bypass top and left hand navigationNational Science Board   HOME     PDF     SEARCH     HELP     COMMENTS  
Science and Engineering Indicators 2004
  Table of Contents     Figures     Tables     Appendix Tables     Presentation Slides  
Chapter 5:
Financial Resources for Academic R&D
Doctoral Scientists and Engineers in Academia
Outputs of Scientific and Engineering Research: Articles and Patents
Click for Figure 5-1
Figure 5-1

Click for Figure 5-2
Figure 5-2

Click for Figure 5-3
Figure 5-3

Click for Figure 5-4
Figure 5-4

Click for Figure 5-5
Figure 5-5

Click for Figure 5-6
Figure 5-6

Click for Figure 5-7
Figure 5-7

Click for Figure 5-8
Figure 5-8

Click for Figure 5-9
Figure 5-9

Click for Figure 5-10
Figure 5-10

Click for Figure 5-11
Figure 5-11

Click for Figure 5-12
Figure 5-12

Click for Figure 5-13
Figure 5-13

Academic Research and Development

PDFPrint this chapter (336K)
Financial Resources for Academic R&D

Academic R&D Within the National R&D Enterprise
Major Funding Sources
Funding by Institution Type
Distribution of R&D Funds Across Academic Institutions
Expenditures by Field and Funding Source
Federal Support of Academic R&D
Academic R&D Facilities and Equipment

Academic R&D is a significant part of the national R&D enterprise.[2] To carry out world-class research and advance the scientific knowledge base, U.S. academic researchers require financial resources and research facilities and instrumentation that facilitate high-quality work. Several funding indicators bear on the state of academic R&D, including:

  • The level and stability of overall funding

  • The sources of funding and changes in their relative importance

  • The distribution of funding among the different R&D activities (basic research, applied research, and development)

  • The distribution of funding among S&E broad and detailed fields

  • The distribution of funding among the various performers of academic R&D and the extent of their participation

  • The role of the Federal Government as a supporter of academic R&D and the particular roles of the major Federal agencies funding this sector

  • The state of the physical infrastructure (research facilities and equipment)

Individually and in combination, these factors influence the evolution of the academic R&D enterprise and therefore are the focus of this section. The main findings are continued growth in both Federal and nonfederal funding of academic R&D, with a steady relative decline in the role of the Federal government; a substantial increase in funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) relative to the other main Federal funding agencies; a relative shift in the distribution of funds among fields, with increasing shares for the life sciences, engineering, and the computer sciences; R&D activity occurring in a wider set of institutions, but with the concentration of funds among the top research universities diminishing only slightly; and continuous growth in academic S&E research space, combined with a large fraction of institutions reporting a need for additional space based on current research commitments.

For a discussion of the nature of the data used in this section, see sidebar, "Data Sources for Financial Resources for Academic R&D."

Academic R&D Within the National R&D Enterprise top of page

The continuing importance of academia to the nation's overall R&D effort is well accepted.[3] This is especially true for its contribution to the generation of new knowledge through basic research. Since 1998, academia has accounted for more than half of the basic research performed in the United States.

In 2002, U.S. academic institutions spent an estimated $36 billion, or $33 billion in constant 1996 dollars, on R&D.[4] Academia's role as an R&D performer has increased during the past 3 decades, rising from about 10 percent of all R&D performed in the United States in the early 1970s to an estimated 13 percent in 2002 (figure 5-1 figure). (For a comparison with other industrial countries, see sidebar, "Comparisons of International Academic R&D Spending.")

Character of Work

Academic R&D activities are concentrated at the research (basic and applied) end of the R&D spectrum and do not include much development activity.[5] An estimated 96 percent of academic R&D expenditures in 2002 went for research (74 percent for basic and 22 percent for applied) and 4 percent for development (figure 5-2 figure). From the perspective of national research, as opposed to national R&D, academic institutions accounted for an estimated 30 percent of the U.S. total in 2002 (figure 5-1 figure). In terms of basic research alone, the academic sector is the country's largest performer, currently accounting for an estimated 54 percent of the national total. Between the early 1970s and early 1980s, the academic sector's share of basic research declined steadily, from slightly more to slightly less than half of the national total. In the early 1990s, its share of the national total began to increase once again.


