Academic Research and Development Expenditures: Fiscal Year 2001

Section A.
Technical Notes




Scope of the Survey top

Data for the National Science Foundation's (NSF) fiscal year (FY) 2001 report on research and development (R&D) expenditures were collected from 609 institutions of higher education in the United States and outlying areas. These institutions have doctoral programs in science and engineering (S&E), are historically black colleges or universities (HBCUs) that expend any amount of separately budgeted R&D in S&E, or are master's or bachelor's degree-granting institutions that expend at least $150,000 in separately budgeted R&D in S&E.

In addition, the survey coverage was expanded to collect information on R&D about each of the Nation's 36 federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs). Of these 36 FFRDCs, 16 are administered by academic institutions, 16 are administered by nonprofit organizations, and 4 are administered by industrial organizations. However, data for those FFRDCs administered by nonprofit organizations and those administered by industrial organizations in FY 2001 are not included in this report.

To qualify, an FFRDC must be engaged in basic or applied research, development, or management of R&D activities, and the results of these activities must be directly monitored by the Federal Government—usually a single agency—in a relationship expected to be maintained on a long-term basis. The center must be operated, managed, and administered by either a university or consortium of universities as an autonomous organization or as an identifiable separate operating unit of its parent institution. Finally, 70 percent or more of the center's financial support must be received from the Federal Government.

Although the same survey form (NSF Form 411) is used to collect data from both academic institutions and FFRDCs, the resulting data are presented separately in this report. The survey population was reviewed prior to electronic transmission of the questionnaires to ensure that each institutional classification was accurate. Characteristics of the schools were reviewed before and during the course of the survey to determine if changes had occurred (i.e., in highest degree granted or in terms of school openings, closings, or mergers).

FY 2001 Survey Frame Design top

The Academic R&D Survey is a census of the full population of eligible academic institutions. NSF has also conducted a population review each year to ensure that all institutions that meet the inclusion criteria are surveyed. This review is based on the survey frame design developed in FY 1998:

In FY 2001, NSF conducted a population review using the above criteria. As a result of adding and deleting institutions from the survey population to comply with the inclusion criteria, the overall number of institutions surveyed decreased from 623 in FY 2000 to 609 in FY 2001.

Survey Instrument top

Most major R&D performers have incorporated into their record-keeping systems the data that are essential to complete this survey, thereby ensuring a consistent format from one year to the next. Such consistency yields the most useful statistics for time series. As a rule, information to complete this questionnaire is found within the institutions' year-end accounting records.

The survey questionnaire consists of five main items:

Item 1 is a request that institutions report their total current expenditures for separately budgeted science and engineering R&D for all activities specifically organized to produce research outcomes and either commissioned by an agency external to the institution or separately budgeted by an organizational unit (i.e., research centers) within the institution, by source of funds. In addition, schools are asked to provide the percentage of the total and the percentage of the federally financed expenditures that are considered basic research. Also included are research funds for which an outside organization, educational or other, is a subrecipient. Care should be observed when interpreting data on source of funds; for example, industry R&D support is limited to grants and contracts for R&D activities from profit-making organizations. Total industry funds excludes research funded through unrestricted accounts and from corporate foundations, endowments, and fellowships to students; those funds would be included in an institution's own funding totals. An increasing number of institutions have linkages with industry and foundations via subcontracts, thus complicating the identification of funding source. In addition, institutional policy may determine whether unrestricted State support is reported as State or as institutional funding.

Item 1A, added in FY 1996, is a request for total and federally financed current fund expenditures for separately budgeted science and engineering R&D passed through the institution to "higher education" and "other" subrecipients.

Item 1B, added in FY 2000, is a request for total and federally financed current fund expenditures for separately budgeted science and engineering R&D received by the institution as a subrecipient. Schools are asked to break out the source of these funds from "higher education" and "other" passthrough entities.

Item 2 is a request for total and federally financed current fund expenditures for separately budgeted R&D activities by detailed S&E fields. In the FY 1997 questionnaire, a subfield of bioengineering/biomedical engineering was added under Engineering. When interpreting these data at the detailed discipline level, users should keep in mind that there is considerable interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary activity.

Item 3 is a request for the portions of total and federally financed expenditures reported in items 1 and 2 that were used for the purchase of research equipment out of current funds. This portion includes all research equipment purchased under sponsored research project awards and disbursed in the same detailed disciplines as in item 2. These data are of special interest to Federal and institutional policy makers in determining current funding levels for scientific research instrumentation.

