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General Notes

The data presented in these tables represent all categories of direct Federal science and engineering (S&E) support to institutions of higher education in the United States. The 18 Federal agencies included provided virtually all funding for S&E research and development (R&D) at universities and colleges. In addition, data are reported on these agencies' obligations to nonprofit institutions. Data on type of institutional control and on highest degree granted were not published in this report but are available upon request.

Data Limitations and Relationship of This Survey
to the Survey of Federal Funds for Research and Development  top

Data presented in this report on R&D and R&D plant by agency sometimes conflict significantly with such data presented in the annual National Science Foundation (NSF) survey titled "Federal Funds for Research and Development", referred to hereafter as the Federal funds survey. The treatment of interagency transfers explains much of the difference in the totals. Interagency transfers of funds obligated to an academic or nonprofit institution are reported in the "Survey of Federal Science and Engineering Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit Institutions" (Federal S&E support survey) by the agency that actually obligates the funds to the receiving institution. In the Federal funds survey, however, obligations are reported by the initiating agency.

Each of several agencies utilizes personnel from separate internal offices to respond to the two individual surveys, and each frequently collects data from different sources. Data for the Federal S&E support survey, for example, are generally processed from award files, whereas Federal funds survey data are usually derived from agency budget documents.

Respondents from the separate internal offices that participate in the two surveys also frequently differ in their interpretation of the survey questions. The National Institutes of Health, for example, report Biomedical Research Support Grants under "general support for science and engineering" in the Federal S&E support survey but under "research and development" in the Federal funds survey. Regarding the structure of the surveys themselves, the data presented in this report differ in two main ways from those presented in the report on the Federal funds survey, as follows.

  1. The two surveys differ in number of agencies involved. In the Federal S&E support survey, the 18 Federal agencies that obligate virtually all of Federal support to academic R&D collect data on all Federal S&E obligations to institutions of higher education. For the Federal funds survey, data are gathered on budgets for R&D and R&D plant from all 31 Federal agencies that conduct such programs.

  2. The scope of information gathered differs. Data collected in the Federal S&E support survey pertain to individual academic institutions. Those collected in the Federal funds survey relate to all types of performers and are detailed as to character of work (basic research, applied research, and development).

The fiscal year (FY) 1996 data shown in this report were submitted by the following Federal agencies, listed by the acronyms or abbreviated forms under which data were reported for them:

AID  Agency for International Development
Com  Department of Commerce
DoD  Department of Defense
DOT  Department of Transportation
ED  Department of Education
EPA  Environmental Protection Agency
DOE  Department of Energy
GSA  General Services Administration
HHS  Department of Health and Human Services
  ACF Administration for Children and Families
  AHCPR Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
  AoA Administration on Aging
  ATSDR Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
  CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  FDA Food and Drug Administration
  HCFA Health Care Financing Administration
  HRSA Health Resources and Services Administration
  IHS Indian Health Service
  OS Office of the Secretary, Office of the Assistant Secretary, Planning & Evaluation, Office of Public Health & Science
  NIH National Institutes of Health
  SAMHSA Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
HUD  Department of Housing and Urban Development
Int  Department of the Interior
Labor  Department of Labor
NASA  National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NRC  Nuclear Regulatory Commission
NSF  National Science Foundation
OJP  Office of Justice Programs, Department of Justice
SSA  Social Security Administration
USDA  Department of Agriculture

The following abbreviated references are used:

FFRDC  federally funded research and development center
FTTG  fellowships, traineeships, and training grants
FY  fiscal year
n.e.c.  not elsewhere classified
R&D  research and development
S&E  science and engineering
SRS  Division of Science Resources Studies, NSF, which produces this report

Obligations shown for universities and colleges do not include funds obligated to FFRDCs administered by academic institutions. FFRDCs are R&D-performing entities that are formed to meet a particular Federal R&D objective that cannot be met effectively by existing organizational resources. They range from the traditional contractor-owned/contractor-operated or Government-owned/contractor-operated organizational structures to various degrees of contractor/Government control and ownership.

The data exclude financial support of an indirect nature, such as funds allocated to State agencies, even if the final recipient of such funds is known to be an academic institution.

Because of rounding, data shown in the text or tabulations may not add to the totals or subtotals. Reported obligations were rounded to the nearest thousand dollars.

For further information concerning the availability of Federal S&E support survey data and the technical aspects of this survey, please contact:

Richard J. Bennof, Project Officer
Research and Development Statistics Program
Division of Science Resources Studies
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 965
Arlington, VA 22230

Telephone: (703) 306-1772, ext. 6938

Information Sources   top

Data Tapes

Public-use tapes from the Integrated Academic Science and Engineering Database are available for purchase and will normally be shipped within 3 working days from order receipt. Data tapes from the most recent surveys (1996) are currently available. Individuals interested in obtaining data tapes from the NSF Surveys of Academic Science and Engineering should contact NSF's Division of Science Resources Studies at (703) 306-1772.

Institutional Profiles  top

Selected data items for individual doctorate-granting institutions and schools with S&E departments that grant a master's degree are available on computer-generated institutional profiles. An institutional profile consists of data not only from this survey, but from NSF's other two academic S&E surveys: the Survey of Scientific and Engineering Expenditures at Universities and Colleges (academic R&D expenditures survey) and the Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering (graduate student survey).

WebCASPAR  top

WebCASPAR is a new advanced version of the Computer-Aided Science Policy Analysis and Research (CASPAR) database system, a tool for retrieval and analysis of statistical data on academic S&E resources. A standard Web browser, such as Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer, is all that is needed to access the WebCASPAR server at NSF, browse through available data, select information of interest, and download this information as tables, spreadsheets, or data files.

WebCASPAR provides the analyst with an extensive and growing data library with multiyear statistics on the state of higher education in general and on academic S&E resources specifically. WebCASPAR data are drawn from a number of sources. Longitudinal data from surveys of universities and colleges conducted by the NSF Division of Science Resources Studies include the Federal S&E support survey, academic R&D expenditures survey, Survey of Federal Funds for Research and Development, and the graduate student survey. Data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics are also included. Data from other sources include the National Research Council's assessment of research-doctorate programs.

Data in WebCASPAR are available by categories standardized across multiple data sources as well as categories specific to a single data source. Help facilities are available to facilitate the use and interpretation of data.

New features, such as predefined report templates, a data map, and a tutorial, make the system much easier to use than the previous version. In addition, WebCASPAR contains data not available in the previous version.

The URL for WebCASPAR is

For additional information on WebCASPAR, write or fax your request to the following address:

Quantum Research Corp.
7315 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 400W
Bethesda, MD 20814

Fax: (301) 657-3862

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