Research

As an AAU member, groundbreaking research is a priority at USF. With over $480 million in research contracts & grants, we empower our scholars to break barriers, generate knowledge, unleash innovation, and change lives.

Overview

Research is at the center of the student and faculty experience here at the University of South Florida. Designated as a “Preeminent State Research University,” USF is one of the nation’s top public research university campuses and one of only 56 public research university campuses classified by the Carnegie Foundation as both a Doctoral University with “Highest Research Activity” and as a “Community Engaged” institution by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

"USF Research Highlights infographic with text description below"

Research Highlights

  • USF Joins AAU as its 5th youngest university
  • Carnegie Classification as a doctoral university with high research activity and community engagement
  • #15 in Patents among public research universities
  • $6.02 Billion USF’s economic impact in FY 19-20
  • $400 Million in total research expenditures in FY 20-21
  • Research Park Recognition Named 2022 Outstanding Research Park by AURP

In 2023, USF became the first public university in Florida in nearly 40 years to be invited to join the Association of American Universities (AAU), a prestigious group of the leading universities in the United States and Canada. 

With the world at their fingertips, researchers at USF turn thought into action – and impact. We rank 15th among American public research universities and 36th among all universities worldwide in generating new patents. USF’s innovation and economic development efforts produce tangible benefits across Florida. The university had a total economic impact of $6.02 billion in fiscal 2019-20 and supports 68,704 jobs in the state.

Two students posing in front of research posters

A true research powerhouse, USF was awarded over $480 million in research contracts and grants for 2022/2023, with over $400 million in total research expenditures (2020/2021). USF charges into uncharted terrain, conducting meaningful research that resonates in our local community and throughout the world. Our researchers are at the forefront of innovation in medicine, environmental science, engineering, data science and the arts. We lead the way in the treatment of brain and heart disease, cybersecurity, sustainability, infectious disease and clean energy, and the USF Pediatric Epidemiology Center is the global epicenter for juvenile diabetes research.

USF is dedicated to empowering our scholars and investing in their potential. Designated a community-engaged institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, USF takes pride in cultivating links between our researchers and local businesses in need of research partnerships. The USF Research Park in Tampa is home to a network of innovation-based companies, government resources and business development tools and is poised to maximize our university’s impact in the Tampa Bay community.

Two students working in a lab

With such momentous activity across our three campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota-Manatee, our undergraduates bolster their college experiences by taking advantage of a multitude of available research opportunities. Office of High Impact Practices and Undergraduate Research provides support to students engaged in research and teaches students about the expectations and privileges associated with undergraduate research.

Graduate students are at the center of our university’s far-reaching research endeavors. Each day they work alongside internationally renowned faculty and researchers, and together they forge solutions to society’s most pressing problems.

At USF, research is a creative and ongoing collaboration between faculty and students, administrators, business and academic partners and our local community. Together we are an ever stronger global research university that explores uncharted terrain, generates knowledge, unleashes innovation and changes lives.

University of South Florida joins the AAU. Association of American Universities.

USF joins prestigious AAU

USF’s historic invitation to join the Association of American Universities has taken what many in Tampa Bay have once considered a “best-kept secret” to an unprecedented new level. Joining the AAU is a tremendous milestone for USF as it formalizes USF's position as a leading research university. Founded in 1956, the university has rapidly evolved into a global powerhouse that transforms lives through education, research and innovation. USF is the first public university in Florida to be invited to join the AAU in nearly 40 years and is now one of only two institutions from the State University System of Florida to serve as an AAU member.