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Notice of Intent To Seek Approval To Extend and Revise a Current Information Collection

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National Science Foundation.


Notice and request for comments.


The National Science Foundation (NSF) is announcing plans to request renewal of this collection. In accordance with the requirement of Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13), we are providing opportunity for public comment on this action. After obtaining and considering public comment, NSF will prepare the submission requesting that OMB approve clearance of this collection for no longer than 3 years.


Written comments on this notice must be received by May 2, 2005 to be assured of consideration. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent practicable.

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Contact Suzanne H. Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 295, Arlington, Virginia 22230; telephone 703-292-7556; or send e-mail to Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., eastern time, Monday through Friday. You also may obtain a copy of the data collection instrument and instructions from Ms. Plimpton.

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Title of Collection: Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering.

OMB Approval Number: 3145-0062.

Expiration Date of Approval: May 31, 2005.

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

Proposed Project: Graduation students in science, engineering, and health fields in U.S. colleges and universities, by source and mechanism of support and by demographic characteristics. An electronic/mail survey, the Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering originated in 1966 and has been conducted annually since 1972. The survey is the academic graduate enrollment component of the NSF statistical program that seeks to “provide a central clearinghouse for the collection, interpretation, and analysis of data on the availability of, and the current and projected need for, scientific and technical resources in the United States, and to provide a source of information for policy formulation by other agencies of the Federal government” as mandated in the National Science Foundation Act of 1950.

The proposed project will continue the current survey cycle for three years. The annual Fall surveys for 2005 through 2007 will survey the universe of 712 reporting units (schools) at 592 graduate degree-granting institutions. There are 12,262 departments at these schools that offer accredited graduate programs in science, engineering or health. The survey has provided continuity of statistics on graduate school enrollment and support for graduate students in all science & eningeering (S&E) and health fields, with separate data requested on demographic characteristics (race/ethnicity and gender by full-time and part-time enrollment status). Statistics from the survey are published in NSF's annual publication series Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering, in NSF publications Science and Engineering Indicators, Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, and are available electronically on the World Wide Web.

The survey will be sent primarily to the administrators at the Institutional Research Offices. To minimize burden, NSF instituted a Web-based survey in 1998 through which institutions can enter data directly or upload preformatted files. The Web-based survey includes a complete program for editing and trend checking and allows institutions to receive their previous year's data for comparison. Respondents will be encouraged to participate in this Web-based survey should they so wish. Traditional paper questionnaires will also be available, with editing and trend checking performed as part of the survey processing. In the currently ongoing Fall 2004 GSS survey, preliminary data indicate that 95% of the institutions are submitting the data on the Web-based data collection system. During the 2003 GSS survey cycle, 87% of the institutions used the Web-based data collection system.

The Fall 2003 GSS achieved a total response rate of 99.4% for institutions and 99.0% for departments. Response rates are not yet available for the currently ongoing Fall 2004 survey.

Estimate of Burden:

Respondents: Individuals.

Estimated Number of Responses: 12,262.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 35,443 hours.

Frequency of Responses: Annually.

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 on respondents; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

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Dated: February 27, 2005.

Suzanne H. Plimpton,

Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation.

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[FR Doc. 05-4116 Filed 3-2-05; 8:45 am]