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University Overview

Research Portfolio: Addressing Grand Challenges

Washington State University’s expanding research portfolio applies the institution’s expertise in fundamental and applied science, the humanities, and social sciences to address major issues affecting the state, nation, and world. Among the areas of prioritized interdisciplinary research focus: the health of humans and animals, the security and abundance of the food supply, and the sustainability of sources of energy for future generations.

In 2013, research and public service expenditures totaled $395 million. Among the top federal sponsors of WSU research during the 2014 fiscal year: the Department of Agriculture—$36.2 million, the Department of Health and Human Services—$22.5 million, the National Science Foundation—$18 million, and the Department of Energy—$17.3 million. The University also enjoys research collaborations with several Washington commodity commissions, including the Washington Grain Commission, Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission, and the Washington State Wine Commission.

With the recent creation of the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, WSU became one of just 13 institutions in the nation with colleges of agriculture, medicine, and veterinary medicine. The distinction positions the University to undertake research in emerging fields vital to the well-being and economic prosperity of the region and beyond.

WSU prioritized its research agenda in fall 2015 to focus on 5 Grand Challenges:

  • Sustaining Health: The Uncompromising Pursuit of Healthier People and Communities
  • Sustainable Resources for Society: Food, Energy, and Water
  • Advancing Opportunity and Equity: The Land-grant Mission in Today’s World
  • Improving Quality of Life through Smart Systems
  • Fundamental Research in Support of National Security

Please see the Washington State University research website for more details. 

Economic Impact »