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Category: Health Magazine, Winter 2023

Title:Georgetown’s research earns “gold standard” classification

Author: By Gabrielle Barone
Date Published: December 1, 2022

An R1 Carnegie Research Classification, given out every three years by the Carnegie Classifications of Institutions of Higher Education, isn’t easy to earn. Universities must score highly in a research index, spend at least $5 million on research, and award 20 research opportunities per year. In 2021, Georgetown received its ninth R1 designation, putting it on an ever-narrowing list of schools.

“The R1 classification is really the gold standard for a research university,” says Anna Riegel, Ph.D., interim vice president for biomedical research and education. Out of the 3,900 institutions included in the 2021 update, only 137 schools—3% of the total—attained R1 status. The Medical Center contributes 70% of the research dollars at Georgetown University overall. “We are proud of the pivotal role the Medical Center plays in maintaining R1 status,” Riegel says.

Caleb McKinney, who co-leads the cross-campus Georgetown University Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) training program, believes that Georgetown’s size allows researchers to collaborate more. “The wave of the future, with the cross-pollination of ideas across disciplines, is really driving our ability to solve the world’s most complex biomedical and health-related problems,” McKinney adds.

Georgetown’s scientific graduate programs feature incoming cohorts focused on a variety of topics, and university research has been awarded multiple T32 training grants for projects across biology, pharmacology, chemistry, physics, biochemistry, neuroscience, and tumor biology. Riegel believes a thriving campus environment with varied research can lead to continued educational expansion.

“No research can exist in a vacuum,” Riegel says. “Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are the foundation of our research at the Medical Center. The best thing for them is to be in a challenging but nurturing environment. The more you foster that atmosphere, the more excellent people it will attract.”

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