The Survey of State Government Research and Development measures the extent of R&D activity performed and funded by agencies in each of the nation's 50 state governments, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico (collectively, state). By employing consistent, uniform definitions and collection techniques, the survey allows collection of state R&D expenditures data that are comparable nationwide, providing a source of data that previously were not widely available. Results of the survey are useful to a variety of data users interested in R&D performance, including state agencies themselves, state policymakers, the National Science Board, the Office of Science and Technology Policy and other science policymakers, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, institutional researchers, and private organizations.
The survey covers state government departments, agencies, commissions, public authorities, institutions, and other entities that operate separately or somewhat autonomously from the central state government but where the state government maintains administrative or fiscal control over their activities as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau Governments Classification Manual. It excludes state-run colleges and universities, which are canvassed as part of the National Science Foundation’s Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey. State-run laboratories or experiment stations controlled by state universities are also excluded from the respondent universe, as are any entities determined to be nonprofit or private as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. Several industry-specific state commissions, which are generally chartered by state legislatures but are administered independently, are considered state agencies and included in the survey’s population of interest.
The universe of interest covered all state departments, agencies, commissions, and dependent entities, except state-run colleges and universities that had R&D activities for state fiscal years ending in 2010 and 2011. This survey cycle was the first to collect two state fiscal years in one survey operation. Most states have a fiscal-year period that begins 1 July and ends the following 30 June. For example, FY 2011 is the state fiscal period beginning on 1 July 2010 and ending on 30 June 2011. There are, however, four exceptions to the 30 June fiscal year end; namely, New York (ends 31 March), Texas (ends 31 August), Alabama (ends 30 September), and Michigan (ends 30 September). For comparability, these four states are surveyed with the other 46 states that end on June 30. Puerto Rico’s fiscal year begins 1 July and ends on 30 June, whereas the District of Columbia follows the federal government fiscal year, which ends on 30 September.
For the FY 2010 and FY 2011 survey, state coordinators were provided with the list of agencies that remained in the survey after the FY 2009 survey, and coordinators were encouraged to add agencies that they believed were involved with R&D and were not already on the list of preselected agencies. The total preselected agency count was 413. State coordinators added 59 agencies to the respondent universe, for a total agency respondent universe of 472. State coordinators also made adjustments to the agency universe to add and delete relevant agencies based on organizational changes within their respective states since the FY 2009 survey cycle.
The survey was funded by the National Science Foundation. Data collection was conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau by means of a Web-based survey instrument. The survey was launched in July 2012, and responses were collected through June 2013. The respondent questionnaire consisted of one screening question, intended to reduce the burden on agency respondents who did not have qualifying R&D expenditures during FY 2010 or FY 2011, and five R&D expenditures data questions.
Before officially submitting data, state coordinators performed a final verification of aggregated agency data. All responses, including the initial agency data submissions and final state coordinator verifications, were received via the Web form or e-mail. Census staff performed basic logical edit checks and reviewed respondent comments, allowing staff to detect errors and work with state respondents to correct them.
All state and national totals are aggregates of reported agency data or amounts revised at the state level by state coordinators.
Of the 472 agencies in the survey universe, 470 (99.6%) responded to the survey. Of the 470 respondents, 256 (54.5%) reported having R&D activities in FY 2010 or FY 2011. Of the 413 agencies preselected for the survey who responded, 243 (58.8%) reported having R&D. Of the 59 respondent agencies added to the survey by a state coordinator, 13 (22.0%) reported having R&D.
All 50 state governments, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico participated in the survey, and 39 (75%) provided officially verified final state data. The final agency response was 470 of 472, a response rate of 99.6%.
No statistical methods were used to account for nonresponding agencies.
State coordinators in Arizona, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and the District of Columbia did not verify the aggregated agency-reported data. Some of the data reported could include expenditures for non-R&D activities, such as commercialization, environmental testing, or routine survey work. Some state data may also exclude minor R&D expenditure amounts from agencies not surveyed.
The current survey design was first used for the FY 2006 data collection. The FY 2010 and FY 2011 survey is the fourth data collection effort using this design and the first survey operation to collect two fiscal years in one survey cycle. Prior to the FY 2006 survey, NSF data collections of state government R&D were conducted by nonfederal organizations that were supported by NSF grants. These data collections were conducted more than a decade ago. Because of differences in the survey populations, in the definition of covered R&D activities, and in collection methods, the results of these earlier NSF-supported surveys of state government R&D are not comparable with the statistics collected for FY 2006 and later.
Data from this survey are released in detailed statistical tables and InfoBriefs in the series State Government R&D.
Additional information about this survey can be obtained by contacting:
Research and Development Statistics Program
National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 965
Arlington, VA 22230
Phone: (703) 292-7788