Federal Support Survey

Technical Notes

Definitions


Contents


Introduction TOP

Academic science and engineering includes all obligations for R&D; R&D plant; facilities and equipment for S&E instruction; fellowships, traineeships, and training grants (FTTGs); general support for science and engineering; and other S&E activities. These activities are defined as follows:


Research and development TOP

Research and development includes all research activities, both basic and applied, and all development activities that are supported at universities and colleges. Demonstration projects conducted to discover whether a technology or method is workable are considered to be within the scope of R&D if their objective is to produce new information within a specific time period.

"Research" is defined as systematic study directed toward fuller scientific knowledge or understanding of the subject studied. Research can be classified as basic or applied, although data reported here are not separated into these categories. In basic research the investigation is oriented toward gaining a better knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and of observable facts without specific applications toward processes or products in mind. In applied research the investigation is aimed at gaining the knowledge or understanding necessary for determining the means by which a recognized and specific need may be met.

"Development" is the systematic use of knowledge and understanding gained from research directed toward the production of useful materials, devices, systems, or methods, including design and development of prototypes and processes.

Research and development excludes topographic mapping and surveys, collection of general-purpose statistics, and activities concerned primarily with the dissemination of scientific information. Also excluded are routine product testing, quality control, and R&D facilities and fixed equipment.

"Research equipment" is included as part of R&D. It includes any item (or interrelated collection of items constituting a system) of nonexpendable tangible property or soft- ware having a useful life of more than 2 years and an acquisition cost of $500 or more that is used wholly or in part for re- search. R&D in the arts and humanities is excluded from this category but is included in "non-science and engineering activities."


R&D plant TOP

R&D plant includes all costs-direct, indirect, and related-of all projects whose main objective is to provide support for the construction, acquisition, renovation, modification, repair, or rental of facilities, land, works, or equipment for use in scientific or engineering research and development. A facility is interpreted broadly to be any physical resource important to the conduct of R&D. Excluded are expendable research equipment and office furniture and equipment.


Facilities and equipment TOP

Facilities and equipment for S&E instruction include all programs whose main purpose is to provide support for the construction, acquisition, renovation, modification, repair, or rental of facilities, land, works, or equipment for use in instruction in science and engineering.


Fellowships, traineeships, and training grants TOP

Fellowships, traineeships, and training grants include graduate programs in support of the development and mainte- nance of S&E personnel resources. The total amounts pertaining to such awards (stipends and cost-of-education allowances) are reported on the basis of the institution chosen by the recipient. Excluded are programs that support research and education institutes, seminars, and conferences such as teacher-training activities provided through teacher institutes, short courses, research participation, and in-service seminars; activities aimed at the development of education techniques and materials for use in S&E training; and programs that provide special opportunities for increasing the scientific knowledge and experience of precollege and undergraduate students. These activities are included in "other science and engineering activities" or if not S&E oriented, in "non-science and engineering activities".


General support for science and engineering TOP

General support for science and engineering includes programs that support nonspecific or generalized purposes related to scientific research and education. Such projects are generally oriented toward academic departments, institutes, or institutions as a whole and embody varying types of support-ranging from support provided without any specification of purpose other than that the funds be used for scientific projects to projects in which funds are provided for activities within a specified field of science and engineering without a specific purpose. The National Institutes of Health's (NIH) Biomedical Research Support Grants and Minority Biomedical Support Grants are examples of these types of programs.


Other S&E activities TOP

Other S&E activities include all academic S&E activities that cannot be assigned to one of the preceding five categories, including obligations in support of technical conferences, teacher institutes, and activities aimed at increasing the scientific knowledge of precollege and undergraduate students.


Non-S&E activities TOP

Non-S&E activities include all other obligations excluded from the foregoing categories but that represent direct funding (excluding loans) from a Federal agency to an academic institution for activities or purposes not specifically related to science and engineering. Included are all obligations for research, education, and facilities in the arts and humanities, as well as generalized projects for which the proportion utilized for S&E activities is unknown.


Related Links


[TOP] [START] [NSF_HOME] [HELP] [GLOSSARY]