Federal Support Survey

Detailed Statistical Tables

General Notes

Introduction TOP

The data presented in these tables represent all categories of direct Federal support to institutions of higher education in the United States. The 15 Federal agencies included providing virtually all funding for science and engineering (S&E) research and development (R&D) at universities and colleges. In addition, data are reported on these agencies' obligations to nonprofit institutions. Data on field of S&E disciplines and on federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) were not published in this report but are available upon request.

Data Limitations and Relationship of this Survey to the Survey of Federal Funds for Research and Development TOP

Data presented in this report on R&D and R&D plant by agency sometimes conflict significantly with such data presented in the annual NSF Survey of Federal Funds for Research and Development (referred to hereinafter as the Federal Funds Survey). The treatment of interagency transfers explains much of the difference in the totals. Interagency transfers of funds obligated to an academic or nonprofit institution are reported in the Federal Support Survey by the agency that actually obligates the funds to the receiving institution. In the Federal Funds Survey, however, obligations are reported by the initiating agency. Each of several agencies utilizes personnel from separate internal offices to respond to the two individual surveys, and each frequently collects data from different sources. Data for the Federal Support Survey, for example, are generally processed from award files, whereas Federal Funds Survey data are usually derived from agency budget documents.

Respondents from the separate internal offices that participate in the two surveys also frequently differ in their interpretation of the survey questions. The National Institutes of Health, for example, reports its Biomedical Research Support Grants under "General support for science & engineering" in the Federal Support Survey but under "Research and development" in the Federal Funds Survey.

Regarding the structure of the surveys themselves, the data presented in this report differ in several ways from those presented in the report on the Federal Funds Survey:

  1. The two surveys differ in number of agencies involved. In the Federal Support Survey, the 15 Federal agencies that obligate virtually all of Federal support to academic R&D collect data on all Federal obligations to institutions of higher education. For the Federal Funds Survey, data are gathered on budgets for R&D and R&D plant from all 33 Federal agencies that conduct such programs.

  2. The scope of information gathered differs between the two surveys: data collected in the Federal Support Survey pertain to individual academic institutions, whereas those collected in the Federal Funds Survey relate to all types of performers and to character of work (basic research, applied research, and development).

The fiscal year (FY) 1992 data shown in this report were submitted by the following Federal agencies, listed by the acronyms and abbreviated references under which data are reported for them:

 AID    -  Agency for International Development Com    -  Department of Commerce DoD    -  Department of Defense DOT    -
Department of Transportation Ed     -  Department of Education EPA    -  Environmental Protection Agency DOE    -  Department of Energy HHS    -  Department of Health and Human            ADAMHA  -  Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health
        Administration           CDC     -  Centers for Disease Control           FDA     -  Food and Drug Administration           HRSA    -  Health Resources and Services                      Administration           NIH     -  National Institutes
of Health  HUD    -  Department of Housing and Urban Development Int    -  Department of the Interior LABOR  -  Department of Labor NASA   -  National Aeronautics and Space Administration NRC    -  Nuclear Regulatory Commission NSF    -  National
Science Foundation OEO    -  Office of Economic Opportunity USDA   -  Department of Agriculture  
The following abbreviated references are used throughout the report:

 FFRDCs   -  federally funded research and development centers
        (not published in this report) FTTGs    -  fellowships, traineeships, and training grants FY       -  fiscal year NA       -  not available n.e.c.   -  not elsewhere classified Non-S&E  -  non-science & engineering R&D      -  research and
development S&E      -  science and engineering SRS      -  Division of Science Resources Studies, NSF, in             which this report is produced  
Obligations shown for universities and colleges do not include funds obligated to FFRDCs administered by academic institutions. FFRDCs are R&D-performing entities that are formed to meet a particular Federal R&D objective that cannot be met effectively by existing organizational resources. They range from the traditional contractor-owned/contractor-operated or Government-owned/contractor-operated organizational structures to various degrees of contrator/Government control and ownership. Obligations to these organizations have not been published in this report (nor have data on nonprofit-administered FFRDCs), but data on FFRDCs are available upon request.

Totals presented here include tuition support programs such as Pell grants and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants. The data exclude programs involving loans to individuals, such as Federal guaranteed student loan programs sponsored by the Department of Education, and Federal employee training and development activities. Also excluded is financial support of an indirect nature, such as funds allocated to State agencies, even if the final recipient of such funds is known to be an academic insitution.

Because of rounding, data shown here in the text or tabulations may not add to the totals or subtotals. Reported obligations were rounded to the nearest thousand dollars.

For further information concerning the availability of Federal Support Survey data and the technical aspects of this survey, please contact

Richard J. Bennof, Project Officer
Science and Engineering Activities Program
Division of Science Resources Studies
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard., Suite 965
Arlington, VA 22230

(703) 306-1772, ext. 6938

Data Tapes TOP

Public-use tapes from the Integrated Academic Science and Engineering Data Base are available for purchase and will normally be shipped within 3 working days from order receipt. Data tapes from the most recent surveys (1992) are currently available. Individuals interested in obtaining data tapes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Surveys of Academic Science and Engineering should request a copy of the User Guide to the National Science Foundation's Surveys of Academic Science and Engineering, which contains order forms and detailed information about the tapes. This document may be obtained by calling SRS's Science and Engineering Activities Program at (703) 306-1772.

Institutional Profiles TOP

Selected data items for individual doctorate-granting institutions and schools with science and engineering departments that grant a master's degree are available on computer-generated Institutional Profiles. An Institutional Profile consists of data not only from this survey, but also from NSF's other two academic S&E surveys: the Survey of Scientific and Engineering Expenditures at Universities and Colleges and the Survey of Graduate Science and Engineering Students and Postdoctorates. For information on obtaining one or a limited group of Institutional Profiles, please call Richard J. Bennof at (703) 306-1772.


Institutional planners are now able to acquire data from several academic S&E resources on CDROM. The compact disc contains the Computer-Aided Science Policy Analysis and Research (CASPAR) database system, which is an easy-to-use tool for retrieval and analysis of statistical data on academic S&E resources. CASPAR provides the analyst with an extensive and growing data library with multiyear statistics on the state of higher education in general and on academic S&E resources specifically. This data library is developed from multiple sources by using standardized institutional names and fields of S&E definitions. The CASPAR program includes built-in help capabilities to facilitate the use and interpretation of the data.

CASPAR data are drawn from a number of sources. All data are available by individual institutions, by State, and at the national level. Longitudinal data from surveys of universities and colleges conducted by SRS include the Federal Support Survey and R&D Expenditures Survey in addition to the Graduate Student Survey. Data from the surveys.of universities and colleges conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics include earned degrees, opening fall enrollment, faculty salaries, tenure and fringe benefits, and financial statistics. Data from other sources include the National Research Council Doctorate Programs Ratings.

For additional information on CASPAR write or fax your request to

Quantum Research Corp.
7315 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 631W
Bethesda, MD 20814

Fax: (301) 657-3862