Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, founded in 1876, is considered the first research university in the United States and as of fiscal year 2020 had been the national leader in annual research and development spending for over four decades.  
Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767–1835) is responsible for the Humboldtian model of higher education.
Nuclear research at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, a research university, in Madison, Wisconsin, United States, May 2005
The University of Miami, a research university in Coral Gables, Florida, United States, had research expenditures of $358.9 million in 2019. 
research university or a research-intensive university is a university that is committed to research as a central part of its mission.    They are the most important sites at which  knowledge production occurs, along with "intergenerational knowledge transfer and the certification of new knowledge" through the awarding of doctoral degrees. They can be  public or private, and often have well-known brand names.
Undergraduate courses at many research universities are often academic rather than
vocational and may not prepare students for particular careers, but many employers value degrees from research universities because they teach fundamental life skills such as critical thinking. Globally, research universities are overwhelmingly  public institutions, while some countries like the United States and Japan also have well-known private research institutions.
Institutions of higher education that are not research universities or do not aspire to that designation, such as
liberal arts colleges, instead place more emphasis on student instruction or other aspects of tertiary education, and their faculty members are under less pressure to publish or perish.
Schuessler, Jennifer (9 December 2020). "Johns Hopkins Reveals That Its Founder Owned Slaves". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 14 December 2020 . Retrieved . 12 April 2021
June, Audrey Williams (11 January 2022). "Where Research Spending Keeps Going Up". The Chronicle of Higher Education . Retrieved . 21 April 2023
University of Miami. "Fact Finder 2020–2021" (PDF). University of Miami. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 October 2022 . Retrieved . 11 December 2021
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"The role of research universities in developing countries". University World News. 11 August 2013. Archived from the original on 5 September 2017 . Retrieved . 9 August 2018
Philip G. Altbach, Jamil Salmi, ed. (2011). . The Road to Academic Excellence: The Making of World-Class Research Universities World Bank. p. 135. Archived from the original on 21 August 2018 . Retrieved . 9 August 2018
Steven Sample (2 December 2002). "The Research University of the 21st Century: What Will it Look Like?". University of Southern California. Archived from the original on 23 February 2021 . Retrieved . 8 August 2018
John Taylor (21 June 2006). "Managing the Unmanageable: The Management of Research in Research-Intensive Universities". Higher Education Management and Policy. OECD. 18 (2): 3–4. Archived from the original on 23 March 2021 . Retrieved . 9 August 2018
Powell, Justin J. W.; Fernandez, Frank; Crist, John T.; Dusdal, Jennifer; Zhang, Liang; Baker, David P. (2017). "Introduction: The Worldwide Triumph of the Research University and Globalizing Science". In Powell, Justin J. W.; Fernandez, Frank; Baker, David P. (eds.). The Century of Science: The Global Triumph of the Research University. Bingley: Emerald Publishing. pp. 1–36. ISBN . 9781787144699 Archived from the original on 14 March 2023 . Retrieved . 6 November 2022
O'Shaughnessy, Lynn (2012). . Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education. pp. 132–136. The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price ISBN 9780132944694 . Retrieved . 30 March 2023
Andreatta, Britt (2011). (3rd ed.). Boston: Wadsworth. p. 136. Navigating the Research University: A Guide for First-Year Students ISBN . 9780495913788 Archived from the original on 14 March 2023 . Retrieved . 5 December 2020
Irons, Jessica G.; Buskist, William (2009). "Chapter 9: Preparing for a Career at a Teaching Institution". In Davis, Stephen F.; Giordano, Peter J.; Licht, Carolyn A. (eds.). Your Career in Psychology: Putting Your Graduate Degree to Work. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 117–132. ISBN . 9781405179423 Archived from the original on 13 November 2020 . Retrieved . 6 August 2020 This source refers to research universities as R1, a common shorthand for the highest level of American research universities recognized by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.