The National Science Foundation (NSF) Survey of Research and Development Expenditures at Universities and Colleges (Academic R&D Expenditures Survey) is the primary source of information on separately budgeted research and development (R&D) expenditures within academic institutions in the United States and outlying areas. Conducted annually since FY 1972, the survey collects information on R&D expenditures by academic field as well as by source of funds. The results of the survey are primarily used to assess trends in R&D expenditures across the fields of science and engineering (S&E). This information is vital for federal, state, and academic planners in order to make decisions on future R&D funding priorities.
The fiscal year 2004 Academic R&D Expenditures Survey was sent to 620 institutions of higher education in the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These institutions grant a bachelor's degree or higher in science and engineering (S&E) and expend at least $150,000 in separately budgeted R&D in S&E.
The survey population was reviewed before data collection began to ensure that each institutional classification was accurate. Characteristics of the schools were reviewed before and during the course of the survey to determine whether changes had occurred (e.g., highest degree granted; school openings, closings, or mergers).
After data collection closed, institutions were reviewed to verify that only those reporting at least $150,000 in separately budgeted R&D were included in the population. Of the 620 institutions surveyed, 8 reported total R&D expenditures of less than $150,000. These 8 institutions were excluded from the population and their data are not included in the FY 2004 detailed statistical tables. The total and federally financed R&D expenditures for these 8 institutions are listed in table A-1.
The survey also collected information on R&D from 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.
To qualify for the survey, 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 long-term. The center must be operated, managed, and administered as an autonomous organization or as an identifiable separate operating unit of its parent institution. Finally, 70% 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, FFRDCs were asked to provide only item 1 data (R&D expenditures by source of funding). FFRDC R&D data are reported in tables 82–86.
The Academic R&D Expenditures Survey is a census of the full population of eligible academic institutions. Before FY 1998 a census of eligible institutions was conducted approximately every 5 years; during intervening years eligible institutions were sampled. Since then, a census has been conducted annually. NSF also conducts a population review each year to ensure that all institutions that meet the inclusion criteria are surveyed. In previous years (1) all S&E doctorate-granting institutions and all HBCUs were surveyed and (2) all S&E master's and bachelor's degree-granting institutions that reported at least $150,000 in separately budgeted R&D expenditures in S&E in the previous fiscal year were surveyed. In FY 2004 NSF revised the criterion for inclusion to the following:
For the FY 2004 survey NSF contacted bachelor's and higher degree-granting institutions that were not in the population of the previous census to determine whether they met the $150,000 expenditure criterion. Institutions with a minimum of $150,000 were added to or retained in the survey population. As a result, the overall number of institutions in the population decreased from 666 in FY 2003 to 648 in FY 2004 (table A-2).
Most major R&D-performing institutions have incorporated the data that are needed to complete this survey into their record-keeping systems, 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 survey is found in the institutions' year-end accounting records.
The survey consists of seven main items.
Item 1 is a request that institutions report their total current expenditures for separately budgeted S&E R&D expenditures by source of funds. Institutions are also asked to provide the percentage of total expenditures and the percentage of 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 taken when interpreting data on source of funds. Industry R&D support is limited to grants and contracts for R&D activities from profit-making organizations. Total industry funds exclude 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 links with industry and foundations through subcontracts, thus complicating the identification of funding sources. In addition, institutional policy may determine whether unrestricted state support is reported as state or institutional funding.
Item 1A is a request for total and federally financed current fund expenditures for separately budgeted S&E R&D passed through the institution to subrecipients.
Item 1B is a request for total and federally financed current fund expenditures for separately budgeted S&E R&D received by the institution as a subrecipient.
Item 2 is a request for total and federally financed current fund expenditures for separately budgeted R&D activities by detailed S&E fields. When interpreting these data at the detailed discipline level, users should keep in mind that there is considerable interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary activity.
