The aim of the article is to present analyzis of the main sources of revenue generation of the world's leading research university - the University of Oxford and one of the best research universities in the United States - Stanford University. Special emphasis is put on their experience and strategy in managing financial autonomy. An effective synergistic model for ensuring the financial autonomy of a research university is described, offering mechanisms for strategic management of the sources of revenue generation. The model is based on the interaction of four key potentials of a research university: functioning of business schools and institutions of postgraduate education; financial cooperation with university graduates; functioning of the independent consulting centers; functioning of the centers for innovative technologies and startups support. The author demonstrates also the model's connections and peculiarities of its functioning and describes, in details, the perspective of its use.