healthier people and communities

    Addressing health disparities and preventing disease

    American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities experience elevated rates of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. These communities are historically underserved when it comes to health care. Little research has been conducted to better understand and address their health care needs.

    Dr. Dedra Buchwald of the WSU Health Sciences Spokane campus hopes to equip these communities with powerful tools to improve blood pressure control, and ultimately cardiovascular disease and stroke. With a $10 million grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, Dr. Buchwald will work with a Southwest tribe, an Alaska Native health … » More …

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  • Connecting communities for health

    Join us April 18 at WSU Innovators in Seattle to learn more about how WSU’s work in Africa affects health in North America

    Attend WSU Innovators to hear from two researchers working with Dr. Call, as well as Dr. Guy Palmer, the Allen School’s co-founder and senior director for global health at WSU. Tina Vlasaty of the Washington Global Health Alliance will moderate the panel.

    The panelists will discuss the global-to-local approach needed to curb the emergence of antimicrobial resistance, and WSU’s role in developing solutions.

    Learn more and register for this free event at

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  • Young lady being treated in hospital bed Stopping the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria

    Advancing the health of communities worldwide

    For decades, doctors have trusted antibiotic medicines to fight Infectious bacteria, saving lives and restoring health. Lately, though, the drugs often fail. To blame are newly emerging antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

    Drug-resistant bacterial infections cause nearly 23,000 deaths annually in the United States. Globally the annual death toll could be as high as 700,000.

    WSU is part of global effort

    Stopping antimicrobial resistance (AMR) requires a global effort. Washington State University is helping to lead the charge.

    In the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, where experts study the emergence and spread of disease, researchers are examining the role … » More …

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  • Transforming leadership to achieve equity in education

    Building parent participation and shifting administrator mindsets

    In 2010, 47 percent of children under the age of five belonged to a racial or ethnic minority group[1]. That statistic signifies a shift in the demographics of tomorrow’s classrooms.

    As the nation’s K-12 students become increasingly diverse, school environments, educational policies, and teaching best practices must take students’ cultural backgrounds into account. Research of Dr. Katherine Rodela anticipates changes needed in K-12 schools. The educational leadership professor is rethinking the role of parent leadership in school systems. She is also examining how district leaders can develop an equity mindset—the belief that by engaging members of … » More …

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  • waste barrels Multimillion dollar grant to support nuclear waste cleanup

    Research probes how radiation changes nuclear waste over time

    Safe management of nuclear waste is vital to national security and a primary mission of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Approximately 300 million liters of highly radioactive wastes are stored in underground tanks at the Hanford Site in Washington and the Savannah River Site in South Carolina.

    Wastes stored in tanks at Hanford have been there for decades. Radiation present in the wastes drives chemical changes that are neither well understood nor predictable. DOE estimates it will take at least 50 years and $300 billion to process the wastes into forms fit for disposal using … » More …

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  • Student research

    Innovation spawns entrepreneurial venture

    Every year, reused and infected hypodermic needles cause 1.3 million deaths. Two 2016 WSU bioengineering graduates developed a cost-effective solution.

    Emily Willard and Katherine Brandenstein designed a sterilizing cap that fits over the opening of a vaccine vial, decontaminating needles to help save lives. Both young women are researchers at heart, but dove into the world of business to turn their discoveries into a technology for commercialization. With help from entrepreneurship experts at WSU, Willard and Brandenstein developed a prototype of their product and launched a company.

    The duo won the WSU Business Plan competition and the University of Washington’s first … » More …

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See all 2016 highlights

Office of Research Annual Report

2016 (pdf)

2015 (pdf)

2014 (pdf)

2013 (pdf)

By the numbers


Research and public service expenditures

$381 million (FY 2015)

Sponsored program expenditures

$191 million (FY 2016)

Growth in research and development expenditures

Total expenditures
$ in thousands

2003 $175,789
2004 $175,144
2005 $185,282
2006 $203,540
2007 $213,262
2008 $283,086
2009 $301,080
2010 $304,352
2011 $320,510
2012 $335,930
2013 $341,082
2014 $326,414
2015 $333,134

Significant federal funding for research

With $191 million in total sponsored program expenditures (FY 2016), WSU is among the nation’s top land-grant research universities.