Over the course of the past 3 decades (1972–2002), the average annual R&D growth rate (in constant 1996 dollars) of the academic sector (4.5 percent) has been higher than that of any other R&D-performing sector except the nonprofit sector (5.0 percent). (See figure 5-3 figure and appendix table 4-4 Microsoft Excel icon for time series data by R&D-performing sector.) As a proportion of gross domestic product (GDP), academic R&D rose from 0.23 to 0.35 percent during this time period, about a 50 percent increase. (See appendix table 4-1 Microsoft Excel icon for GDP time series.)

Major Funding Sources top of page

The academic sector relies on a variety of funding sources for support of its R&D activities. Although the Federal Government continues to provide the majority of funds, its share has declined over the past 3 decades, with most of the decline occurring during the 1980s. In 2001, the Federal Government accounted for 59 percent of the funding for R&D performed in academic institutions, compared with 68 percent in 1972 (appendix table 5-2 Microsoft Excel icon and figure 5-4 figure).

Federal support of academic R&D is discussed in detail later in this section; the following list summarizes the contributions of other sectors to academic R&D:[6]

  • Institutional funds. In 2001, institutional funds from universities and colleges constituted the second largest source of funding for academic R&D, accounting for 20 percent, the highest level during the past half century. Institutional funds encompass three categories: separately budgeted funds from unrestricted sources that an academic institution spends on R&D, unreimbursed indirect costs associated with externally funded R&D projects, and mandatory and voluntary cost sharing on Federal and other grants. For more detailed discussions of the composition of institutional funds, see sidebar "The Composition of Institutional Academic R&D Funds."

    The share of support represented by institutional funds has been increasing during the past 3 decades, except for a brief downturn in the early 1990s. Institutional R&D funds may be derived from (1) general-purpose state or local government appropriations (particularly for public institutions) or Federal appropriations; (2) general purpose grants from industry, foundations, or other outside sources; (3) tuition and fees; (4) endowment income; and (5) unrestricted gifts. Other potential sources of institutional funds are income from patents or licenses and income from patient care revenues. (See "Patents Awarded to U.S. Universities" later in this chapter for a discussion of patent and licensing income.)

  • State and local government funds. State and local governments provided 7.1 percent of academic R&D funding in 2001. Since 1980, the state and local share of academic R&D funding has remained between 7 and 9 percent. This share, however, only reflects funds directly targeted to academic R&D activities by state and local governments. It does not include general-purpose state or local government appropriations that academic institutions designate and use to fund separately budgeted research or cover unreimbursed indirect costs.[7] Consequently, the actual contribution of state and local governments to academic R&D is not captured here, particularly for public institutions. See chapter 8, "State Indicators" for some indicators of academic R&D by state.

  • Industry funds. In 2001, industry provided 6.8 percent of academic R&D funding, a slight decline from its peak of 7.4 percent in 1999. Despite the recent decline, the funds provided for academic R&D by the industrial sector grew faster than funding from any other source during the past 3 decades. However, industrial support still accounts for one of the smaller shares of funding, and support of academia has never been a major component of industry-funded R&D. In 1994, industry's contribution to academic R&D represented 1.5 percent of its total support of R&D, compared with 1.4 percent in 1990, 0.9 percent in 1980, and 0.7 percent in 1972. Between 1994 and 2000, this share declined from 1.5 to 1.2 percent, before beginning to rise slightly again in both 2001 and 2002. (See appendix table 4-4 Microsoft Excel icon for time series data on industry-funded R&D and the sidebar "Corporate R&D Strategies in an Uncertain Economy" in chapter 4 for a discussion of how companies intend to spend their R&D budgets.)

