Characteristics of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers in the United States: 2003.

General Notes

This report presents data from the 2003 Survey of Doctorate Recipients (SDR). The SDR is a biennial, longitudinal panel survey that collects data on demographic and general employment characteristics of individuals who have received a doctorate in a science, engineering, or health field from a U.S. academic institution. It follows sampled individuals from shortly after they receive the doctorate through age 75. The SDR sample is augmented each cycle with new samples of the most recent cohorts of science and engineering doctorate recipients, identified by the Survey of Earned Doctorates, an annual census of research doctorates awarded in the United States.

The detailed statistical tables presented here provide information on the number and median salaries of doctoral scientists and engineers[1] by field of doctorate and occupation; demographic characteristics, such as sex, race/ethnicity, citizenship, and age; and employment-related characteristics, such as sector of employment, employer location, and labor-force rates. Appendixes provide technical information about the survey methodology, coverage, concepts, definitions, and sampling errors; a standard error table; crosswalks defining field of doctorate and occupation classifications used in survey sampling; and the 2003 SDR mail questionnaire.

The National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health sponsored the 2003 survey, which was conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago. It is the 16th in a series of surveys initiated in 1973 in response to the needs of the federal government for demographic and employment information on scientists and engineers trained at the doctoral level. The goal of the 2003 SDR is to provide policymakers and researchers with high-quality data on the career patterns and achievements of the nation's doctoral scientists and engineers.

Other data on doctoral scientists and engineers are available at For more information on survey data and methodology, please contact

John Tsapogas
Human Resources Statistics Program
Division of Science Resources Statistics
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 965
Arlington, VA 22230
(703) 292-7799


[1] Doctoral scientists and engineers are defined in this report as individuals under the age of 76 who have received a doctorate in a science, engineering, or health field from a U.S. academic institution and resided in the United States or one of its territories on October 1, 2003.

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