Achieve tier 1 research status


Achieving tier 1 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 tier 1 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 tier 1 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.


  • A tier 1 research university that is globally recognized for very high research activity*
    • Quadruple Ph.D.s in STEM, humanities, social sciences and other professional fields
    • Double non-STEM research expenditures
    • Double research staff (Ph.D.s with non-faculty positions)
    • Maintain strong STEM research expenditures
  • 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 research
  • A place where research, education and service are fully integrated, and where all students and faculty have the opportunity to conduct research

*The required increases in Ph.D.s, non-STEM research expenditures and research staff numbers are relative to Carnegie data from its 2018 analysis. For a current analysis, see the link to the December 2023 update at the upper right on this webpage.