  • Other sources of funds. In 2001, other sources of support accounted for 7.4 percent of academic R&D funding, a level that has stayed almost constant during the past 3 decades. This category of funds includes grants for R&D from nonprofit organizations and voluntary health agencies and gifts from private individuals that are restricted by the donor to the conduct of research, as well as all other sources restricted to research purposes not included in the other categories.

Funding by Institution Type top of page

Although public and private universities rely on the same funding sources for their academic R&D, the relative importance of those sources differs substantially for these two types of institutions (figure 5-5 figure and appendix table 5-3 Microsoft Excel icon). In 2001, the most recent year for which data are available, just over 9 percent of R&D funding for all public academic institutions came from state and local funds, about 25 percent from institutional funds, and about 52 percent from the Federal Government. Private academic institutions received a much smaller portion of their funds from state and local governments (about 2 percent) and institutional sources (about 10 percent), and a much larger share from the Federal Government (72 percent). The large difference in the role of institutional funds at public and private institutions is most likely because of a substantial amount of general-purpose state and local government funds that public institutions receive and decide to use for R&D (although data on such breakdowns are not collected). Both public and private institutions received approximately 7 percent of their respective R&D support from industry in 2001. Over the past 2 decades, the Federal share of support has declined, and the industry and institutional shares increased for both public and private institutions.

Distribution of R&D Funds Across Academic Institutions  top of page

The nature of the distribution of R&D funds across academic institutions has been and continues to be a matter of interest to both those concerned with the academic R&D enterprise and those concerned with local and regional economic development. Most academic R&D is now, and has been historically, concentrated in relatively few of the 3,600 U.S. institutions of higher education.[8] When institutions are Federal ranked by their 2001 R&D expenditures, the top 200 institutions account for about 96 percent of all 2001 R&D expenditures. (See appendix table 5-4 Microsoft Excel icon for a more detailed breakdown of the distribution among the top 100 institutions.)

The historic concentration of academic R&D funds diminished between the mid-1980s and mid-1990s but has remained relatively steady since then (figure 5-7 figure). In 1985, the top 10 institutions received about 20 percent of the nation's total academic R&D expenditures and the top 11–20 institutions received 14 percent, compared with 17 and 13 percent, respectively, in 2001. There was almost no change in the share of the group of institutions ranked 21–100 during this period. The composition of the universities in any particular group is not necessarily the same over time, because mobility occurs within groups. For example, only 5 of the top 10 institutions in 1985 were still in the top 10 in 2001. The decline in the top 20 institutions' share was offset by an increase in the share of those institutions in the group not in the top 100. This group's share increased from 17 to 20 percent of total academic R&D funds, signifying a broadening of the base. The discussion in "Spreading Institutional Base of Federally Funded Academic R&D" later in this chapter, under the section "Federal Support of Academic R&D," points to an increasing number of academic institutions receiving Federal support for their R&D activities during the past 3 decades. Many of the newer institutions receiving support are not the traditional research and doctorate-granting institutions.

Expenditures by Field and Funding Source top of page

The distribution of academic R&D funds across S&E disciplines often is the result of numerous, sometimes unrelated, funding decisions rather than an overarching plan. Examining and documenting academic R&D investment patterns across disciplines enables interested parties to assess the balance in the academic R&D portfolio. The majority of expenditures for academic R&D in 2001 went to the life sciences, which accounted for 59 percent of all academic R&D expenditures, 58 percent of Federal academic R&D expenditures, and 59 percent of non-Federal academic R&D expenditures (appendix table 5-5 Microsoft Excel icon). Within the life sciences, the medical sciences accounted for about 31 percent of academic R&D expenditures and the biological sciences for about 18 percent.[9] The next largest block of academic R&D expenditures went to engineering, with about 15 percent in 2001.

