Data presented in this report are collected annually through the National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) congressionally mandated Survey of Federal Science and Engineering (S&E) Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit Institutions (the federal S&E support survey). The survey originated in 1965, when the Committee on Academic Science and Engineering (CASE) within the Federal Council for Science and Technology established the CASE data collection system to report annually on federal S&E obligations to academic institutions and associated federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs). Since 1968, CASE data, as well as data on nonprofit institutions, also have served as the basis for an annual report to the President and Congress. This survey is designed to collect information from federal agencies on (1) total S&E program support to academic institutions, (2) total S&E support to federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) administered by academic institutions, and (3) research and development (R&D) and R&D plant support to nonprofit institutions and associated FFRDCs.
The data are presented in terms of federal obligations provided for direct support of academic S&E. 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. Data on type of institutional control and on highest degree granted are not presented in this report but are available upon request (see “Data Availability” at the end of this section).
Obligations are the amounts for orders placed, contracts awarded, services received, and similar transactions during a given period, regardless of when the funds were appropriated and when future payment of money is required. Obligations differ from expenditures in that funds allocated by federal agencies during one fiscal year may be spent by the recipient institution either partially or entirely during one or more subsequent years.
The obligations listed for individual institutions reflect direct federal S&E support. Thus, amounts subcontracted to other institutions are included, but funds received through subcontract arrangements from prime contractors are excluded.
Obligations are listed as awards to individual institutions within a system (e.g., to the University of California, Los Angeles rather than to the University of California system as a whole). However, obligations awarded directly to the central administration of a system are listed separately. If the final destination of the funds is not known, the agencies report them as obligations to a system’s administrative office from which the funds are distributed to the system’s individual institutions.
Since these data were first collected in 1965, there have been some changes in reporting. The most recent of these include the following:
The data presented here include all obligations for academic S&E: this comprises federal obligations for R&D; R&D plant; facilities and equipment for S&E instruction; fellowships, traineeships, and training grants; general support for S&E; and other S&E activities. These support categories are defined below.
The types of institutions covered by this survey are universities and colleges, FFRDCs, and independent nonprofit institutions.
Universities and Colleges
Universities and colleges are those institutions of higher education in the United States that offer at least 1 year of college-level study leading toward a degree. The universe of academic institutions for this survey is derived from the higher education institution portion of the Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics) and the 1998 Higher Education Directory (published by Higher Education Publications, Inc.).
Institutions included are those that received federal S&E support during FY 1997. This support can have been provided to any part of the academic institution its colleges (e.g., of liberal arts) and schools (e.g., of agriculture), professional schools, hospitals, agricultural experiment stations, bureaus, offices, and research centers (excluding FFRDCs), whether located on or off the main campus or at branch campuses controlled directly by the parent institution. Further, the institutions included must have a significant degree of academic and administrative autonomy. For example, institutions within a system (a group of institutions having a collective legal status and generally recognized by a state government, a board of education, or other relevant organization) in which a significant degree of autonomy remains at the individual institution level are presented separately; while obligations to branch campuses are included in the totals for the parent institutions. Obligations to the service academies and to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Graduate School are not included.FFRDCs
FFRDCs are R&D performing entities formed to meet a particular federal R&D objective that cannot be met effectively by existing organizational resources. FFRDCs 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 are presented here for university administered FFRDCs and nonprofit-administered FFRDCs. For a complete list of FFRDCs see page 10.
Independent Nonprofit Institutions
Independent nonprofit institutions are legal entities other than universities and colleges, privately organized or chartered to serve the public interest, and exempt from most forms of federal taxation. Data presented for nonprofit institutions and for nonprofit-administered FFRDCs are obligations for R&D and R&D plant reported by as many as 20 participating agencies.
Coverage of the nonprofit sector in the federal S&E support survey was expanded beginning in the late 1970s to include all types of nonprofit institutions that receive federal R&D funds. For NSF’s purposes, these types of institutions are defined as follows:
Federal Funds for Research and Development
Data presented here on R&D and R&D plant by agency sometimes conflict significantly with similar data presented in the annual NSF survey, Federal Funds for Research and Development (or the “federal funds survey”). Much of the difference lies in the two surveys’ treatment of interagency transfers. Interagency transfers of funds obligated to an academic or nonprofit institution are reported here by the agency that actually obligates the funds to the receiving institution. In the federal funds survey, however, obligations are reported by the agency in which the funds originated.
