Striving for the ‘Gold Standard’

Howard University science lab
Credit: Howard University

By Sara Weissman for Inside Higher Ed

Leaders of historically Black colleges and universities have been working to achieve Research-1 status in recent years, the coveted Carnegie Foundation classification reserved for doctoral universities that demonstrate a certain level of research prowess. No HBCU currently holds such a classification, but administrators at some colleges say the designation feels increasingly attainable after years of striving and strategizing and a record year of securing research dollars.

Howard University, for example, raised a record $122 million in grants and contracts this fiscal year, outpacing its goal to reach $100 million by 2024. Howard officials say the institution is the first HBCU to reach that amount after attaining $66 million in 2020 and $91.3 million in research grants and contracts last year, breaking a decade-long streak of bringing in less than $60 million annually.