The distribution of Federal and non-Federal expenditures for academic R&D in 2001 varied by field (appendix table 5-5 Microsoft Excel icon). For example, the Federal Government provided about three-fourths of the academic R&D expenditures in both physics and atmospheric sciences but one-third or less of those in economics, political science, and the agricultural sciences.

The decline in the Federal share of academic R&D support is not limited to particular S&E disciplines. The federal share of support for each of the broad S&E fields was lower in 2001 than in 1975 (appendix table 5-6 Microsoft Excel icon).[10] The most dramatic decline occurred in the social sciences, down from about 55 percent in 1975 to about 38 percent in 2001. The overall decline in Federal share also holds for all the reported S&E detailed fields. However, most of the declines occurred in the 1980s, and many fields did not experience declining Federal shares during the 1990s.

Although the total expenditures for academic R&D in constant 1996 dollars increased in every field between 1975 and 2001 (figure 5-8 figure and appendix table 5-7 Microsoft Excel icon), the R&D emphasis of the academic sector, as measured by its S&E field shares, changed during this period (figure 5-9 figure). Relative shares of academic R&D:

  • Increased for engineering, the life sciences, and the computer sciences

  • Remained roughly constant for mathematics

  • Declined for psychology; the earth, atmospheric, and ocean sciences; the physical sciences; and the social sciences

Although the proportion of all academic R&D funds going to the life sciences increased by only 3 percentage points (from 55.8 to 58.6 percent) between 1975 and 2001, the medical sciences' share increased by more than 7 percentage points (from 23.8 to 31.1 percent) during this period (appendix table 5-7 Microsoft Excel icon). In the biological sciences, the share of funds was about the same at the beginning and end of the period, whereas in the agricultural sciences, the other major component of the life sciences, the share decreased. Engineering's share of academic R&D increased by about 4 percentage points (from 11.2 to 15.3 percent), whereas the computer sciences' share more than doubled (from 1.3 to 2.9 percent).

The social sciences' proportion of all academic R&D funds declined by more than 3 percentage points (from 7.5 to 4.4 percent) between 1975 and 2001. Within the social sciences, R&D shares for each of the three main fields (economics, political science, and sociology) declined over the period. Psychology's share declined from 2.4 to 1.8 percent. The earth, atmospheric, and ocean sciences' overall share declined by about 2 percentage points (from 7.5 to 5.6 percent), with each of the three detailed fields (atmospheric sciences, earth sciences, and ocean sciences) experiencing an individual decline in share. The physical sciences' overall share also declined during this period (from 10.3 to 8.6 percent). Within the physical sciences, the shares of both physics and chemistry declined, although astronomy's share increased.

Federal Support of Academic R&D top of page

The Federal Government continues to provide the majority of the funding for academic R&D. Its overall contribution is the combined result of a complex set of executive and legislative branch decisions to fund a number of key R&D supporting agencies with differing missions. Some of the Federal R&D funds obligated to universities and colleges are the result of appropriations that Congress directs Federal agencies to award to projects that involve specific institutions. These funds are known as congressional earmarks. (See sidebar, "Congressional Earmarking to Universities and Colleges.") Examining and documenting the funding patterns of the key funding agencies is key to understanding both their roles and that of the Federal Government overall.

Top Supporting Agencies

Six agencies are responsible for most of the Federal obligations for academic R&D, providing an estimated 96 percent of such obligations in FY 2003 (appendix table 5-8 Microsoft Excel icon).[11] NIH provided approximately 66 percent of total Federal financing of academic R&D in 2003. An additional 12 percent was provided by NSF, 8 percent by DOD, 4 percent by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); 3 percent by the Department of Energy (DOE); and 2.5 percent by the Department of Agriculture (USDA). The concentration of Federal obligations for academic research is similar to that for R&D (appendix table 5-9 Microsoft Excel icon). Some differences exist, however, because some agencies place greater emphasis on development (e.g., DOD), whereas others place greater emphasis on research (e.g., NSF).

