Brandeis Punches Above Its Weight in Research, Says Nature

University ranked fifth in the world in natural-science research.

Brandeis ranks fifth globally in output of top-quality research in the natural sciences, according to Nature, one of science’s most prestigious journals.

In its annual survey of institutions with the highest research output, the Nature Index Annual Tables, the journal described the top-tier institutions as “punching above their weight in producing high-quality research.” The top Brandeis-authored papers cited in the index include research into genome editing, measurement of the W-boson mass, and circadian rhythms.

The rankings were calculated on the basis of the share of articles published in 2018 by an institution’s researchers in 82 prestigious scientific journals as a proportion of their overall output. This method, used for the first time this year, gives more recognition to schools with fewer faculty but a higher percentage of those who publish in premier journals.

Other institutions in the top five include the Institute for Advanced Study, in Princeton, New Jersey; the Rockefeller University, in New York City; and the Weizmann Institute of Science, in Israel.

“I have always said we punch above our weight,” says John Wardle, professor of astrophysics and head of the Division of Science. “Our science faculty is first-rate. They are creative and intensely collaborative both inside and outside Brandeis.”

Brandeis faculty have won science’s top awards. Michael Rosbash, the Peter Gruber Endowed Chair in Neuroscience and professor of biology, and Jeffrey C. Hall, professor emeritus of biology, were awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. In 2016, Eve Marder ’69, the Victor and Gwendolyn Beinfield Professor of Neuroscience, received the Kavli Prize in Neuroscience, Norway’s equivalent of the Nobel.

As part of its index, Nature listed the 2018 research papers with the highest Altmetric scores, which reflect overall influence and popularity among academics, the media and the lay public.