NRUF Aspirations

The Research University Fund (NRUF)  

The University of North Texas aspires to achieve Texas Research university Fund (NRUF) status. To reach this status, universities are required to meet a certain threshold among a series of metrics. Those metrics include reaching $45 million in restricted research expenditures. To accomplish this aspiration, the Division of Research and Innovation has implemented a plan with goals and strategies that are designed to significantly increase the university’s grantsmanship capability while maintaining the utmost integrity and efficiency. 


House Bill 51, passed by the 81st Texas Legislature, Regular Session, and codified as Texas Education Code (TEC) 62.141-62.149, established the National Research University Fund (NRUF) "to provide a dedicated, independent, and equitable source of funding to enable emerging research universities in this state to achieve national prominence as major research universities. 


The NRUF endowment fund is managed by the Texas Treasury Safekeeping Trust Company, a subsidiary of the Comptroller of Public Accounts.  


Is based on an institution meeting benchmarks in the following categories, as identified in statute. The institution: 

  1. must be designated as an emerging research university in the Coordinating Board's accountability system; 
  2. must have expenditures of at least $45 million in restricted research; and 
  3. must comply with four of the following: 
  • $400 million endowment annually; 
  • 200 PhD degrees awarded annually; 
  • freshmen class with high academic achievement; 
  • membership in Association of Research Libraries, Phi Beta Kappa or equivalent national recognition; 
  • high quality faculty; 
  • commitment to high quality graduate education. 

Annual Report 

2021 Report to the Comptroller and the Texas Legislature 

This report provides an update to the Comptroller and the Texas Legislature on the progress institutions are making on all eligibility criteria. The report also identifies institutions that meet or will meet the minimum requirements to become eligible to receive distributions from the NRUF. 

Main takeaways from the annual report are: 

  • Eight universities are designated as emerging research universities in the THECB’s Accountability System: Texas State University, Texas Tech University, The University of Texas at Arlington, The University of Texas at Dallas, The University of Texas at El Paso, The University of Texas at San Antonio, University of Houston, and University of North Texas. 
  • Texas State University and the University of North Texas did not reach the mandatory threshold in restricted research expenditures in FY 2020 and are not expected to reach it in FY 2021. 



NRUF Eligible Faculty Award Programs

(I) American Academy of Nursing Fellows 

(II) American Council of Learned Societies Fellows 

(III) American Law Institute Members 

(IV) Beckman Young Investigators 

(V) Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award Winners 

(VI) Cottrell Scholars 

(VII) Getty Scholars in Residence 

(VIII) Guggenheim Fellows 

(IX) Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators 

(X) Lasker Medical Research Award Winners 

(XI) MacArthur Foundation Fellows 

(XII) Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award Winners 

(XIII) National Endowment for the Humanities Fellows 

(XIV) National Humanities Center Fellows 

(XV) National Institutes of Health (R37) Winners 

(XVI) National Medal of Science Winners 

(XVII) National Medal of Technology and Innovation Winners 

(XVIII) National Science Foundation CAREER Award Winners (excluding those who are also PECASE winners) 

(XIX) Newberry Library Long-term Fellows 

(XX) Pew Scholars in Biomedicine 

(XXI) Pulitzer Prize Winners 

(XXII) Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) Winners 

(XXIII) Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellows 

(XXIV) Searle Scholars 

(XXV) Sloan Research Fellows 

(XXVI) Fellows of the Woodrow Wilson Center