Learn more about NCSES surveys. Click on the [+] symbol for a short description of the survey. Click on the survey name for a more detailed description and for links to related data, reports, publication series, and products.
- Education of Scientists and Engineers
- Survey of Earned Doctorates[+]
The Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) is an annual census conducted since 1957 of all individuals receiving a research doctorate from an accredited U.S. institution in a given academic year. The SED is sponsored by six federal agencies: the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Endowment for the Humanities, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The SED collects information on the doctoral recipient’s educational history, demographic characteristics, and postgraduation plans. Results are used to assess characteristics of the doctoral population and trends in doctoral education and degrees.
- Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering[+]
The Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering survey is an annual census of all U.S. academic institutions granting research-based master’s degrees or doctorates in science, engineering, and selected health fields as of fall of the survey year. The survey, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, collects the total number of graduate students, postdoctoral appointees, and doctorate-level nonfaculty researchers by demographic and other characteristic such as source of financial support. Results are used to assess shifts in graduate enrollment and postdoc appointments and trends in financial support.
- Research and Development Funding and Expenditures
- Business Research and Development and Innovation Survey (BRDIS)[+]
The Business Research and Development and Innovation Survey, successor to the Survey of Industrial Research and Development
, is the primary source of information on research and development performed or funded by businesses within the United States. The survey is conducted by the Census Bureau in accordance with an interagency agreement with the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. Results are used to assess trends in the performance and funding of business R&D. The annual survey examines a nationally representative sample of companies in manufacturing and nonmanufacturing industries.
- FFRDC Research and Development Survey[+]
The FFRDC Research and Development Survey is the primary source of information on separately budgeted R&D expenditures at federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) in the United States. Conducted annually for university-administered FFRDCs since FY 1953 and all FFRDCs since FY 2001, the survey collects information on R&D expenditures by source of funds and types of research and expenses. The survey is an annual census of the full population of eligible FFRDCs. See http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/ffrdclist/
for the Master List of FFRDCs maintained by the National Science Foundation.
- Higher Education Research and Development Survey (HERD)[+]
The Higher Education Research and Development Survey, successor to the Survey of Research and Development Expenditures at Universities and Colleges, is the primary source of information on R&D expenditures at U.S. colleges and universities. The survey collects information on R&D expenditures by field of research and source of funds and also gathers information on types of research and expenses and headcounts of R&D personnel. The survey is an annual census of institutions that expended at least $150,000 in separately budgeted R&D in the fiscal year.
- Nonprofit Research Activities Survey (Forthcoming)[+]
The Nonprofit Research Activities Survey (NPRA) will collect research and development spending and funding data from a sample of U.S. 501(c) nonprofit organizations. A pilot study is planned for the spring of 2016, and the full-scale survey is planned to begin in 2017.
- Survey of Federal Funds for Research and Development[+]
The Survey of Federal Funds for Research and Development is the primary source of information about federal funding for R&D in the United States. The survey is an annual census completed by the federal agencies that conduct R&D programs. Federal funds data are collected annually for 3 government fiscal years: the fiscal year just completed, the current fiscal year, and the next fiscal year. Actual data are collected for the year just completed; estimates are obtained for the current and next fiscal year.
- Survey of Federal Science and Engineering Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit Institutions[+]
The Survey of Federal Science and Engineering Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit Institutions is a congressionally mandated survey that is the only source of comprehensive data on federal science and engineering (S&E) funding to individual academic and nonprofit institutions. The target population is federal agencies that obligated money in the survey year for direct support of academic and nonprofit institutions’ research and development.
- Survey of Microbusiness Innovation Science and Technology (Forthcoming)[+]
The Microbusiness Innovation Science and Technology Survey will collect research and development and other innovation-related data from a sample of independent U.S. microbusinesses (that is, those with fewer than five employees). A pretest study was completed fall 2012 and the pilot survey will be completed in 2016.