Item 2A is a request for total and federally financed current fund expenditures for separately budgeted non-S&E R&D activities by detailed non-S&E fields. This item was originally added to the survey as an optional item in FY 1997 and was collected as a core item for the first time in FY 2003.
Item 2B is a request for federally financed current fund expenditures for separately budgeted R&D activities by S&E field and federal agency. This item was originally added to the survey as an optional item in FY 1998 and was collected as a core item for the first time in FY 2003.
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 policymakers in determining current funding levels for scientific research instrumentation.
The FY 2004 survey questionnaires were sent by e-mail in November 2004. Respondents could choose to submit an Adobe Portable Document Format questionnaire from the Web or use the Web-based 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 resulting data. Questionnaires were carefully examined for completeness upon receipt. Computerized facsimiles of the survey data were then prepared for each institution; these compared the current and 2 prior years of data and noted any substantive disparities. Respondents were sent personalized e-mail messages asking them to provide revisions before the final processing and tabulation of data. These e-mail messages included a link to the Academic R&D Expenditures Survey 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 to be correct. They were encouraged to correct prior-years' data if anomalies were identified. When respondents updated or amended figures from past years, NSF made corresponding changes to trend data in this report and to the underlying microdata database. Similarly, if a respondent institution underwent an organizational change, such as a merger, NSF incorporated the effects of the change into prior-years' data.
By the survey's closing date at the beginning of September 2005, forms had been received from 575 universities and colleges out of the academic population of 612, a response rate of 94.0%. Responses were received from 97.4% of all doctorate-granting institutions, to which 98.5% of the estimated national R&D expenditures in S&E fields had been disbursed. All 36 FFRDCs returned forms. Table A-3 displays a detailed breakdown of response rates by highest degree granted, and table A-4 displays a breakdown of response rates by survey item.
Two statistical procedures were used to provide a national estimate for all universities and colleges performing R&D in FY 2004. First, data were estimated by imputation for the 37 institutions that had not responded by the closing date of the survey, using imputation techniques that have been used consistently since FY 1976. These techniques use prior years' figures derived from the data of respondent institutions with similar characteristics, including highest degree granted and type of institutional control (public or private). Second, data were imputed for universities and colleges that submitted only partial responses. This imputation was performed using prior years' figures for each institution to allocate that institution's FY 2004 total R&D expenditures reported within the various categories. The imputed total R&D was $198 million, or 0.5%, of the $43 billion in all separately budgeted R&D expenditures (table A-5).
Tables A-6 and A-7 present breakdowns of imputed amounts for total and federally financed R&D expenditures by S&E field. 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-8.
A number of surveyed institutions have responded intermittently in past years. For 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 estimation of prior-years' data was performed, following current-year imputation.
For each institution, formerly imputed key variables for items 1–3 were recomputed to ensure that the imputed data accurately represent the growth patterns shown by reported data. If, for example, data were reported for FY 1996 and FY 2004 but not for the intervening years, the difference between the reported figures for each item total was calculated and evenly distributed across the intervening years (1997–2003). 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. Institutions were given an opportunity to review imputed data and provide comments before data were finalized. These procedures result in much more consistent reporting trends for individual institutions but have little effect on aggregate figures reflecting national totals.
The Division of Science Resources Statistics (SRS) at NSF regularly reviews the methodologies used in the Academic R&D Expenditures Survey with the goal of producing the most accurate statistics possible for researchers and policymakers. Reviews of responses to item 1, question 2, were conducted in FY 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004. These reviews determined that the aggregate statistics on basic research could be improved by refining the imputation methodology for that item. Some universities and colleges are either unable or unwilling to respond to this question, and values must be imputed in order to present aggregate statistics.
In the past, if a respondent did not reply to the basic research question, the prior year's basic research share (whether reported by or imputed for the respondent) was carried forward. After interviews with respondents revealed that abnormal or erroneous values (such as 0% basic research) were sometimes carried forward for several years, a revised imputation methodology was introduced. The revised imputation methodology carries forward the prior year's basic research share only if the respondent reported or estimated that year's data. In all other cases an econometric model is used to impute the amount of total and federal basic research. The model accounts for differences between public and private institutions and nonfederal sources of R&D funding.
