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For many, 2020 will be marked by COVID-19 and the considerable challenges that come with a global pandemic. For us, 2020 also will be marked by the great accomplishments and the inspiring collaborations that have taken place at the University of Maine, where we are proud of our university community for its dedication, teamwork, and resilience in the face of the pandemic.

As Maine’s research university, it is the distinguishing part of our mission. Research impacts all areas — from student success and cutting-edge academic programs, to workforce development, innovation and economic advancement. In recent years, while advancing as a modern 21st Century research university, we have placed considerable emphasis on the growth and development of the research enterprise, and its resulting impact on Maine and beyond.

We are pleased to report that significant advances have been made in the realization of the above-mentioned goals, and despite the daunting challenges caused by the pandemic, this has been an outstanding year for research and scholarly achievements at Maine’s land, sea, and space grant university. It has set a new record, by generating $125.2 million in external funding during fiscal year 2020, in support of research and development activities. This corresponds to a 120% increase over the past four years, and an all-time high record realized by the university. During the same period of time, R&D expenditures have also reached a new all-time high record of $165.1 million, corresponding to a 66% increase over the past four years. Moreover, doctoral student enrollment for the first time in the university’s history has exceeded 500, by setting an all-time high record of 517, as compared to the previous record of 463 set in 2012.


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