Type of Institution
Universities and colleges are those institutions of higher education in the United States that offer at least 1 year of college-level study leading toward a degree. A university or college comprises all parts of
an academic institution, such as colleges of liberal arts, professional schools, hospitals, schools of agriculture, and agricultural experiment stations, including bureaus, offices, and research centers (excluding FFRDCs), whether located on or off the main campus, and branch campuses controlled directly by the parent institution. The universe of academic institutions that is the foundation of this survey is derived
from the higher education institutions' portion of the Department of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics, and the 1993 Higher Education Directory,
published by Higher Education Publications, Inc.
Institutions included are those that received Federal support during fiscal year 1992 and possessed a significant degree of academic and
administrative autonomy. Institutions within a system (a group of institutions having a collective legal status and generally recognized by a State government, a board of education, or other relevant
organization) in which a significant degree of autonomy remains at the individual institution level are presented separately; obligations to branch campuses are included in the totals for their parent institutions. The study excludes all
obligations to the service academies and to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Graduate School.
Independent nonprofit institutions are legal entities other than universities and colleges, are privately organized or chartered to serve the public interest, and are exempt from most forms of Federal taxation. Data presented for
nonprofit institutions and for nonprofit-administered FFRDCs are obligations for R&D and R&D plant reported by the 15 participating agencies.
Coverage of the nonprofit section in the Federal Support Survey was expanded beginning in the late 1970s to include all types of nonprofit institutions that receive Federal R&D funds.
For NSF purposes the types of institutions are defined as follows:
- Research institute. A separately incorporated, independent nonprofit organization operating under the direction of its own controlling body, the
primary function of which is the performance of R&D in the sciences and engineering.
- Voluntary hospital. A member of the American Hospital Association not subject to the control of either Federal, State, or local
governments, nor an integral part of any institution of higher education. Hospitals that have been set up by research institutes and that, although providing patient care, function primarily as laboratories for the research institutes are included
in the "Research institute" category.
- All other independent nonprofit institutions.
- Professional or technical society, or academy of science and engineering. A voluntary association of
individuals sharing a common interest in the advancement of knowledge, either within a single field or across a broad spectrum of disciplines. The major function of these organizations is to aid and encourage the collection, collation, and
dissemination of S&E knowledge for the benefit of their members and the community as a whole.
- Private foundation. A nongovernmental, nonprofit organi- zation having a principal fund of its own, managed by its own
trustees or directors, and established to maintain or to aid social, educational, charitable, religious, or other activities serving the common welfare. Private foundations include operating foundations that allocate the greater proportion of their
R&D budgets to intramural perfor- mance and philanthropic foundations that allocate most of their funds to grantsand contracts for research to be performed extramurally.
- Science exhibitor. A nonprofit
organization whose primary goal is to expand scientific literacy within the community by providing exhibits that display and interpret the latest scientific findings within its field or fields. Included in this category are museums, zoological
parks, botanical gardens, and arboretums.
- Trade association. An organization of business competitors, in a specific industry or business, that is interested primarily in the commercial promotion of products or
services. Membership is usually held in the name of a business entity. Activities may fall into one or more of the following areas: business ethics, management practices, standardization, commercial (i.e., statistical) research, publication,
promotion, and public relations.
- Agricultural cooperative. An organization of individuals or business entities that are normally competitors in the production and sale of agricultural products. Activities may include
one or more of the following areas: collective marketing or purchasing, research, public relations, and the improvement of the economic condition of the farm population of the United States.