Between 1990 and 2003, NIH's funding of academic R&D increased the most rapidly, with an estimated average annual growth rate of 7.2 percent per year in constant 1996 dollars, increasing its share of Federal funding from just above 50 percent to an estimated 66 percent. NSF and NASA experienced the next highest rates of growth: 3.8 and 3.4 percent, respectively.

Agency Support by Field

Federal agencies emphasize different S&E fields in their funding of academic research. Several agencies concentrate their funding in one field. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and USDA focus on life sciences, whereas DOE concentrates on the physical sciences. The funding patterns of other agencies, such as NSF, NASA, and DOD, are more diversified (figure 5-10 figure and appendix table 5-10 Microsoft Excel icon).

An agency may allocate a large share of its funds to one field yet not be a leading contributor to that field, particularly if it does not spend much on academic research (figure 5-11 figure). In FY 2001, NSF was the lead funding agency in physical sciences (30.6 percent of total funding), mathematics (60 percent), computer sciences (56 percent), and earth, atmospheric, and ocean sciences (40 percent). DOD was the lead funding agency in engineering (43 percent). HHS was the lead funding agency in life sciences (87 percent), psychology (95 percent), and social sciences (39 percent). Within S&E detailed fields, other agencies took the leading role: DOE in physics (50 percent), USDA in agricultural sciences (99 percent), and NASA in astronomy (81 percent) and astronautical engineering (87 percent) (appendix table 5-11 Microsoft Excel icon).

Spreading Institutional Base of Federally Funded Academic R&D

The number of academic institutions receiving Federal support for their R&D activities has generally increased during the past 3 decades. However, between 1994 and 2000, the number receiving support declined slightly before increasing again in 2000 (figure 5-12 figure).[12] The change in the number supported has occurred almost exclusively among institutions of higher education with Carnegie classifications of comprehensive; liberal arts; 2-year community, junior, and technical; and professional and other specialized schools, rather than among those classified as research or doctorate-granting institutions. The number of such institutions receiving Federal support more than doubled between 1973 and 1994, rising from 315 to 680, but then dropped to 587 in 2000 (appendix table 5-12 Microsoft Excel icon). These institutions' share of Federal support also increased between 1973 and 1994, from about 10 percent to above 13 percent. Their share even continued to increase after 1994, reaching just over 15 percent in 2000.

Academic R&D Facilities and Equipment top of page

The condition of the physical infrastructure for academic R&D, especially the state of research facilities and equipment, is a key factor in the continued success of the U.S. academic R&D enterprise.[13]


Total Space. The amount of academic S&E research space[14] grew continuously between 1988 and 2001. During this period, total academic S&E research space increased by more than 38 percent, from about 112 to 155 million net assignable square feet.[15]

The distribution of academic research space across S&E fields changed only slightly between 1988 and 2001 (appendix table 5-13 Microsoft Excel icon). About 90 percent of current academic research space continues to be concentrated in six S&E fields:

  • Biological sciences (21 percent in 1988 and 2001)

  • Medical sciences (17 percent in 1988 and 18 percent in 2001)

  • Agricultural sciences (16 percent in 1988 and 17 percent in 2001)

  • Engineering (14 percent in 1988 and 17 percent in 2001)

  • Physical sciences (14 percent in 1988 and 12 percent in 2001)

  • Earth, atmospheric, and ocean sciences (6 percent in 1988 and 5 percent in 2001).

Adequacy. Survey respondents were asked to rate the adequacy of their research space in 2001.[16] Slightly less than 30 percent of S&E research space was rated as adequate (table 5-3 text table). However, the adequacy of this space differed across S&E fields. The fields with the largest proportion of research space reported as adequate were mathematics (69 percent); social sciences (39 percent); earth, atmospheric, and ocean sciences (38 percent); and psychology (37 percent). Those with the smallest proportion were engineering and medical sciences (each with about 23 percent).