Item 1A Analysis top

Item 1A was completed by 89.5 percent of the respondents. The total R&D expenditures passed through to subrecipients, $1.6 billion, represented 6.0 percent of item 1A respondents' total R&D expenditures and 5.0 percent of all separately budgeted R&D in FY 2001 (table 1). The doctorate-granting institutions reported a higher percentage of passthrough funds than the nondoctorate-granting institutions. Item 1A respondents from doctorate-granting institutions reported that $1.6 billion (6.1 percent) of their total R&D expenditures were passed through to subrecipients, versus $17 million (4.1 percent) of item 1A nondoctorate-granting respondents. Item 1A respondents from private institutions reported a higher percentage (7.1 percent) of passthrough funds than those from public institutions (5.5 percent).

Table 1. FY 2001 item 1A summary of total academic R&D expenditures

Highest degree and control All respondents' total R&D1 Item 1A respondents' total R&D2 Total R&D expenditures passed through to subrecipients
Total3 Educational
subrecipients
Other
subrecipients
[Dollars in thousands]
All academic institutions 32,570,113 26,903,690 1,626,981 793,483 553,516
   Doctorate 32,106,175 26,485,193 1,610,011 784,811 545,515
   Non-doctorate 463,938 418,497 16,970 8,672 8,001
   Public 22,245,928 17,318,792 946,678 450,465 358,705
   Private 10,324,185 9,584,898 680,303 343,018 194,811
1 This total is the amount prior to imputation for nonrespondents.
2 Item 1A measures the amount of R&D expenditures passed through the institution to subrecipients.
3 Detail may not sum to totals due to rounding and because some institutions provided only total and Federal R&D expenditure data passed through to subrecipients.

SOURCE: National Science Foundation/Division of Science Resources Statistics, Survey of Research and Development Expenditures at Universities and Colleges, Fiscal Year 2001

Table 1 source data: Excel file

Respondents to this question reported $1.4 billion in Federal R&D funds passed through to subrecipients. This amount represented 8.7 percent of the Federal support reported by item 1A respondents and 7.2 percent of the $19 billion in total Federal support (table 2).

Table 2. FY 2001 item 1A summary of Federal academic R&D expenditures

Highest degree and control All respondents' Federal R&D1 Item 1A respondents' Federal R&D2 Federal R&D expenditures passed through to subrecipients
Total3 Educational subrecipients Other
subrecipients
[Dollars in thousands]
All academic institutions 19,077,450 15,869,304 1,379,918 707,462 437,576
   Doctorate 18,786,515 15,605,164 1,365,908 700,748 430,577
   Non-doctorate 290,935 264,140 14,010 6,714 6,999
   Public 11,622,399 9,009,243 798,065 394,238 298,322
   Private 7,455,051 6,860,061 581,853 313,224 139,254
1 This total is the amount prior to imputation for nonrespondents.
2Item 1A measures the amount of R&D expenditures passed through the institution to subrecipients.
3 Detail may not sum to totals due to rounding and because some institutions provided only total and Federal R&D expenditure data passed through to subrecipients.

SOURCE: National Science Foundation/Division of Science Resources Statistics, Survey of Research and Development Expenditures at Universities and Colleges, Fiscal Year 2001

Table 2 source data: Excel file

Table A-6 shows the total amount of R&D expenditures passed through to subrecipients for the 100 institutions reporting the highest amounts. Table A-7 shows the total amount of Federal R&D expenditures passed through to subrecipients for the 100 institutions reporting the highest amounts.

Item 1B Analysis top

Because this item is so closely related to item 1A, it will appear in these technical notes in much the same manner. In addition to the following summary and tables, NSF is including two ranking tables in the section A tables based on item 1B data.

This item was completed by 87.8 percent of the respondents. The total R&D expenditures received as subrecipients, $1.8 billion, represented 6.9 percent of the item 1B respondents' total R&D expenditures and 5.4 percent of all separately budgeted R&D in FY 2001 (table 3). The doctorate-granting institutions reported a lower percentage of funds received as subrecipients than the nondoctorate-granting institutions. Item 1B respondents from doctorate-granting institutions reported that $1.7 billion (6.9 percent) of their total R&D expenditures were received as subrecipients, versus $43 million (10.4 percent) of item 1B nondoctorate-granting respondents. Item 1B respondents from private institutions reported a slightly higher percentage (7.1 percent) of funds received as subrecipients than those from public institutions (6.8 percent).

