R2 to R1 Frequently Asked Questions

General R1 Information

What is R1?  
  • R1 is a term used by the Carnegie Foundation to categorize doctoral granting universities with the highest performance in key areas associated with Research and Development (R&D).   

What are the Carnegie classifications for doctoral granting universities?  
  • There are three classifications for doctoral granting universities – R1 (very high research activity), R2 (high research activity) and D/PU (doctoral/professional universities). 

How is A&T currently classified in the Carnegie classifications? A&T is currently an R2 institution.  
  • We are 1 of 11 R2 institutions that are HBCUs. There are no HBCUs classified as R1.  

What are the areas considered by the Carnegie formula to determine the research classification?  
  • For the 2021 Carnegie Classifications, several variables are used to classify institutions: extramural research expenditures, number of doctoral degrees awarded in science and engineering, number of doctoral degrees awarded in other disciplines outside of science and engineering, per capita faculty research expenditures, number of research staff such as postdoctoral employees, research associates, research faculty and research assistants.
    For the upcoming classifications, the American Council on Education changed the research classification methodology to only include two variables: extramural research expenditures and the number of doctoral research/scholarship degrees awarded. To become a R1 institution, an institution must meet a threshold of $50 million dollar in research expenditures and 70 doctoral research/scholarship degrees awarded. 

Importance of R1 to A&T

Why is A&T striving to be an R1 institution? 

  • Research and creative works are important to A&T. We continue to strive to expand our capabilities and contributions to the region, state and beyond. We earned R2 status in 2020 due to our excellence in research, creativity and the number of doctoral students we are graduating. Continued research expansion positions us to earn R1 status in the next Carnegie assessment.
Why does R1 matter to the mission of the university? 
  • Expansion of our research to the next level will provide more opportunities to advance our mission. Our new mission statement approved by the UNC System Board of Governors in 2022 emphasizes our commitment to advance the human condition and facilitate economic growth. Our research efforts continue to support improvements in the quality of life for all and we continue to impact economic growth in the region, state and beyond.  
How does R1 status align with our Preeminence 2030 strategic plan?  
  • The Preeminence 2030: North Carolina A&T Blueprint aligns with the mission of the university and our commitment to be our very best in all areas, including research expansion. The strategic plan identifies five goals as well as several strategies and metrics, which will have either direct or indirect impacts on our R2 to R1 status. 
How does R1 status affect Greensboro and the surrounding area?
  • R1 status correlates with economic growth. Moving to this status has benefits for the region and the state. Because R1 is associated with increases in research and development, more businesses are attracted to areas near R1 institutions, which also expands workforce opportunities.  
What general benefits will we gain by achieving R1 status? 
  • R1 status serves to increase our opportunities to make contributions that will yield outcomes in key areas such as disparities, social justice, and equity. Having a strong presence in the research and creative arena will advance more equitable outcomes and benefits for the region, state and beyond.

Benefits and Roles

How does R1 benefit students?
  • We are committed to student success. Students and parents choose institutions that are ranked on a number of different factors. Carnegie classification is one of those factors. Students seek more opportunities to learn outside of the classroom, such as in labs conducting groundbreaking research or studios creating innovative, high-impact works and technologies. Undergraduate and graduate students will have more opportunity to produce and disseminate knowledge.
How does this journey from R2 to R1 impact our continued commitment to teaching excellence? 
  • Research informs teaching and teaching informs research. R1 status is another mechanism to advance our teaching. Both teaching and learning also occur inside and outside of the classroom. Expanding our research also expands our teaching capabilities. Students will be more prepared through unstructured activities such as inquiry-focused work in labs and creative spaces. Opportunities for experiential learning will grow. 
What role do faculty have in the journey from R2 to R1?
  • Our faculty are committed to teaching, research/scholarship and service/engagement and this commitment has been consistent for decades. Faculty are key to moving the university forward by acquiring extramural support to advance their activities around knowledge generation through research and creativity. Faculty also supervise students who conduct research and creative activities, and are key to the preparation of these students. The dissemination of knowledge and engagement with the community are also key contributions of faculty on this journey to R1.  
What is the role of staff in the journey from R2 to R1? 
  • Every employee is needed to achieve R1 status. Staff provide essential actions necessary for the operations and advancement of the university. These roles ensure our campus spaces and practices are aligned in ways that will achieve the mission of the university. Staff also support the efficiency of processes and operational effectiveness. These contributions facilitate the day-to-day activities necessary to expand our research enterprise. In addition, some staff are research staff, whose primary responsibilities are related to research and research spaces.  
We will update this site periodically. Students, staff and faculty, please feel free to submit additional questions  here: https://ncat.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3JG0NRWexGeTkwe