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Feb 5 -- The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) invites public comments by April 6, 2021 on its proposal for the 2021 Survey of Doctorate Recipients (SDR).

NCSES is the primary sponsor of the SDR; the National Institutes of Health (NIH) serves as a co-sponsor. The SDR has been conducted biennially since 1973 and is a longitudinal survey. The 2021 SDR will consist of a sample of individuals under 76 years of age who have earned a research doctoral degree in a science, engineering, or health (SEH) field from a U.S. academic institution. The purpose of this panel survey is to collect data to provide national estimates on the doctoral science and engineering workforce and changes in their employment, education, and demographic characteristics.

NCSES uses the information from the SDR to prepare two congressionally mandated reports: Women, Minorities, and Persons With Disabilities in Science and Engineering and Science and Engineering Indicators. NCSES publishes statistics from the SDR in many reports, but primarily in the biennial series, Characteristics of Scientists and Engineers with U.S. Doctorates. As with prior SDR data collections, a cross-sectional public release file of collected data, designed to protect respondent confidentiality, will be made available to researchers on the NCSES website: https://ncsesdata.nsf.gov/​datadownload/​.
 
The U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) previously directed that NCSES enhance and expand the sample to measure employment outcomes by the fine field of degree taxonomy used in the Survey of Earned Doctorates. NCSES initiated this change in the 2015 cycle and maintained it in each subsequent cycle. For the 2021 SDR, a statistical sample of approximately 131,000 individuals with U.S. earned doctorates in science, engineering, or health will be contacted. As with prior SDR data collection cycles, the sample consists of all eligible cases from the previous cycle (116,000), as well as a sample of 10,000 new doctoral graduates. In addition, the sample includes 5,000 cases that will be part of a non-production bridge panel designed to quantify the potential impact of question wording modifications on key survey estimates. For 2021, the new graduate sample received their doctorate between July 2017 and June 2019. Across the full sample, approximately 116,760 individuals will reside in the U.S. and 14,240 will reside abroad.
 
The SDR will be largely unchanged from its 2019 design. The same instrument, with updates to reflect survey year and modifications to accommodate the circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic, will be used for the 2021 cycle.
 
SDR website: https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/srvydoctoratework/
2019 SDR questionnaire: https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/srvydoctoratework/surveys/srvydoctoratework-2019.pdf
FR notice inviting public comments: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/02/05/2021-02447/agency-information-collection-activities-comment-request-survey-of-doctorate-recipients

Point of contact: Daniel J. Foley, Project Officer, Human Resources Statistics Program, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (703) 292-7811 dfoley@nsf.gov

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