M&I gets another boost in the rankings

You've heard about the U.S. News “Best Global Universities” rankings of programs in microbiology and immunology (see http://lnkd.in/dqKk5yd). Now those rankings (which were not based on research funding) have been reinforced by newly released data on NIH awards. Based on current NIH funding levels, our Department now ranks 4th among all microbiology/immunology departments at medical schools.

Just four years ago, M&I was ranked 18th among all microbiology/immunology departments. Our FY2014 NIH funding level ($22.7 million) represents a doubling of the Department’s NIH grant income since 2006, when these rankings were started. Meanwhile, that same time frame has seen an overall decline in the NIH budget, and NIH grant paylines have dropped to historic lows.

The new data make the Department of Microbiology & Immunology the most highly funded of all the basic science departments at UNC’s School of Medicine. All of those departments (Biochemistry & Biophysics, Cell Biology & Physiology, Genetics, and Pharmacology) are now ranked in the top 5 of their respective fields.

The numbers are based on annual NIH awards to primary faculty, and yes, we have been successfully recruiting many new faculty members since my arrival at UNC six years ago. But the funding levels mentioned above are not simply due to an increase in principal investigators: the number of primary faculty retirements/departures during that period exactly matches the number of newly recruited primary faculty.

You can read the full report for FY2014 and earlier years at http://www.brimr.org/NIH_Awards/2014/NIH_Awards_2014.htm