Every time someone asks me about Stanford graduate school, particularly in the biosciences where I have some knowledge, I always comment on the high concentration of talent. Compared to many other top research intensive schools, Stanford is small. This influences the top ranking Stanford Medical school can obtain in the UNSAWR list. This is something that School of Medicine Dean Philip Pizzo has been discussing for quite a while. For those interested, here’s a little blurb from one of his recent newsletters:
In looking at the data for this year, where we are once again ranked #7, it is clear that the only thing holding us from a higher rank in this survey is the total amount of NIH funding. We are lower than any other school in the top 10 in total NIH funding – which is really a function of our smaller faculty size compared to peers. Since total NIH funding weighs heavily in the scoring, we are truly impacted by that category.
In contrast, we are highest in NIH funding per faculty member (a better surrogate for quality). However, since this has a lower weight, it is offset by total NIH funding. Accordingly there is a ceiling that we are not able to break through.