Other federal agencies $3,791,072

Department of Agriculture $38,078,370
Department of Health and Human Services $26,338,989
National Science Foundation $17,993,070
Department of Energy $17,206,882
Department of Education $9,245,798
Department of Defense $7,655,560
U.S. Agency for International Development $3,122,646
Small Business Administration $2,411,865
Department of Transportation $2,000,481
Department of Commerce $1,501,232
Total federal $129,345,965

Broad support from non-federal sources

Fiscal year 2016 expenses by non-federal program

Washington state governments $25,420,031
Private foundations and institutes and other nonprofit $9,122,596
Washington commissions $6,898,313
Business concerns and corporations for profit $6,151,743
Local governments $5,899,182
Schools, colleges, and universities $1,916,879
Foreign sponsors $1,716,493
Other non-federal programs $4,752,901
Total non-federal $61,878,140

Leading private-sector research projects in FY 2016

Research collaborations with private industry boost the state’s economic health and answer complex societal concerns.

Industry sponsor Research project
United Air Lines Fatigue Risk Management System Route Studies
Principal investigator: Greg Belenky, $879,171
Genus PLC In vitro Expansion of Bovine Spermatogonial Stem cells
Principal investigator: Jon Oatley, $720,090
Merck & Co. Improving Neuromuscular Monitoring Rates: A Local and Regional Approach
Principal investigator: Darryl Duvall, $322,246
Chemring Detection Systems Development of a Breathalyzer for Drugged Driving
Principal investigator: Herb Hill, $309,000
Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals Effect of SB compound on respiratory virus pathogenesis in mice (phase II)
Principal investigator: Santanu Bose, $302,000

Leading Washington commodity commission research projects in FY 2016

Research collaborations with the state’s commodity commissions support production of food and agricultural products throughout Washington.

Commission sponsor Research project
Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission Apple Scion Breeding Program
Principal investigator: Katherine Evans, $179,045
Washington Grain Commission Field Breeding Soft White Winter Wheat
Principal investigator: Arron Carter, $172,694
Washington Grain Commission Improving Spring Wheat Varieties for the PNW
Principal investigator: Michael Pumphrey, $170,023
Washington Grain Commission Variety Evaluation Wheat
Principal investigator: Ryan Higginbotham, $135,000
Washington Grain Commission Greenhouse and Laboratory Efforts for Spring Wheat Variety Development
Principal investigator: Michael Pumphrey, $131,484
Washington Grain Commission Improving Barley Varieties for Feed, Food and Malt
Principal investigator: Kevin Murphy, $129,101
Washington Grain Commission BioTechnology for Wheat Improvement
Principal investigator: Arron Carter, $121,744
Washington Wine Commission Management of Phenolic Compounds in Vineyard and Winter: Investigation of Mechanical Pruning
Principal investigator: James Harbertson, $105,000

Research spanning many disciplines

Highest sponsored expenditures by area/college for Fiscal Year 2016

CAHNRS Office of Research $44,796,461
WSU Extension $28,857,551
College of Arts and Sciences $26,014,536
Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture $21,143,084
College of Veterinary Medicine $19,627,167

Commercialization on the rise

Invention disclosures
2011: 61
2012: 64
2013: 66
2014: 103
2015: 113

Active inventions
2011: 148
2012: 168
2013: 194
2014: 250
2015: 232

Patent applications
2011: 60
2012: 85
2013: 83
2014: 69
2015: 61

Licenses issued
2011: 15
2012: 30
2013: 43
2014: 49
2015: 55

Number of startups
2011: 3
2012: 6
2013: 4
2014: 5
2015: 9

Royalty revenue
2011: $548,439
2012: $631,963
2013: $814,907
2014: $984,785
2015: $1,255,399

Washington State University