Characteristics of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers in the United States: 1997

Section I.
General Notes

This report presents data on the demographic and employment characteristics of the nation's doctoral scientists and engineers. The data were developed as part of the Doctorate Data Project.[1] The goal of the 1997 Survey of Doctorate Recipients (SDR) is to provide policymakers and researchers with high-quality data and analyses for making informed decisions related to the educational achievement and career patterns of the nation's doctoral scientists and engineers. Current information on the supply and utilization of doctoral personnel in science and engineering reflects the results of SDR, the thirteenth in a biennial series. The population of the 1997 survey includes persons under the age of 76 who hold doctorates in science or engineering from U.S. institutions.

The SDR is a longitudinal demographic survey of science and engineering doctorate holders conducted biennially for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and for other Federal agencies (current and past sponsors included NIH and DOE) since 1973. Several changes have been made to the 1997 tables and are noted in the Technical Notes, included in the back of this report. (See appendix A.) The Technical Notes section also contains information on survey methodology, coverage, concepts, definitions, and sampling errors.

The detailed statistical tables in this report provide information on the number of scientists and engineers by demographic characteristic such as citizenship, place of birth, field of degree, and employment-related characteristic such as occupation, sector of employment, median salary, and various labor force rates.

For further information on the survey or the availability of data on S&E doctorates, please go to or contact --

Kelly H. Kang
Division of Science Resources Studies
National Science Foundation, Room 965
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA. 22230

Telephone: (703)306-1776, ext.6943


[1] The Doctorate Data Project consists of the Survey of Doctorate Recipients, a biennial survey conducted since 1973, and the Survey of Earned Doctorates, an annual census of research doctorates awarded since 1920, which forms the Doctorate Records File.

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