Table 3. FY 2001 item 1B summary of total academic R&D expenditures

Highest degree and control All respondents' total R&D1 Item 1B respondents' total R&D2 Total R&D expenditures received as a subrecipient
Total3 Higher education pass-through entities Other pass-through entities
[Dollars in thousands]
All academic institutions 32,570,113 25,328,434 1,753,204 724,162 753,344
   Doctorate 32,106,175 24,912,500 1,709,998 707,371 726,929
   Non-doctorate 463,938 415,934 43,206 16,791 26,415
   Public 22,245,928 16,418,956 1,118,490 470,463 509,582
   Private 10,324,185 8,909,478 634,714 253,699 243,762
1 This total is the amount prior to imputation for nonrespondents.
2 Item 1B measures the amount of R&D expenditures passed through the institution to subrecipients.
3 Detail may not sum to totals due to rounding and because some institutions provided only total and Federal R&D expenditure data passed through to subrecipients.

SOURCE: National Science Foundation/Division of Science Resources Statistics, Survey of Research and Development Expenditures at Universities and Colleges, Fiscal Year 2001

Table 3 source data: Excel file

Respondents to this question reported $1.5 billion in Federal R&D funds received as subrecipients. This amount represented 10.1 percent of the Federal support reported by item 1B respondents and 7.9 percent of the $19 billion in total Federal support (table 4).

Table 4. FY 2001 item 1B summary of Federal academic R&D expenditures

Highest degree and control All respondents' Federal R&D1 Item 1B respondents' Federal R&D2 Federal R&D expenditures received as a subrecipient
Total3 Higher education pass-through entities Other pass-through entities
[Dollars in thousands]
All academic institutions 19,077,450 15,028,929 1,512,911 644,585 673,854
   Doctorate 18,786,515 14,767,351 1,479,151 631,764 652,915
   Non-doctorate 290,935 261,578 33,760 12,821 20,939
   Public 11,622,399 8,625,987 947,616 418,950 451,659
   Private 7,455,051 6,402,942 565,295 224,635 222,195
1 This total is the amount prior to imputation for nonrespondents.
2 Item 1B measures the amount of R&D expenditures passed through the institution to subrecipients.
3 Detail may not sum to totals due to rounding and because some institutions provided only total and Federal R&D expenditure data passed through to subrecipients.

SOURCE: National Science Foundation/Division of Science Resources Statistics, Survey of Research and Development Expenditures at Universities and Colleges, Fiscal Year 2001

Table 4 source data: Excel file

Table A-8 shows the total amount of R&D expenditures received as subrecipients for the 100 institutions reporting the highest amounts. Table A-9 shows the total amount of Federal R&D expenditures received as subrecipients for the 100 institutions reporting the highest amounts.

Response Rate top

The FY 2001 survey questionnaires were e-mailed in November 2001. Respondents could choose to print and submit a pdf questionnaire from the Web or use a Web data collection system to respond to the survey. Every effort was made to maintain close contact with respondents in order to preserve both consistency and continuity in the resultant data. Questionnaires were carefully examined for completeness upon receipt. Computerized facsimiles of the survey data were then prepared for each institution, comparing the current and 2 prior years of data and noting any substantive disparities. A personalized e-mail message was sent to the respondents so they could provide revisions before final processing and tabulation of the data. The e-mail message included a Web link to the academic R&D expenditures Web-based data collection system, allowing respondents to view and correct their data via the Web.

Respondents were asked to explain significant discrepancies between current and prior years' reporting patterns previously verified as correct. They were encouraged to correct prior years' data if anomalies were identified. When updated or amended figures covering past years were submitted, NSF changed trend data in this report and the underlying micro-data database correspondingly. Similarly, if a respondent institution underwent an organizational change, such as a merger, NSF incorporated the effects of such changes into prior years' data.

By the survey closing date at the beginning of October 2002, forms had been received from 580 universities and colleges out of the academic population of 609, resulting in a 95.2 percent response rate. Responses were received from 97.5 percent of all doctorate-granting institutions, where 98.4 percent of the estimated national R&D expenditures in S&E fields was disbursed. Also, forms were received from all of the 16 FFRDCs. Table A-1 displays a detailed breakdown of the response rates by highest degree granted.

