National Science Foundation
Rita R. Colwell

Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
Bennett I. Bertenthal

Division of Science Resources Studies
Jeanne E. Griffith
Ronald S. Fecso
Chief Statistician

Human Resources Statistics Program
Mary J. Golladay
Program Director

Division of Science Resources Studies
The Division of Science Resources Studies (SRS) fulfills the legislative mandate of the National Science Foundation Act to ...

provide a central clearinghouse for the collection, interpretation, and analysis of data on scientific and engineering resources and to provide a source of information for policy formulation by other agencies of the Federal Government...

To carry out this mandate, SRS designs, supports, and directs periodic surveys as well as a variety of other data collections and research projects. These surveys yield the materials for SRS staff to compile, analyze, and disseminate quantitative information about domestic and international resources devoted to science, engineering, and technology.

If you have any comments or suggestions about this or any other SRS product or report, we would like to hear from you. Please direct your comments to:

National Science Foundation
Division of Science Resources Studies
4201 Wilson Blvd., Suite 965
Arlington, VA 22230
Telephone: (703) 306-1780
Fax: (703) 306-0510

Suggested Citation top
National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Studies, SESTAT: A Tool for Studying Scientists and Engineers in the United States, NSF 99-337, Authors, Nirmala Kannankutty and R. Keith Wilkinson (Arlington, VA 1999).

April 1999

SRS data are available through the World Wide Web ( For more information about obtaining reports, contact or call (301) 947-2722. For NSF's Telephonic Device for the Deaf, dial (703) 306-0090.

Acknowledgements top

The SESTAT component surveys and system are administered and maintained by the Human Resources Statistics Program (HRS) of the Division of Science Resources Studies (SRS), under the direction of Mary Golladay, Program Director. Kelly Kang, Linda Hardy, and John Tsapogas provided technical guidance on the component surveys, as well as very helpful advice on the development of this report.

In order to insure technical clarity and understanding, this report was reviewed extensively throughout the Division. We wish to thank the following individuals for their very helpful comments: Mary Golladay, Joan Burrelli, Lawrence Burton, Susan T. Hill, and Richard Morrison. Additional formal review and suggestions were provided by Miles Boylan, Alan Rapoport, and Jean Johnson.

Overall review and guidance for this report was provided by Jeanne E. Griffith, Division Director and Ron Fecso, Chief Statistician. Anne Houghton, Publications Manager of SRS, with assistance from Julia Harriston and Tanya Gore provided copy editing, processing, and final composition for this report.

A very special acknowledgement goes to Dr. Carlos Kruytbosch, whose imagination and leadership led to the design and implementation of the SESTAT system.

Glossary top

The following terms are used extensively in the document. While some of the definitions are standard, others are specific to the SESTAT system.

*Employed: Includes those who did any work for pay or profit during the survey reference week.

*Unemployed: Includes those who did not have a job during the survey reference week, but had actively looked for work in the prior four weeks.

*Labor force: Includes those who are employed or unemployed.

*Not in labor force: Includes those who had no job during the survey reference week and were not looking for one (e.g. they may be retired, etc.)

Highest degree type: Level of highest degree received: bachelor's, master's, doctorate or professional.

Highest degree field: Field of study of highest degree. If an individual has two or more degrees at the same highest degree level, the highest degree field will be that of the most recent degree earned.

Science and Engineering (S&E): The National Science Foundation has developed a unique definition of S&E. Very broadly, educational fields considered to be S&E include computer and mathematical sciences, life sciences, physical sciences, social sciences and engineering. Occupational categories considered to be S&E include computer and mathematical scientists, life scientists, physical scientists, social scientists and engineers. All other educational fields and occupational categies are considered non-S&E by NSF. A more detailed definition of S&E and non-S&E educational fields and occupational categories can be found in Appendix Table 1.

Educated in S&E: Includes those who have earned at least one degree (at the bachelor's level or higher) in a science or engineering field.

Working in S&E: Includes those who were working in a science or engineering occupation during the survey reference week, regardless of education.

* These definitions are based on those used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For further information, see .

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