Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government


Notice of Intent to Extend an Information Collection

AGENCY: National Science Foundation.
ACTION: Notice and request for comments.
SUMMARY: Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), and as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, the National Science Foundation (NSF) is inviting the general public or other Federal agencies to comment on this proposed continuing information collection. The National Science Foundation (NSF) will publish periodic summaries of proposed projects.

Comments:Comments are invited on (a) whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

DATES: Written comments on this notice must be received by January 31, 2006 to be assured consideration. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent practicable. Send comments to address below.

Title of Collection:Survey of Earned Doctorates.

OMB Approval Number:3145-0019.

Expriation Date of Approval:June 30, 2006.

Type of Request:Intent to seek approval to extend an information collection for three years.

1.Abstract:The National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as subsequently amended, includes a statutory charge to “* * * provide a central clearinghouse for the collection, interpretation, and analysis of data on scientific and engineering resources, and to provide a source of information for policy formulation by other agencies of the Federal Government.” The Survey of Earned Doctorates is part of an integrated survey system that meets the human resources part of this mission.

The Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) has been conducted continuously since 1958 and is jointly sponsored by six Federal agencies in order to avoid duplication. It is an accurate, timely source of information on our Nation's most precious resource—highly educated individuals. Data are obtained via paper questionnaire or Web option from each person earning a research doctorate at the time they receive the degree. Data are collected on their field of specialty, educational background, sources of support in graduate school, debt level, postgraduation plans for employment, and demographic characteristics. For the 2007 SED, minor changes to questions, based on focus group and cognitive testing will be incorporated into the questionnaire. Also for 2007, a field test of potential questions about salary after graduation will be conducted with less than 9 institutions. Based on the field test results, the intention is to add a salary question in 2008.

The Federal government, universities, researchers, and others use the information extensively. The National Science Foundation, as the lead agency, publishes statistics from the survey in many reports, but primarily in the annual publication series, “Science and Engineering Doctorates.” The National Opinion Research Corporation at the University of Chicago dissemination a free interagency report entitled “Doctorate Recipients from U.S. Universities: Summary Report.” These reports are available in print and electronically on the World Wide Web.

The survey will be collected in conformance with the Privacy Act of 1974. Responses from individuals are voluntary. NSF will ensure that all information collected will be kept strictly confidential and will be used for research or statistical purposes, analyzing data, and preparing scientific reports and articles.

2.Expected Respondents:A total response rate of 90.8% of the total 42,155 persons who earned a research doctorate was obtained in the 2004 SED. This level of response rate has been consistent for several years. The respondents will be individuals and the estimated number of respondents annually is 38,275 (based on 2004 data).

3.Estimate of Burden:The Foundation estimates that, on average, 19 minutes per respondent will be required to complete the survey, for a total of 12,121 hours for all respondents (based on the 2004 SED numbers). Also, for the approximately 3,000 respondents in the field test on a salary question, there would be approximately another 50 hours of response time. The total respondent burden is therefore estimated at 12,171 hours for the 2007 SED. This is slightly higher than the last annual estimate approved by OMB due primarily to an increased number of respondents since the last clearance request.

Dated: December 14, 2005. Suzanne H. Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation.