Achieve R1 research status


Achieving R1 status will elevate UAF to a prestigious class of doctoral-granting U.S. universities with very high research activity as defined by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Attaining R1 research status can provide global recognition for our high research productivity; enhance our competitiveness for funding resources; attract globally competitive faculty, staff and students to improve the quality and caliber of UAF research and education; increase student enrollment; and provide local economic benefits to the broader Fairbanks community. For these reasons, achieving R1 research status captures an important aspect of UAF's long-term strategic research vision. UAF's research vision extends beyond the metrics highlighted by the Carnegie classification system. Specifically, research is critical for advancing UAF's mission and core themes, including educating our students, preparing a skilled Alaska workforce, connecting with Alaska Native peoples and engaging with fellow Alaskans.


  • In order to achieve R1 research, UAF must:
    • Exceed >$50M in annual research expenditures - UAF routinely exceeds this threshold by >$100M.
    • Award an average of 70 doctorates  per year - UAF will need to approximately double our annual Ph.D. graduates in order to meet this threshold

Additional UAF research aspirations include being:

  • A university that conducts high-quality and high-impact research that benefits Alaska, the nation and the world
  • A leader in circumpolar North and Indigenous research
  • An inclusive university where all employees and students feel valued and secure
  • A place where collegiality and collaboration across all sectors drive interdisciplinary research
  • A place where research, education and service are fully integrated, and where all students and faculty have the opportunity to conduct research

*The Carnegie Classification updated its evaluation metrics in 2023. The 2020 UAF Strategic Planning report linked here is based on the previous Carnegie Classification metrics. In this 2020 report R1 was referred to using its colloquial name: Tier 1 status.‚Äč