National Total and Imputation top

To provide a national estimate for all universities and colleges performing R&D in FY 2001, it was necessary to implement two statistical procedures. First, data were estimated by "imputation" for the 29 institutions that had not responded by the closing date of the survey, using imputation techniques that have been used consistently since FY 1976. Second, data were also imputed for universities and colleges that submitted only partial responses. The imputed total was $153 million, or 0.5 percent of the $33 billion total R&D expenditures, as shown in table A-2.

Tables A-3a and A-3b present breakdowns of the total and Federal imputed amounts by S&E fields. The dollar amount imputed is displayed along with the percentage it represents of the national estimate for universities and colleges in a particular field. The amount imputed is similarly broken down by source of funds in table A-4.

A number of surveyed institutions have responded only intermittently in past years, providing data one year, not responding for one or more subsequent years, and then providing data again. For the years in which no response was received, data have been imputed as previously described. Although the imputation algorithm accurately reflects national trends, it cannot account for specific trends at individual institutions. For this reason a separate backcasting of prior years' data was performed, following current-year imputation.

For each institution, formerly imputed key variables for items 1 through 3 were recomputed to ensure that the imputed data accurately represent the growth patterns shown by reported data. If data were reported for fiscal years 1996 and 2001 but not for the intervening years, for example, the difference between the reported figures for each item total was calculated and evenly distributed across the intervening years (1997–2000). The new figures were spread across disciplines (items 2 and 3) or sources of support (item 1) on the basis of the most recent reporting pattern. A clean facsimile was generated for each of the institutions undergoing these procedures and returned to the school for comment. These procedures result in much more consistent reporting trends for individual institutions but have little effect upon aggregate figures reflecting national totals.

Changes in Basic Research Totals top

The Division of Science Resources Statistics regularly reviews the methodologies used in its Survey of Research and Development Expenditures at Universities and Colleges with the goal of producing the most accurate statistics possible for researchers and policy makers. A recent review of responses to the survey's item requesting the percentage of total and Federal research funds that are basic research[1] determined that the aggregate statistics could be improved by refining the imputation methodology for the item. For a number of reasons some universities and colleges are either unable or unwilling to respond to this item. Values must be imputed for them in order to present aggregate statistics.

In the past, if a respondent did not reply to the basic research items, the prior year's basic research share (whether reported by or imputed for the respondent) was carried forward. Interviews with respondents revealed that in some cases abnormal or erroneous values (such as zero percent basic research) were imputed forward for several years. The revised imputation methodology carries forward the prior year's basic research share only if that year's data were reported or estimated by the respondent. In all other cases an econometric model is used to impute the amount of total and Federal basic research for the respondent. The model employed takes into account differences between public and private institutions and non-Federal sources of R&D funding. Basic research statistics were reestimated for FY 1998 and forward. See table 5 for a summary of the changes the revised imputation methodology makes in the aggregate basic research totals, and tables B-2 and B-2a for the total and federally-financed basic research time series.

Table 5. Academic basic research, before and after corrections and revised imputation methodology

Type of expenditure Expenditures Basic research expenditures as percentage of corresponding R&D expenditures
1997 1998 1999 2000 1997 1998 1999 2000
(in millions of dollars) (percent)
Total R&D 24,363 25,848 27,505 30,042 - - - -
   Federal R&D 14,309 15,145 16,071 17,508 - - - -
   Non-Federal R&D 10,054 10,703 11,434 12,534 - - - -
Before corrections and revisions1
   Total basic research 16,593 17,445 18,931 20,791 68.1 67.5 68.8 69.2
      Federal basic research 10,310 10,915 11,865 12,930 72.1 72.1 73.8 73.9
      Non-Federal basic
      research
6,283 6,530 7,066 7,861 62.5 61.0 61.8 62.7
After corrections and revisions2
   Total basic research - 19,061 20,332 22,416 - 73.7 73.9 74.6
      Federal basic research - 11,844 12,630 13,808 - 78.2 78.6 78.9
      Non-Federal basic
      research
- 7,217 7,702 8,608 - 67.4 67.4 68.7
1 Data in this category reflect basic research totals as reported in the Academic Research and Development Expenditures: Fiscal Year 2000 report.
2 Differences between data in this category and data in the previous category are the result of both respondent corrections to prior-reported data as well as the implementation of a revised imputation methodology for the basic research items.

