Federal Support Survey


Federal Academic S&E Obligations Showed Slight Decease in FY 1993

Federal obligations for academic science and engineering (S&E) activities totaled $12.7 billion in fiscal year (FY) 1993, decreasing very slightly (one-tenth of 1 percent) from FY 1992, or by more than 2 percent after adjusting for inflation. This information is based on the most recent data from the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) Survey of Federal Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit Institutions.

Only DOD and NASA reported academic S&E increases that exceeded inflation.

Categories of Support

Academic S&E includes the following six funding categories: (1) research and development (R&D); (2) fellowships, traineeships, and training grants (FTTG); (3) R&D plant; (4) facilities and equipment for instruction; (5) general support for S&E; and (6) other S&E activities. The R&D portion, which represented $6 of every $7 of academic S&E, totaled $10.9 billion in FY 1993, representing an increase of 0.7 percent in current dollars. Only two of the other five academic S&E categories (R&D plant and FTTG) showed increased levels of support, both increasing at rates higher than the 2.4-percent inflation rate. R&D plant funding rose by 26 percent in current dollars to a new high of $258 million. Nearly all of the gain in R&D plant funding came from increases in Department of Energy (DOE) programs. FTTG obligations rose by 3 percent in current dollars, to $525 million.

Agency Sources

Of the six agencies responsible for the largest amounts of academic S&E obligations in FY 1993 (accounting for 95 percent of the Federal total), four (the Department of Defense (DOD), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), NSF, and the DOE) reported current-dollar increases (table 1). However, the only agencies that showed increases exceeding the rate of inflation were DOD and NASA (19 percent and 6 percent, respectively, in real terms). More than five-sixths of the DOD increase and two-fifths of the NASA increase were for R&D programs. In current dollars, academic S&E funding from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) fell by 3 percent, and S&E funding declined by a fraction of 1 percent from the Department of Agriculture (USDA). Part of the decrease from HHS may have been related to reporting changes by the agency's Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration.

[Table 1] Table 1

University Shares

The Johns Hopkins University (including its Applied Physics Laboratory) was the top recipient of Federal academic S&E support (table 2), nearly all of it from DOD and HHS. The leading 20 universities, ranked by Federal agencies' academic S&E obligations, accounted for 36 percent of the FY 1993 S&E total. Eighteen of the top twenty academic S&E recipients in FY 1993 were also among the leading 20 in FY 1992. The new entrants were Duke University (now 19th) and the University of Texas at Austin (20th).

User Notes

The Federal Support data presented in this Data Brief were obtained from the 15 Federal agencies that provide virtually all academic R&D support and that participated in the FY 1993 Survey of Federal Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit Institutions. The survey also includes statistics on Federal support obligations by funding category, type of institution, S&E discipline, institutional ranking, geographic distribution, and type of institutional control.

[Table 2] Table 2

Selected data items for individual doctorate-granting institutions and schools with S&E departments that grant a master's degree are available on computer-generated Institutional Profiles. An Institutional Profile consists of data not only from this survey, but also from NSF's other two academic S&E surveys: the Survey of Scientific and Engineering Expenditures at Universities and Colleges and the Survey of Graduate Science and Engineering Students and Post-doctorates. Data from these surveys are also available via STIS (see "Electronic Dissemination") and the Computer-Aided Science Policy Analysis and Research (CASPAR) database system, a user-friendly tool on CD-ROM for retrieval and analyses of statistical data on academic S&E resources. For more information, please contact Richard J. Bennof, Project Manager, at the following address:

Division of Science Resources Studies
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 965
Arlington, VA 22230

Phone: (703) 306-1772, ext. 6938
Internet: rbennof@nsf.gov

For free printed copies of SRS Data Briefs, write to the above address, call 703-306-1773, or send e-mail to srsweb@nsf.gov.

Electronic Dissemination

SRS data are available through the World Wide Web (http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/) and also through STIS, NSF's online Science and Technology Information System, described in NSF flyer 95-64, "Getting NSF Information and Publications." For a paper copy of the flyer, call 703-306-1130. For an electronic copy of the STIS User's Guide, send an e-mail with the phrase "get NSF9410.TXT" to stisserv@nsf.gov. For NSF's Telephonic Device for the Deaf, dial 703-306-0090.