Maine’s flagship research university has been named a top-tier research institution, joining a group that makes up less than 4 percent of all postsecondary institutions in the U.S.
The ranking makes the University of Maine more competitive in attracting funding and researchers.
UMaine said Thursday that it has been ranked as an “R1” university by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The designation means that there has been “very high research activity” at the Orono university in recent years, and it represents the highest tier a doctoral research university can achieve in the Carnegie Classification.
UMaine has been working toward the ranking for several years. It was part of the university’s strategic plan for research and development that covers the 2019-20 through 2023-24 academic years.
The classification makes UMaine one of only 146, or 3.7 percent, of institutions ranked at this level from a pool of 3,982 degree-granting, postsecondary institutions in the U.S.
“The R1 designation is the world standard for research universities. With it, we will attract more talent, investment and innovation to Maine,” University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy said.
More funding has gone toward research at UMaine over the last five years.
Last year, an all-time high of $179.3 million was devoted to research and development. Additionally, the institution is attracting more external funding to support its research. It has seen external research funding grow by 135 percent over the past five years to $133.6 million this past year.