- Survey of State Government Research and Development[+]
The Survey of State Government Research and Development measures the extent of R&D activity performed and funded by the governments of each of the nation’s 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico (collectively, states). By employing consistent, uniform definitions and collection techniques, the survey allows collection of state R&D expenditures data that are comparable nationwide. The survey is a census of state government departments, agencies, commissions, public authorities, and dependent entities with R&D activities. This biennial survey collects data for the past two fiscal years.
- Science and Engineering Research Facilities
- Survey of Science and Engineering Research Facilities[+]
The Survey of Science and Engineering Research Facilities is a congressionally mandated, biennial survey that collects data on the amount, construction, repair, renovation, and funding of research facilities, as well as the computing and networking capacities at U.S. colleges and universities. The survey is an establishment-based survey completed by institutional coordinators at academic institutions and is a census of all research-performing colleges and universities in the United States that expended at least $1 million in research and development funds in the prior fiscal year.
- Science and Engineering Workforce
- Early Career Doctorates Project (Forthcoming)[+]
The Early Career Doctorates Project was developed to gather in-depth information about postdoctoral appointees (postdocs) and other doctorate recipients earning their first doctorate within the past 10 years. A methodological study was completed in spring 2013, a pilot study was launched in fall 2014, and the full-scale survey will begin in 2016. The survey covers both U.S. and non-U.S. degreed individuals working in U.S. academic institutions, federally funded research and development centers, or the National Institutes of Health intramural research programs. The survey collects information on demographics; professional activities and achievements; work-life balance; mentoring, training, and research opportunities; and career plans and paths.
- National Survey of College Graduates[+]
The National Survey of College Graduates is a longitudinal biennial survey conducted since the 1970s that provides data on the nation’s college graduates, with particular focus on those in the science and engineering workforce. The survey samples individuals who are living in the United States during the survey reference week, have at least a bachelor’s degree, and are under the age of 76. This survey is a unique source for examining various characteristics of college-educated individuals, including occupation, work activities, salary, the relationship of degree field and occupation, and demographic information.
- National Survey of Recent College Graduates[+]
The National Survey of Recent College Graduates, conducted from 1973 through 2010, was a cross-sectional biennial survey that provided demographic and career information about individuals holding a bachelor's or master's degree in a science, engineering, or health field from a U.S. academic institution. The survey sampled individuals living in the United States who received their degree in the prior 2 or 3 academic years and were under age 76. Results from the NSRCG help data users understand and predict trends in education, employment opportunities, and salaries of recent graduates.
- Survey of Doctorate Recipients[+]
The Survey of Doctorate Recipients is a longitudinal biennial survey conducted since 1973 that provides demographic and career history information about individuals with a research doctoral degree in a science, engineering, or health (SEH) field from a U.S. academic institution. The survey follows a sample of individuals with SEH doctorates throughout their careers from the year of their degree award until age 76. The panel is refreshed each survey cycle with a sample of new SEH doctoral degree earners. Results are used to make decisions related to the educational and occupational achievements and career movement of the nation's doctoral scientists and engineers.
- Survey of Postdocs at Federally Funded Research and Development Centers[+]
The Survey of Postdocs at Federally Funded Research and Development Centers is a census of all federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) in the United States that employed postdoctoral researchers (postdocs) as of 1 October of the survey year. The survey is conducted as part of the Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering, which is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. The survey collects the total number of postdocs in each FFRDC by demographic characteristic, source of financial support, and field of research.
- Other Surveys
- Survey of Public Attitudes Toward and Understanding of Science and Technology[+]
The Survey of Public Attitudes Toward and Understanding of Science and Technology monitored public attitudes towards science and technology, including the public’s level of scientific understanding and policy preferences on selected issues. The survey was closely coordinated with surveys in several other countries in order to facilitate international comparisons. Data on the topics formerly covered by the survey are now collected as part of the biennial General Social Survey (GSS). The GSS is a nationally representative, face-to-face survey covering a broad range of behavior and attitudes conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.