Of the institutions reporting research space in 2001, more than 80 percent reported needing additional space in at least one field.[17] More than 60 percent reported needing additional space in the biological sciences (both in universities and colleges and medical schools), the medical sciences (but only in medical schools), and engineering. In all of these fields (as well as some others), more than 38 percent of these institutions reported needing additional space equal to more than 25 percent of their current research space (table 5-4 text table). Only in mathematics did less than half of the institutions report needing any additional space, although, as noted below, those that reported a need for space needed a relatively large quantity of space as compared with their available space.

For all fields combined, the additional space reported as needed was more than one-fourth of available S&E research space in 2001. For most fields, the additional space needed was between 25 and 35 percent of currently available research space (table 5-3 text table). For computer sciences and mathematics, however, it was approximately 109 and 69 percent, respectively. For the agricultural sciences, the additional space reported as needed was about 11 percent of available space.


Expenditures. In 2001, slightly less than $1.5 billion in current funds was spent for academic research equipment. About 83 percent of these expenditures were concentrated in three fields: life sciences (45 percent), engineering (22 percent), and physical sciences (16 percent) (figure 5-13 figure and appendix table 5-14 Microsoft Excel icon).

Current fund expenditures for academic research equipment grew at an average annual rate of 4.1 percent (in constant 1996 dollars) between 1983 and 2001. Average annual growth, however, was much higher during the 1980s (7.8 percent) than it was after 1990 (1.9 percent). The growth patterns in S&E fields varied during this period. For example, equipment expenditures for engineering (5.5 percent) and biological sciences (5 percent) grew more rapidly during the 1983–2001 period than did those for the social sciences (0.6 percent) and psychology (1.7 percent).

Federal Funding. Federal funds for research equipment are generally received either as part of research grants, thus enabling the research to be performed, or as separate equipment grants, depending on the funding policies of the particular Federal agency involved. The importance of Federal funding for research equipment varies by field. In 2001, the social sciences received slightly less than 40 percent of their research equipment funds from the Federal Government; in contrast, Federal support accounted for more than 60 percent of equipment funding in the physical sciences; computer sciences; earth, atmospheric, and ocean sciences; and psychology (appendix table 5-15 Microsoft Excel icon).

The share of research equipment expenditures funded by the Federal Government declined from about 62 to 55 percent between 1983 and 2001, although not consistently. This overall pattern masks different trends in individual S&E fields. For example, the share funded by the Federal Government actually rose during this period for both the social and the earth, atmospheric, and ocean sciences.

R&D Equipment Intensity. R&D equipment intensity is the percentage of total annual R&D expenditures from current funds devoted to research equipment. This proportion was lower in 2001 (4.6 percent) than it was in 1983 (5.7 percent), although it peaked in 1986 (7 percent) (appendix table 5-16 Microsoft Excel icon). R&D equipment intensity varies across S&E fields. It tends to be higher in the physical sciences (about 9 percent in 2001) and lower in the social sciences (1.2 percent) and psychology (2.4 percent). For the two latter fields, these differences may reflect the use of less equipment, less expensive equipment, or both.

There has been recent congressional interest in this issue. Congress has asked NSF to reinstate the National Survey of Academic Research Instrumentation, last conducted in 1994, to determine the extent to which a lack of equipment and instrumentation prevents the academic research community from undertaking cutting-edge, world-class science.


[2]  Federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) associated with universities are reviewed separately and examined in greater detail in chapter 4. FFRDCs and other national laboratories (including Federal intramural laboratories) also play an important role in academic research and education, providing research opportunities for both students and faculty at academic institutions.

[3]  For more detailed information on national R&D expenditures, see "National R&D Trends" in chapter 4.

[4]  For this discussion, an academic institution is generally defined as an institution that has a doctoral program in science or engineering, is a historically black college or university that expends any amount of separately budgeted R&D in S&E, or is some other institution that spends at least $150,000 for separately budgeted R&D in S&E.

