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National Science Foundation National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics

General Notes

Data Tables

Appendix. Technical Notes

Suggested Citation, Acknowledgments

Michael Yamaner,
Project Officer
(703) 292-7815
Research and Development Statistics Program

Federal Science and Engineering Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit Institutions: FY 2009


General Notes


Institutions of higher education, the major source of the nation's scientists and engineers, perform about one-half of the nation's basic research. Therefore, the level, distribution, and characteristics of federal academic support are of much interest to officials at federal, state, and local levels and in nongovernmental sectors.

The National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended, requires that the National Science Foundation (NSF) "initiate and maintain a program for the determination of the total amount of money for scientific and engineering research, including money allocated for the construction of the facilities wherein such research is conducted, received by each educational institution and appropriate nonprofit organization in the United States, by grant, contract, or other arrangement from agencies of the Federal Government, and to report annually thereon to the President and the Congress."

To fulfill this requirement, NSF has utilized the data collection system originally designed by the Committee on Academic Science and Engineering of the Federal Council for Science and Technology. NSF annually collects statistical data from the 19 federal agencies that account for virtually all support for science and engineering (S&E) research and development at educational institutions. Data are also collected on these agencies' obligations to nonprofit institutions.

Since its inception, this survey system has been the sole source of data on federal funding to individual institutions for S&E activities and therefore attracts a wide audience. These data provide information that enables users to examine patterns of support for individual institutions over time and to compare such patterns with those of other institutions.

In February 2009 Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which provided a one-time increase in federal stimulus funding, including for R&D and other S&E activities. All of the data are on http://www.recovery.gov/ so that the public can track the ARRA funds.

Questions relating to ARRA funding were added for the FY 2009 data collection. Each of six categories of support (research; R&D plant; facilities and equipment for instruction in S&E; S&E fellowships, traineeships, and training grants; general support for S&E; other S&E activities) was broken down into ARRA and non-ARRA components.

The data presented in these tables cover all categories of direct federal S&E support to institutions of higher education in the United States for S&E activities. The 19 agencies listed in these tables provide virtually all federal funding for S&E R&D at U.S. universities and colleges. Data are also reported on these agencies' obligations to nonprofit institutions.

The FY 2009 data in this report were submitted by 19 federal agencies, covering the period 1 October 2008 through 30 September 2009. Because of space constraints, data for 10 agencies are often combined and reported in an other category in tables that show funding by agency. The 10 agencies are the Agency for International Development (AID); Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC); Department of Homeland Security (DHS); Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); Department of the Interior (DOI); Department of Labor (DOL); Department of Transportation (DOT); Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC); Office of Justice Programs (OJP); and Social Security Administration (SSA).

The following agencies were included in the other category, because they reported obligations in the variables represented by these tables:

  • Tables 12, 44, and 47 include AID, ARC, DHS, DOL, DOT, HUD, NRC, OJP, and SSA.
  • Tables 14 and 27 include DOT and SSA.
  • Tables 18, 25, and 26 include AID, ARC, DHS, DOI, DOL, DOT, HUD, NRC, OJP, and SSA.
  • Table 22 includes DHS and DOT.
  • Table 31 includes DOL and DOT.
  • Table 34 includes the DOI, DOL, and DOT.
  • Table 35 includes DHS, the Department of Commerce (DOC), DOI, DOL, DOT, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and SSA.
  • Table 39 includes DOC, DOI, DOL, DOT, EPA, and SSA. The detailed agency-specific data are available on request from NSF.
  • Tables 41 and 43 include AID, DHS, DOI, DOL, DOT, HUD, NRC, OJP, and SSA.
  • Table 51 includes DOI, DOL, and OJP.

In FY 2009 the 19 agencies reported obligations to 1,447 universities and colleges and 1,458 independent nonprofit institutions.

Because of rounding, data in the text or tables may not add to the totals or subtotals shown.

Federal Science and Engineering Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit Institutions: FY 2009
Detailed Statistical Tables | NSF 13-303 | December 2012