Boston a Leader in FY20 NIH Funding

Nonprofit health and higher education institutions draw vital funding for local economy

Boston’s medical, educational, biotech and healthcare institutions received $2.3B from 4,097 research grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in FY20, second only to New York City, which received $2.4B from 4,370 grants. FY20 marks the second year that Boston received the second most NIH funding across all U.S. cities, before which Boston received the most NIH funding of all cities nationwide for 24 consecutive years. Virtually all ($2.2B or 98.0%) NIH funding directed to Boston in FY2020 was awarded to the city’s tax-exempt hospitals, health centers and universities. These not-for-profit organizations represent a significant share of the local economy, making up all  but two of the top ten largest employers in Boston and 9.0% of the city’s total employment, according to the City’s 2020 Official Statement.

NIH Funding Summary
Sector Funding (in $M) % of Funding
Hospital & Medical $1,523.09 67.51%
Educational 663.80 29.42%
Research Institutes 42.92 1.90%
Private Companies 25.63 1.14%
Other 0.39 0.02%
Public 0.33 0.01%
Total $2,256.20 100%

Boston’s FY20 NIH funding represents 68.5% of all funding for Massachusetts NIH grant recipients. The NIH grants, which represent the single largest public funding source for biomedical research worldwide, reflect Boston’s continued national leadership in medical research at the height of a global pandemic.

Hospitals and Health Centers
Boston’s hospitals and health centers represent the largest share of Boston’s NIH funding: $1.5B or 67.5%. Three hospitals alone—Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Boston Children’s Hospital—account for 71.5% of total NIH funding to Boston’s hospitals and health centers.

Hospitals and Health Centers
Institution Funding (in $M) Institution Funding (in $M)
1 MGH $551.21 6 Boston Medical Center $61.42
2 Brigham & Women’s Hospital $327.64 7 Massachusetts Eye & Ear $32.64
3 Boston Children’s Hospital $209.48 8 Tufts Medical Center $17.64
4 Dana-Farber Cancer Institute $174.09 9 Hebrew Rehabilitation Center $10.59
5 Beth Israel Deaconess $135.94 10 Spaulding Rehabilitation Center $2.43

Educational Institutions
Higher education institutions in Boston received 1,244 NIH research grants totaling $663.8M or 29.4% of the city’s total NIH funding in FY20. Total NIH funding for Boston colleges and universities increased by $66.1M or 11.1% since FY16.

Higher Education Institutions
Institution Funding (in $M) Institution Funding (in $M)
1 Harvard Medical School $178.57 7 UMASS Boston $6.23
2 Boston University Medical Campus $164.69 8 MGH Institute of Health Professions $1.68
3 Harvard School of Public Health $146.63 9 New England College of Optometry $1.47
4 Boston University (Charles River Campus) $61.05 10 Simmons University $0.13
5 Tufts University Boston $65.06 11 MA College of Pharm. Health Sciences $0.03
6 Northeastern University $38.25

Private Companies
Thirty private companies based in Boston received NIH research grant awards worth $25.6M in FY20. Virtually all private firms receiving NIH funds were biotechnology, healthcare and life sciences research firms. Since FY2016, 14 additional Boston-based private companies have received NIH grants, increasing total NIH funding to private firms by $10.0M or 63.9% over that timeframe.

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