National Research University Fund (NRUF)

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.” Coordinating Board rules were established in Texas Administrative Code Title 19, Part 1, Chapter 15, Subchapter C, rules 15.40 to 15.44.

House Bill 1000, passed by the 82st Texas Legislature, Regular Session revised existing statute and established a timeframe for institutions to meet the eligibility criteria needed for fund distribution, revised reporting requirements, and stipulated a mandatory audit of eligible institutions.

NRUF Details


Eligibility 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; and
    • commitment to high-quality graduate education.


The fund allocation per fiscal year for each eligible institution is equal to one-seventh of money appropriated for distribution plus an equal share, up to one quarter, of the remaining appropriation. Up to 4.5 percent of the NRUF investment, calculated at the average market value of the fund for the last 12 fiscal quarters, may be appropriated. The current distribution rate as of September 1, 2016, is 3.5 percent, based on past returns and return expectations. (The NRUF endowment fund is managed by the Texas Treasury Safekeeping Trust Company, a subsidiary of the Comptroller of Public Accounts. For links to the fund’s endowment investment policy, endowment portfolio review, and summary performance report, please see the company’s website at

The fund allocations for eligible institutions are listed in Research Funding at Texas Public Universities.

Review of Doctoral Degree Programs

An emerging research university that opts for Texas Administrative Code (TAC) rule 15.43(b)(3)(E)(iii) review (for eligibility criterion 3.E), “the comprehensive review of the faculty in five of the institution’s doctoral degree programs” or TAC rule 15.43(b)(3)(F)(iii) review (for eligibility criterion 3.F), “the comprehensive review of five of its doctoral degree programs,” must notify the Coordinating Board at least one year in advance of the next scheduled report to the Legislature in order to ensure sufficient time to identify out-of-state consultants, organize and schedule site visits, and draft reports on each doctoral program.


Research Funding and Programs

Inquiries regarding the National Research University Fund should be directed to Andrew Lofters.

Email Andrew Lofters