Item 1A, R&D passed through to subrecipients, was completed by 93.4% of the respondents from academic institutions (table A-9). The total R&D expenditures passed through to subrecipients, $2.7 billion, represents 7.3% of item 1A respondents' total R&D expenditures ($37 billion) and 6.4% of all separately budgeted R&D ($43 billion) in FY 2004 (see table 41). Doctorate-granting institutions reported a higher percentage of pass-through funds in item 1A than did nondoctorate-granting institutions, 7.3% ($2.7 billion) compared with 6.0% ($35 million) for nondoctorate-granting institutions. Item 1A respondents from private institutions reported a higher percentage of pass-through funds than did those from public institutions, 8.6% ($1.2 billion) compared with 6.5% ($1.6 billion) for public institutions.
Academic respondents to item 1A reported $2.4 billion in federal R&D funds passed through to subrecipients (see table 41). This amount represents 9.8% of the federal support reported by item 1A respondents ($24 billion) and 8.7% of the $27 billion in federal support to all respondents.
Table 43 shows the total and federal R&D expenditures passed through to subrecipients for all item 1A respondents.
Item 1B, R&D received as subrecipients, was completed by 94.8% of the respondents from academic institutions (table A-10). The total R&D expenditures received as subrecipients, $3.0 billion, represents 7.2% of item 1B respondents' total R&D expenditures ($42 billion) and 7.0% of all separately budgeted R&D ($43 billion) in FY 2004 (see table 42). Doctorate-granting institutions reported a lower percentage of funds received as subrecipients in item 1B, 7.2% ($2.9 billion), than did nondoctorate-granting institutions, 9.8% ($57 million). Item 1B respondents from private institutions reported a slightly higher percentage of funds received as subrecipients than did those from public institutions, 8.4% ($1.1 billion) compared with 6.6% ($1.9 billion) for public institutions.
Academic respondents to item 1B reported $2.7 billion in federal R&D funds received as subrecipients (see table 42). This amount represents 10.0% of the federal support reported by item 1B respondents ($27 billion) and 9.8% of the $27 billion in federal support to all respondents.
Table 44 shows total and federal R&D expenditures received as subrecipients for all item 1B respondents.
Item 2A, R&D in non-S&E fields, was completed by 90.8% of the respondents from academic institutions (table A-11). The total non-S&E R&D expenditures, $1.6 billion, represents 4.1% of item 2A respondents' total S&E and non-S&E R&D expenditures ($39 billion) in FY 2004 (see table 64). Nondoctorate-granting institutions reported a higher percentage of non-S&E R&D expenditures in item 2A than did doctorate-granting institutions, 31.4% ($242 million) compared with 3.5% ($1.3 billion) for doctorate-granting institutions. Item 2A respondents from public institutions reported a higher percentage of non-S&E R&D expenditures than did those from private institutions, 4.9% ($1.2 billion) compared with 2.4% ($319 million) for private institutions.
Academic respondents to item 2A reported $670 million in federal non-S&E R&D. This amount represents 2.7% of the federal S&E and non-S&E support reported by item 2A respondents ($25 billion).
Tables 65–67 show the total and federal non-S&E R&D expenditures for all item 2A respondents.
Item 2B, federal sources of R&D by S&E field, was completed by 95.0% of the respondents from academic institutions. The total federal R&D expenditures reported by item 2B respondents, $26 billion, represents 94.5% of all reported federal R&D expenditures ($27 billion) in FY 2004 (table A-12). For doctorate-granting institutions, Item 2B respondents reported a higher percentage of federal R&D expenditures (94.6%, or $25 billion) than they did for nondoctorate-granting institutions, (85.2%, or $333 million) for nondoctorate-granting institutions. Item 2B respondents from public institutions reported a higher percentage of federal R&D expenditures in item 2B than did those from private institutions, 98.8% ($17 billion) compared with 87.6% ($9.1 billion) for private institutions.
