Learn about the SDR Longitudinal Design Development
NCSES is developing an efficient, effective, and sustainable longitudinal design for the Survey of Doctorate Recipients (SDR). This Web page provides policymakers, researchers, and data users with an overview of the activities included in this effort. SDR stakeholders can receive monthly progress updates by joining our mailing list. In addition, SDR stakeholders can learn about the initial findings from the longitudinal design development effort by attending a meeting hosted by NCSES on 28-29 August 2017.
- To join the SDR longitudinal design development mailing list, please send an email to Daniel Foley, the SDR Project Officer, at email@example.com using the subject "SDR Mailing List."
- To attend the meeting discussing the initial progress on the SDR longitudinal design effort, please send an email to Daniel Foley, the SDR Project Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject "SDR Meeting." The meeting specifics are as follows:
28-29 August 2017
8:30 am – 4:30 pm
1100 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22209
To improve the richness of information we are able to provide about the population of research doctorates in the science and engineering workforce, NCSES received funding in its FY 2015 budget to significantly expand the SDR sample from 47,000 cases in the 2013 cycle to 120,000 cases in the 2015 cycle. Internal analyses and advice from an external panel of sample design experts suggested a complete recast of the 2015 SDR sample. However, to allow for analysis that uses sample cases from the previous survey cycle, we adjusted the proposed design by identifying and carrying approximately 16,000 cases forward from the 2013 cycle. Using this new sample design in the 2015 cycle, the SDR was refreshed and more than doubled in sample size to improve the survey's ability to report employment characteristics at a finer field of study level not possible in the past.
The SDR's primary goal is to produce cross-sectional estimates of individuals with a research doctoral degree in a science, engineering, or health (SEH) field from a U.S. academic institution. Prior to the 2015 cycle, the SDR met this goal using a fixed panel plus "births" sample design to take advantage of the cost efficiency of interviewing the same cases over multiple cycles. However, despite the availability of panel data, the SDR was not designed or maintained as a longitudinal survey and, as a result, was subjected to inconsistent sample maintenance cuts over time.
Since the historical sample maintenance cuts had an adverse effect on the longitudinal utility of the pre-2015 SDR data, the large-scale sample refreshment and expansion of the 2015 SDR provides an opportunity to formally establish longitudinal objectives for the survey. With this opportunity in mind, NCSES is carrying the entire 2015 sample forward to 2017 while seeking the advice of sample design experts and requesting input from SDR stakeholders to use as guidance in developing an efficient, effective, and sustainable longitudinal design for the SDR.
In October 2016, NCSES met with SDR stakeholders to discuss the initial 2015 SDR results and to collect information on research interests concerning the SDR data. Additional meetings with a subset of stakeholders to discuss SDR longitudinal opportunities were held in February and March 2017. At these meetings, we discussed the rationale for the 2015 sample design and heard concerns about the impact the design change will have on current longitudinal analysis efforts. This outreach effort served as a first step toward our goal of developing a sustainable design that will maintain the integrity of the survey's cross-sectional estimates while producing reliable data to support longitudinal analysis.
NCSES is now entering the next phase of the SDR longitudinal design development. In May 2017, we held the initial meeting of an SDR sample design expert panel that will meet monthly through September 2017. Summaries from the expert panel meetings are included below. After reviewing the current SDR sample design and discussing the survey's cross-sectional and longitudinal estimation objectives, NCSES and the expert panel will examine several longitudinal design options.
NCSES will send monthly progress updates to SDR stakeholders. In addition, the 28-29 August 2017 meeting will provide SDR stakeholders an opportunity to provide feedback on the initial findings from the examination of longitudinal design options. The feedback received at the 28-29 August 2017 meeting will guide the next steps in the developing the SDR longitudinal design.
- SDR Sample Design Expert Panel meeting summary (August 2017) (164 K)
- SDR Sample Design Expert Panel meeting summary (July 2017) (139 K)
- SDR Sample Design Expert Panel meeting summary (June 2017) (179 K)
- SDR Sample Design Expert Panel meeting summary (May 2017) (153 K)
Last Updated: August 28, 2017