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June 22 -- The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), National Science Foundation (NSF), invites comments to OMB by July 24, 2023 regarding the renewal of the Survey of Doctorate Recipients (SDR). Proposed changes to the SDR--all the COVID-related items will be removed and items pertaining to retirement will be added.

NCSES is the primary sponsor of the Survey of Doctorate Recipients (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 2023 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 these data to prepare essential congressionally mandated reports (explained below). Government agencies and academic researchers use SDR data and publications to make planning decisions regarding science and engineering research, training, and employment opportunities. Employers also use the SDR to understand trends in employment sectors, industry types, and salary. Students who want to learn about the relationship between graduate education and careers often obtain valuable information from the SDR.

The SDR will collect data by web survey, mail questionnaire, and computer-assisted telephone interviews beginning in July 2023. The survey will be collected in conformance with the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act (CIPSEA) of 2018 and the individual's response to the survey is voluntary. NCSES will ensure that all information collected will be kept strictly confidential and will be used only for statistical purposes.

NCSES uses the information from the SDR to prepare two congressionally mandated reports: Diversity and STEM: Women, Minorities and Persons with Disabilities and Science and Engineering Indicators. NCSES publishes statistics from the SDR in many reports, 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/​. In addition, the first SDR longitudinal data products were released in 2022.

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 (SED). NCSES initiated this change in the 2015 cycle and has since maintained it by developing a detailed field of degree taxonomy based on the SED fine fields that is aggregated to a level that is reportable and sustainable. (For information defining these fields, see the survey technical notes.) The SDR sample is drawn using the SED as a frame. The SDR uses a fixed panel design with a sample of new doctoral graduates added to the panel in each biennial survey cycle. The sample stratification, allocation, and estimation precision targets are described in the survey description.

For the 2023 SDR, a statistical sample of 125,426 individuals with U.S. earned doctorates in science, engineering, or health will be contacted. The sample consists of all eligible cases from the previous cycle (115,246) after removing cases that have never responded (6,684), including those from the 2017 SDR new sample and the 2019 SDR supplemental sample, as well as a sample of 10,000 new doctoral graduates. For 2023, the new graduate sample received their U.S. doctorate between July 2019 and June 2021. Across the full sample, NCSES estimates approximately 89% of individuals will reside in the U.S. and the remaining 11% will reside abroad.

NCSES expects the overall 2023 SDR response rate to be approximately 70 percent. Additionally, a pre-field survey will be sent to approximately 30% of sample members (37,574) before the 2025 cycle to ask for updated contact information.
SDR https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/srvydoctoratework/
NCSES submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202306-3145-001 Click IC List for information collection instrument, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this webpage.
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-13279

For AEA members wishing to submit comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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