Other differences between the data compiled by the two surveys stem from the following factors:
National Patterns of R&D Resources
NSF publishes one other report related to federal R&D funding, National Patterns of R&D Resources. This report provides statistics on U.S. R&D expenditures categorized by provider of funds (Federal government, nonfederal government, industry, academia, and nonprofit institutions), type of performer (Federal government, industry, academia, nonprofit institutions, and federally-funded research and development centers), and character of work (basic research, applied research, and development). In the report, R&D expenditure levels from Federal sources are based on performer-reported surveys, which differ from Federal R&D funding totals reported by the Federal agencies that provide those funds. During the past several years, these differences have widened. The difference in the Federal R&D totals appears to be concentrated in the funding of industry R&D by the Department of Defense. See National Patterns of R&D Resources: 1996 (NSF 96-333) and the forthcoming National Patterns of R&D Resources: 1998 for detailed discussion and documentation of these differences.
Federal Science and Engineering Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit Institutions
Data published in this report are also available on the World Wide Web. Information on file formats and the years for which they are available can be found at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/fedsupport/.
Integrated Academic Science and Engineering Database
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 (1997) are currently available; contact NSF’s Division of Science Resources Studies at (703) 306-1772 to order.
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 Research and Development Expenditures at Universities and Colleges, and the Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering.
Institutional researchers can obtain data from several academic S&E resources through the Web Computer-Aided Science Policy Analysis and Research (WebCASPAR) database system, which is an easy-to-use tool for the retrieval and analysis of statistical data on academic S&E resources. WebCASPAR provides an extensive and growing data library with multiyear statistics on the state of higher education in general and on academic S&E resources specifically. This data library is based on a set of standard institutional and field-of-science definitions across the multiple sources used to develop the database. The WebCASPAR program includes built-in help capabilities to facilitate the use and interpretation of the data.
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 NSF’s Division of Science Resources Studies include the federal S&E support survey, academic R&D expenditures survey, federal funds survey, and graduate student survey cited above. 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.
The latest version of WebCASPAR can be accessed via the World Wide Web at http://webcaspar.nsf.gov/.
The following is a list of federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) included in the Federal S&E support survey. The list is arranged by sponsoring agency and administering organization (in parentheses). Respondents reported under the FFRDC category funds that were obligated to the centers identified on this list.
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSEOffice of the Secretary of Defense
Logistics Management Institute
Institute), McLean, VA
National Defense Research Institute (RAND Corp.),
Santa Monica, CA
C3I Federally Funded Research and Development Center
(MITRE Corp.), Bedford, MA, and McLean, VA
Administered by universities and colleges
Software Engineering Institute (Carnegie Mellon University),
NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCYAdministered by other nonprofit institutions 
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVYAdministered by other nonprofit institutions 
DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCEAdministered by universities and colleges 
Administered by other nonprofit institutions
Aerospace Federally Funded Research
and Development Center (The Aerospace Corp.),
El Segundo, CA
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMYAdministered by other nonprofit institutions
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGYAdministered by universities and colleges
Argonne National Laboratory(University of Chicago), Argonne, IL
Brookhaven National Laboratory (Brookhaven Science
Associates, Inc.), Upton, Long Island, NY
Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National
Laboratory (University of California), Berkeley, CA
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(Universities
Research Association, Inc.), Batavia, IL
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory(University
of California), Livermore, CA
Los Alamos National Laboratory
(University of California), Los Alamos, NM
Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education
Ridge Associated Universities, Inc.), Oak Ridge, TN
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
University), Princeton, NJ
Stanford Linear Accelerator Center
Junior University), Stanford, CA
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility
(Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc.),
Newport News, VA
Administered by other nonprofit institutions
National Renewable Energy Laboratory(Midwest
Research Institute), Golden, CO
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory(Battelle
Memorial Institute), Richland, WA
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATIONJet Propulsion Laboratory(California Institute of
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATIONAdministered by universities and colleges 
National Center for Atmospheric Research(University
Corp. for Atmospheric Research), Boulder, CO
National Optical Astronomy Observatories
(Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc.), Tucson, AZ
National Radio Astronomy Observatory(Associated
Universities, Inc.), Green Bank, WV
Administered by other nonprofit institutions
Critical Technologies Institute(RAND Corp.),
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSIONAdministered by other nonprofit institutions
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE
NOTES:The Department of the Army decertified the Institute for Advanced Technology (University of Texas), Austin, TX, as an FFRDC in November 1993. All obligations previously reported to this institution should be reported under universities and colleges.