Table 3-21
Postdoc estimates from two NSF surveys, by place of employment and citizen/visa status: Fall 2005 (corrected March 2010)
Place of employment and citizen/visa status Estimate Percent   Estimate Percent
All places of employment          
All postdocs 43,400 100.0   43,100 100.0
U.S. citizens/permanent residents 33,400 77.0   16,200 37.5
Temporary visa 10,000 23.0   27,000 62.5
Higher education institutionsa          
All postdocs 30,500 100.0   43,100 100.0
U.S. citizens/permanent residents 22,900 74.8   16,200 37.5
Temporary visa 7,700 25.2   27,000 62.5
All other educational institutions          
All postdocs 1,900 100.0   NA NA
U.S. citizens/permanent residents 1,600 85.5   NA NA
Temporary visa 300 14.5   NA NA
Nonprofits/government/industry/all other institutions          
All postdocs 11,100 100.0   NA NA
U.S. citizens/permanent residents 9,000 81.2   NA NA
Temporary visa 2,100 18.8   NA NA

NA = not available

GSS = Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering; NSF/SRS = National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics; SDR = Survey of Doctorate Recipients

aFor SDR, individuals reporting postdoc in 4-year U.S. colleges and universities/medical schools/university-affiliated research institutes/unknown institution type in fall 2005; for GSS, postdocs in graduate S&E/health departments in U.S. graduate schools (excludes holders of medical and other professional degrees, some of whom may also hold doctorates).

NOTES: SDR gathers information from individuals with research doctorates in S&E and health fields earned at U.S. educational institutions. GSS gathers information from U.S. educational institutions with programs leading to graduate degrees in S&E/health fields and includes postdocs with doctorates/equivalent degrees from foreign institutions. Estimates of postdoc status from 2006 SDR constructed from postdoc history module; fall 2005 used rather than April 2006 for comparability with GSS data and to capture those who may have left a postdoc position early. Detail may not add to total because of rounding.

SOURCES: NSF/SRS, 2006 SDR, Scientists and Engineers Statistical Data System (SESTAT),, and 2005 GSS, Integrated Science and Engineering Resources Data System (WebCASPAR),

Science and Engineering Indicators 2010