KEY: R&D = Research and development; - = Not applicable.

NOTES: Total R&D figures reflect respondent corrections from the 2001 survey cycle and therefore differ slightly from the figures published in the Academic Research and Development Expenditures: Fiscal Year 2000 report

SOURCE: National Science Foundation/Division of Science Resources Statistics, Survey of Academic Research and Development.

Table 5 source data: Excel file

Data Anomalies top

Aggregate academic expenditure data are generally consistent from year to year, although data for individual institutions may vary considerably. Data anomalies may reflect true increases or decreases in expenditures or may be the result of changes in reporting methodology. None were reported in FY 2001.

State Tables top

The detailed statistical tables showing R&D expenditures at individual institutions by State provide detailed campus listings by control and source of funds in table B-29 and by control and science and engineering field in table B-31.

Highest Degree-Granted Tables top

Several longitudinal tables display data for institutions whose highest S&E degree granted is at the doctoral level. In tables produced prior to FY 1992, it would have been difficult to identify whether changes in yearly R&D expenditures were caused by changes in expenditure levels or in the number of doctorate-granting institutions. In order to maintain a consistent group of institutions across all years, the highest degree-granted status for each institution is based on the highest degree granted in the most recent year, FY 2001.

Data Availability top

Data from this survey and previous reports are available on the World Wide Web at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/rdexp/.

Selected data items for institutions are available on the Web at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/profiles/. The institutional profiles cover data from this survey as well as data collected in NSF's other academic S&E surveys: the Survey of Graduate Students and Post-doctorates in Science and Engineering (graduate student survey) and the Survey of Federal Science and Engineering Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit Institutions (Federal S&E support survey). The profiles are also linked to the corresponding ranking table of each survey.

Data for these and other surveys are available through the Web-Based Computer-Aided Science Policy Analysis and Research (WebCASPAR) database system, which provides 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 based on a set of standard institutional and field-of-science definitions across the multiple sources used to develop the database. The WebCASPAR program includes built-in help capabilities to facilitate the use and interpretation of the data. The latest version of WebCASPAR can be accessed via the Web at http://webcaspar.nsf.gov/.

WebCASPAR data are drawn from a number of sources. All data are available for individual institutions, by State, and at the national level. Longitudinal data from surveys of universities and colleges conducted by the NSF Division of Science Resources Statistics include the academic R&D expenditures survey, the Federal S&E support survey, and 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, tuition, faculty salaries, tenure and fringe benefits, and financial statistics.

Section A. Tables top

List of Tables
Table Table Name Excel Spreadsheet (.xls) Portable Document Format  (.pdf)
Table A-1 Response rates for the academic research and development expenditures survey, by respondent type and highest degree granted: fiscal year 2001 .xls .pdf
Table A-2 Imputed amounts for total research and development expenditures at universities and colleges, by highest degree granted: fiscal year 2001 .xls .pdf
Table A-3a Imputed amounts for total research and development expenditures at universities and colleges, by science and engineering field: fiscal year 2001 .xls .pdf
Table A-3b Imputed amounts for federally financed research and development expenditures at universities and colleges, by science and engineering field: fiscal year 2001 .xls .pdf
Table A-4 Imputed amounts for research and development expenditures at universities and colleges, by source of funds: fiscal year 2001 .xls .pdf
Table A-5 Number of surveyed institutions for the academic research and development expenditures survey, by respondent type and highest degree granted: fiscal years 1996-2001 .xls .pdf
Table A-6 Total amount of R&D expenditures passed through to subrecipients by universities and colleges, ranked by amount passed through: fiscal year 2001 .xls .pdf
Table A-7 Total amount of Federal R&D expenditures passed through to subrecipients by universities and colleges, ranked by amount passed through: fiscal year 2001 .xls .pdf
Table A-8 Total amount of R&D expenditures received as a subrecipient by universities and colleges, ranked by amount received: fiscal year 2001 .xls .pdf
Table A-9 Total amount of Federal R&D expenditures received as a subrecipient by universities and colleges, ranked by amount received: fiscal year 2001 .xls .pdf



Footnote

[1] Basic research is defined on the survey as research "directed toward an increase of knowledge; it is research where the primary aim of the investigator is a fuller knowledge or understanding of the subject under study rather than a specific application thereof."


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