2014 Blue Ridge research rankings

Otolaryngology (#2), emergency medicine (#2), ophthalmology (#5)

February 9, 2015

The Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research (BRIMR), based in North Carolina, has published its 2014 rankings of NIH funding awards to U.S. medical schools.

BRIMR placed the OHSU School of Medicine 23rd in the nation for the 2014 grant year, just behind Northwestern University of Chicago and ahead of University of Colorado at Denver. In 2013, the school was ranked 20th overall and 19th in 2012 and 2011.

The NIH hasn’t published formal funding rankings by area or department since 2006. However, it continues to report the total funding it gives to each organization overall. In FY 2014, OHSU ranked 25th in the nation for overall NIH dollars, ahead of the Mayo Clinic. In FY 2013, OHSU ranked 26th.

The data show OHSU research disciplines continue to trend well in their ability to secure NIH awards, with the areas of emergency medicine and family medicine moving up in the rankings. In addition, the area of genetics broke into the top 20 this year.

FY 2014 Top 20 Rankings by Research Discipline

  • Otolaryngology: 2 (2 previously)
  • Emergency Medicine: 2 (4 previously)
  • Ophthalmology: 5 (5 previously)
  • Family Medicine: 6 (8 previously)
  • Microbiology: 7 (1 previously)
  • Neurosciences: 10 (10 previously)
  • Neurology: 14 (14 previously)
  • Anesthesiology: 17 (14 previously)
  • Genetics: 19 (29 previously)
  • Dermatology: 20 (16 previously)


BRIMR uses the NIH’s Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (RePORT) to pull data and create its own rankings.

These rankings reflect strength in areas of research across OHSU, not specific departments within the School of Medicine. For example, microbiology includes funding for the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology as well as for the OHSU Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute.

Independent assessments like Blue Ridge provide a useful – though not definitive – measurement of how the school fits into the nation’s overall biomedical research picture. The BMIR itself states, “It is difficult, if not impossible, to summarize accurately department, medical school, and university allocations in brief tables.”

More on methodology: These rankings include direct and indirect costs but exclude both research and development contracts. Thus, our own published institutional data may be somewhat different from what is reported by Blue Ridge.

View the full list of 2014 rankings, including rankings by PI, as well as additional details on methodology.