Early Career Doctorates Project
The work and professional development of recent doctorate recipients will influence innovation in U.S. and global markets for years to come. Despite the critical importance of this population to the success of the U.S. science and engineering enterprise, comprehensive surveys of this group are limited, and the data needed to understand their work patterns and contributions to the U.S. economy are sparse. The Early Career Doctorates Project was developed to gather in–depth information about postdoctoral appointees (postdocs) and other recent doctorate recipients during the first 10 years of their working careers.
- Collect national statistics on the early careers of doctorate recipients, both U.S. degreed and non-U.S. degreed, across employment sectors.
- Better understand the labor markets and work experiences of recent doctorate recipients.
- Establish common definitions for doctorate recipients who are in the early years of their careers (e.g., postdocs, junior faculty, and other nonfaculty researchers) that can be applied across and within employment sectors.
- Methodological Study, completed spring 2013. The study tested the effectiveness of collecting data from recent doctorate recipients through their employers.
- Pilot Survey, fall 2013. Study results are being used to guide the fall launch of the pilot Early Career Doctorates Survey; its findings will be published in 2014.
- Full-Scale Survey, winter 2014.
Survey Population for the Methodological Study and Pilot Survey
All individuals who earned their first doctorate within the past 10 years and who are working in one of the following areas of employment:
- U.S. academic institutions
- Federally funded research and development centers
- National Institutes of Health intramural research programs
- Educational history
- Professional activities and achievements
- Employer characteristics
- Professional and personal life balance
- Mentoring, training, and research opportunities
- Career paths and plans
Kelly S. Phou
Project Officer, Early Career Doctorates Project
National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 965
Arlington, VA 22230
Phone: (703) 292-4722