The data presented in this report were compiled from the National Science Foundation (NSF) FY 2008 Survey of Research and Development Expenditures at Universities and Colleges. ICF Macro currently conducts the survey under contract to NSF.
The survey is conducted annually, and its reference period is the fiscal year of the surveyed institution. It collects the separately budgeted R&D expenditures in science and engineering (S&E) fields reported by universities and colleges. Unless noted, expenditures analyzed in this report are for S&E R&D activities only. Non-S&E expenditures are reported separately and are not included in overall expenditures totals.
Terms used in institutional accounting procedures, incorporated throughout the tables, are defined below.
- Separately budgeted R&D expenditures. All funds expended for activities specifically organized to produce research outcomes. These activities are either commissioned by an agency external to the institution or are separately budgeted by an organizational unit within the institution.
- Expenditures. Funds actually spent by an institution during its fiscal year.
- Separately budgeted R&D equipment purchased from current funds. All research equipment purchased under sponsored research project awards.
- Federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs). R&D-performing organizations that range in organizational structure from traditional contractor-owned/contractor-operated or government-owned/contractor-operated to structures in which degrees of contractor/government control and ownership vary. FFRDCs are formed to achieve particular federal R&D objectives that cannot be met as effectively by existing organizations.
- Imputation and imputed data. The computerized process by which NSF develops estimates of data when institutions do not provide information upon request. Estimates are based primarily on key data items reported in prior-year surveys. When these key data items are not available, estimates are derived from data of respondent institutions that have similar characteristics, including highest degree granted and type of institutional control (public or private). In this publication, the letter "i" is used to identify imputed data. The letter "e" is used when institutional respondents indicated that their data were estimated.
Data presented in trend tables were compiled from the most recently completed survey cycle. Prior-year data have been reviewed for consistency with current-year responses and, when necessary, revised in consultation with institutional respondents. Institutions revise data from previous years when important changes occur in reporting practices and program classifications, and only the latest tables incorporate such changes. For accurate historical data, use only the most recently published detailed statistical tables.