Dr. Arlin Blood conducts research with two students.

Dr. Arlin Blood conducts research with two students.

Loma Linda University (LLU) recently earned an R2 designation from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, achieving one of the most coveted national recognitions for its commitment to “high research activity.”

As the most influential rating organization for colleges and universities in the U.S., the Carnegie Classification provides the leading framework for classifying research activity at academic institutions.

Achieving R2 classification signals abundant hands-on opportunities for LLU students to learn from and partake in professors’ current research investigations — which may, in turn, impact clinical care directly, says Michael Samardzija, PhD, vice president of Research Affairs at LLU.

“With this classification, Loma Linda University is recognized as a leading research institution, not just an academic institution that happens to do research,” Samardzija said. “This increased recognition will allow us to do a better job teaching new advances in healthcare and using these advances to care for our patients.”

The Carnegie Commission on Higher Education determines classifications for universities with doctoral programs every three years, assessing their commitment to research based on empirical data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

To reach R2 designation, institutions must have awarded at least 20 research or scholarship doctoral degrees and spent at least $5 million in research expenditures last year. Far exceeding this threshold, LLU awarded 369 doctoral degrees and spent over $25 million in research expenditures, Samardzija reports.

Administrators, policymakers, and researchers reference Carnegie Classification rankings to inform decision-making. The rankings also influence grant allocations and federal and state funding for institutions.

“This recognition is an affirmation of our strategy to grow our research activities and funding,” he says.

As an academic medical institution, LLU can yield and teach research findings that experts will apply in the clinical realm, Samardzija says. Research that LLU faculty and students conduct may change and improve patient lives, says Samardzija, and R2 Carnegie Classification serves to recognize and boost such endeavors.

To learn more about research happening at Loma Linda University, visit researchaffairs.llu.edu.