Academic respondents to item 2B reported the highest percentage of their federal R&D expenditures from the Department of Health and Human Services, 54.7%, or $14 billion (see table 68). The National Science Foundation accounted for 12.6% ($3.2 billion) of item 2B respondents' federal R&D; the Department of Defense, 9.6% ($2.5 billion); the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 4.3% (1.1 billion); the Department of Energy, 3.7% ($940 million); and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 3.0% ($761 million).
Tables 68–78 show federally financed R&D expenditures by federal agency for all item 2B respondents.
Within the University of California (UC) system, UC campuses manage nearly all R&D activities; however, some R&D expenditures are attributable to the UC Office of the President (UCOP) rather than to a particular campus. The reporting of UCOP R&D expenditures has changed over time. In FY 1997–2000 the UCOP amounts were reported as part of UC Berkeley, the campus that maintained UCOP's accounting ledgers. In FY 2001–03 UCOP amounts were reported under UC Los Angeles, which had assumed responsibility for UCOP's ledgers. In FY 2004 R&D expenditures began being reported separately for UCOP. In FY 2001, when approximately $90 million of UCOP R&D expenditures were shifted from UC Berkeley to UC Los Angeles, R&D expenditures decreased by $72 million at UC Berkeley and increased by $163 million at UC Los Angeles. In FY 2004, when UCOP was reported separately from UC Los Angeles, total R&D at UC Los Angeles decreased by $77 million, whereas UCOP showed expenditures of $90 million. Thus some of the trend changes shown in table 27 for UC Los Angeles, UC Berkeley, and UCOP can be attributed to changes in the location of reporting UCOP R&D expenditures.
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 and data collected in other NSF academic S&E surveys: the Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates 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 for each survey.
Data for these and other surveys are available through WebCASPAR, a database system designed to provide quick, convenient access to a wide range of statistical data on U.S. universities and colleges and their science and engineering resources. The latest version of WebCASPAR is available on 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 SRS include the Academic R&D Expenditures Survey, Graduate Student Survey, and Federal S&E Support Survey. Data in WebCASPAR from the National Center for Education Statistics surveys of universities and colleges include earned degrees, opening fall enrollment, tuition, faculty salaries, tenure and fringe benefits, and financial statistics.
|A-1||Total and federally financed R&D expenditures at surveyed institutions reporting less than $150,000 in separately budgeted R&D expenditures: FY 2001–04||.xls|
|A-2||Institutions surveyed for the academic R&D expenditures survey, by respondent type and highest degree granted:
|A-3||Response rates for the academic R&D expenditures survey, by respondent type and highest degree granted: FY 2004||.xls|
|A-4||Response rates for the academic R&D expenditures survey at universities and colleges, by survey item: FY 2004||.xls|
|A-5||Imputed amounts for total R&D expenditures at universities and colleges, by highest degree granted: FY 2004||.xls|
|A-6||Imputed amounts for total R&D expenditures at universities and colleges, by science and engineering field: FY 2004||.xls|
|A-7||Imputed amounts for federally financed R&D expenditures at universities and colleges, by science and engineering field: FY 2004||.xls|
|A-8||Imputed amounts for R&D expenditures at universities and colleges, by source of funds: FY 2004||.xls|
|A-9||Response summary for item 1A, R&D expenditures passed through to subrecipients, by highest degree granted and institutional control: FY 2004||.xls|
|A-10||Response summary for item 1B, R&D expenditures received as a subrecipient, by highest degree granted and institutional control: FY 2004||.xls|
|A-11||Response summary for item 2A, non-S&E R&D expenditures, by highest degree granted and institutional control: FY 2004||.xls|
|A-12||Response summary for item 2B, federally financed R&D expenditures by federal agency, by highest degree granted and institutional control: FY 2004||.xls|