The profile of federally funded R&D at universities and colleges that emerges from this analysis raises issues of proportionality. Specifically, in the current funding profile, approximately two-thirds of the federal funds going to universities and colleges for the conduct of R&D is focused on only one field of science life science and federal R&D funding is concentrated at only a few research universities. These findings raise questions about whether other critical national needs that have substantial R&D components (such as environment, energy, homeland security, and education) are receiving the investment they require and whether the concentration of dollars at a few institutions is shortchanging science students at institutions that receive little or no federal R&D funding.
This finding is from a recently released report (pdf) by the Science and Technology Policy Institute for the National Science Foundation.
Richard Jones of the American Institute of Physics has a good summation of the report and the questions it raises about the federal R&D portfolio here.