Tufts Joins Select Group of Research Universities

The university will become a member of the Association of American Universities

Tufts University has been selected to join the Association of American Universities (AAU), a consortium of America’s leading research universities noted for their accomplishments in education, research, and innovation.

Tufts joins a select group of 65 other highly regarded institutions, including Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Brown, Dartmouth, and MIT. Member universities help shape policy for higher education, science, and innovation, promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education, and strengthen the contributions of leading research universities to American society.

“Every day, Tufts makes a positive difference in the world and helps to address the great challenges of our time through its teaching, research, and people, especially by nurturing the next generation of world leaders and innovators,” said President Anthony P. Monaco. “Joining AAU is a great honor that enhances our impact by placing us in the company of like-minded and similarly-driven universities that are changing the world and driving innovation in our society.”

AAU member institutions earn the majority of competitively awarded federal funding for research that advances public health, addresses national challenges, and contributes significantly to the nation’s economic strength.

For example, Tufts was selected last year by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to lead Strategies to Prevent Spillover (STOP Spillover), a $100 million, five-year program to understand and address threats posed by zoonotic viral diseases that can “spill over” from animals to humans, such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

“Our faculty and researchers deserve to be proud that the excellence of their work is being recognized with this honor,” said Provost Nadine Aubry, who oversees the university’s research and education enterprise. “It’s a reflection of their ingenuity and commitment to advancing knowledge, making new discoveries that change the way we think, live, and learn, and transferring that knowledge and innovation mindset to the next generation of visionary leaders and global citizens. It is also exciting that in this new role Tufts will have the opportunity to work with its peers on policy for higher education, science and innovation.”

Tufts is one of the nation’s top research universities, earning the “tier 1” classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the university’s output of research activity. As one of the smaller and most undergraduate-focused research universities with this classification, Tufts encourages faculty to collaborate with undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students in a wide range of innovative research across multiple disciplines.

“Tufts University has long been one of our nation’s most distinguished universities, and we are very proud to welcome Tufts to AAU,” said AAU President Barbara R. Snyder. “AAU’s members are at the vanguard of scientific and educational excellence, and Tufts is an important addition to our ranks. We look forward to working with President Monaco and his team at Tufts as we advance the causes of higher education, scientific inquiry, and economic innovation.”

“The institutions that make up AAU excel at combining research and education to positively impact the lives of their students, communities, and nation,” added AAU Board Chair and Brown University President Christina H. Paxson. “We welcome Tufts to AAU and applaud the work of the faculty, staff, and students in building a truly world-class institution.”

Peter Dolan, A78, A08P, chair of the Tufts Board of Trustees, said the accomplishment reflects years of commitment and investment by the university to support its research mission, resulting in accomplishments that have been acknowledged by its peer research universities.

“With its selection to join AAU, Tufts is being recognized as one of the premier institutions in the world, a high-impact contributor of innovation and new discoveries that contribute to a brighter world,” said Dolan. “As an alumnus, parent, and long-time supporter of the university, I know I speak for our community when I say it’s a great day for Tufts and a sign of more great things to come.”

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