The National Natural Science Foundation of China funded just over 35,000 projects in 2014, according to its latest figures.
The figures, released on 28 October, show that Shanghai Jiao Tong University was the top recipient of the foundation’s awards, winning 545 million yuan ($89m) in 2014. Peking University won 500m yuan, the second-highest amount, and Zhejiang University came third with 495m yuan.
The top 20 recipients were almost exclusively universities funded directly through the ministry of education, the foundation said. Two military academies, the Third and Fourth Military Medical Universities, came 24th and 25th.