[5]  Despite this delineation, the term R&D (rather than just research) is primarily used throughout this discussion because data collected on academic R&D do not always differentiate between research and development. Moreover, it is often difficult to make clear distinctions among basic research, applied research, and development. For the definitions used in National Science Foundation resource surveys and a fuller discussion of these concepts, see chapter 4.

[6]  The academic R&D funding reported here includes only separately budgeted R&D and institutions' estimates of unreimbursed indirect costs associated with externally funded R&D projects, including mandatory and voluntary cost sharing. It does not include departmental research and thus excludes funds, notably for faculty salaries, for research activities that are not separately budgeted.

[7]  This follows a standard of reporting that assigns funds to the entity that determines how they are to be used rather than to the one that necessarily disburses the funds.

[8]  The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classified about 3,600 degree-granting institutions as higher education institutions in 1994. See chapter 2 sidebar, "Carnegie Classification of Academic Institutions," for a brief description of the Carnegie categories. These higher education institutions include 4-year colleges and universities, 2-year community and junior colleges, and specialized schools such as medical and law schools.

[9]  The medical sciences include fields such as pharmacy, veterinary medicine, anesthesiology, and pediatrics. The biological sciences include fields such as microbiology, genetics, biometrics, and ecology. These distinctions may be blurred at times, because boundaries between fields often are not well defined.

[10]  In this chapter, the broad S&E fields refer to the physical sciences; mathematics; computer sciences; earth, atmospheric, and ocean sciences; life sciences; psychology; social sciences; other sciences (not elsewhere classified); and engineering. The more disaggregated fields of S&E are referred to as detailed fields.

[11]  The recent creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should have major implications for the future distribution of Federal R&D funds, including Federal academic R&D support, among the major R&D funding agencies. DHS's Science & Technology directorate is tasked with researching and organizing the scientific, engineering, and technological resources of the United States and leveraging these existing resources into technological tools to help protect the homeland. Universities, the private sector, and the Federal laboratories are expected to be important partners in this endeavor.

[12]  Although the number of institutions receiving Federal R&D support generally increased between 1973 and 1994, a rather large decline occurred in the early 1980s, most likely caused by the decrease in Federal R&D funding for the social sciences during that period.

[13]  An important element of research infrastructure, cyber infrastructure, is not discussed in this report but will be discussed in future editions as more information about this important component becomes available. A recent report has concluded that continuing progress in computing, information, and communication technology has made possible a cyber infrastructure on which to build new types of S&E knowledge environments and organizations and to pursue research in new ways and with increased efficacy (NSF 2003).

[14]  In addition to examining the amount and adequacy of research space, past volumes of Indicators also looked at a number of other issues, including new construction, repair and renovation, condition of research space, and unmet needs. However, the 2001 Survey of Scientific and Engineering Research Facilities was limited in scope and did not cover many of the elements covered in previous surveys. A redesigned survey with a broader scope is being planned. In addition to collecting data on research space, the redesigned survey will also include a section on computing and networking capacity. For earlier information, see Science and Engineering Indicators — 2002 (NSB 2002) and Scientific and Engineering Research Facilities: 1999 (NSF/SRS 2001).

[15]  Research space here refers to net assignable square feet (NASF) within facilities (buildings) in which S&E research activities take place. NASF is defined as the sum of all areas (in square feet) on all floors of a building assigned to, or available to be assigned to, an occupant for a specific use, such as instruction or research. Multi-purpose space within facilities (e.g., an office) is prorated to reflect the proportion of use devoted to research activities. NASF data on total space are reported at the time of the survey.

[16]  The following definitions were used in the survey: adequate, sufficient amount of space to support all the needs of current S&E research program commitments in the field; inadequate, insufficient space to support the needs of current S&E research program commitments in the field, or nonexistent but needed; and not applicable, no space reported.

[17]  Survey respondents who indicated that the amount of space in a field was inadequate were requested to report the amount of additional space needed. Therefore, additional space needed in a field was intended to reflect space needed for current S&E research commitments in that field.

Previous Page Top Of Page Next Page