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News Release 11-031

NSF's Division of Science Resources Statistics Is Now the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics

Name change prompted by the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act

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NCSES gains new responsibilities.

February 15, 2011

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Division of Science Resources Statistics has a new name: the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES). The name change conveys the central role NCSES has in the collection, interpretation, analysis and dissemination of objective data on the science and engineering enterprise and signals the expanded responsibilities of the center.

The new name and responsibilities were mandated by Section 505 of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act, which was signed into law on Jan. 4. The name change was formally recognized this week by NSF Director Subra Suresh.

"This legislation recognizes the central role NCSES plays as a federal statistical agency," said Suresh. "I'm pleased to have that acknowledgment from the Congress and the administration."

According to the legislation, NCSES will serve as a central federal clearinghouse for the collection, interpretation, analysis and dissemination of objective data on science, engineering, technology and research and development. The act also states that the center will perform a variety of other tasks, such as supporting research that uses NCSES data, supporting methodologies in areas related to the work of NCSES, and educating and training researchers in the use of large-scale data sets.

In addition, the legislation expands the responsibilities of the center to include collection of data related to U.S. science, technology, engineering and mathematics education and to U.S. competitiveness in science, engineering, technology and research and development.

NCSES will retain its reporting line to NSF's Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences.

"The scope of our work within NSF has been broadened by the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act," said NCSES Director Lynda Carlson. "But at the core, we remain focused on providing objective, high-quality U.S. and international statistical information on science, engineering, technology and research and development and on fostering research that improves the measurement and understanding of the science and engineering enterprise."

NCSES is one of 13 federal statistical agencies. Along with a variety of other data collections and research, the center designs, supports, and directs periodic national surveys related to the science and engineering enterprise; analyzes the data; and distributes the published results. To view their reports on the U.S. science and engineering enterprise, visit the NCSES homepage on the NSF website.

NSF supports all fields of fundamental science and engineering, except for medical sciences, by funding the research of scientists, engineers, and educators directly through their own home institutions, typically universities and colleges.


Media Contacts
Bobbie Mixon, NSF, (703) 292-8070, email:

Program Contacts
Lynda T. Carlson, NSF, (703) 292-7766, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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