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National Science Foundation National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics
Characteristics of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers in the United States: 2008


General Notes


This report presents data from the 2008 Survey of Doctorate Recipients (SDR). The SDR is a biennial panel survey that collects longitudinal data on demographic and general employment characteristics of individuals who have received a research doctorate in a science, engineering, or health field from a U.S. academic institution. Starting shortly after they receive their doctorate, sampled individuals are eligible for inclusion in the survey until they reach age 76. The SDR sample is augmented each cycle with new samples of the most recent cohorts of science, engineering, and health doctorate recipients, identified by the Survey of Earned Doctorates, an annual census of research doctorates awarded in the United States.

The National Science Foundation, through its National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), is the primary sponsor of the SDR, with additional funding provided by the National Institutes of Health. The 2008 SDR is the 18th in a series of surveys initiated in 1973 in response to the needs of the federal government for demographic and employment information on scientists and engineers trained at the doctoral level.

The number of detailed tables published in this edition of the series has been reduced. The complete list of tables produced for the 2008 SDR is shown in exhibit 1 of appendix A. The published tables are designated by table number in the first column. The remaining tabulations, designated as "supplemental," are available on request from the SDR Project Officer. NCSES has under development a new system for delivering tabular data. When fully implemented, it will provide online access to the expanded set of detailed tabulations associated with this series. This system will also provide the opportunity for table customization. Select data tables will continue to be published, together with the survey's technical documentation.

The published tables provide information on the number and median salaries of doctoral scientists and engineers by field of doctorate and occupation; by demographic characteristics, such as sex, race/ethnicity, citizenship, and age; and by employment-related characteristics, such as sector of employment and labor-force rates.

Appendix A provides technical information about the survey methodology, coverage, concepts, definitions, sampling errors, and standard error tables. Appendix B provides crosswalks defining field of doctorate and occupation classifications used in survey sampling. Appendix C provides the 2008 SDR mail questionnaire.

Characteristics of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers in the United States: 2008
Detailed Statistical Tables | NSF 13-302 | December 2012


Tables 6 and A-6 contained errors in data reported for doctorate recipients receiving or not receiving federal support. These tables have been replaced with corrected versions.