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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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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 NSF will publish periodic summaries of the 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 NSF, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the NSF'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 those who are to respond, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

DATES:

Written comments on this notice must be received by April 26, 2010 to be assured consideration. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent practicable. Send comments to address below.

ADDRESSES:

Written comments regarding the information collection and requests for copies of the proposed information collection request should be addressed to Suzanne Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Rm. 295, Arlington, VA 22230, or by e-mail to splimpto@nsf.gov.

For Additional Information or Comments: Contact Suzanne Plimpton, the NSF Reports Clearance Officer, phone (703) 292-7556, or send e-mail to splimpto@nsf.gov. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339, which is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (including Federal holidays).

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title of Collection: 2010 Survey of Doctorate Recipients.

OMB Approval Number: 3145-0020.

Expiration Date of Approval: July 31, 2011.

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

1. Abstract. The Survey of Doctorate Recipients (SDR) has been conducted biennially since 1973 and is a longitudinal survey. The 2010 SDR will consist of a sample of individuals less than 76 years of age who have earned a research doctoral degree in a science, engineering or health field from a U.S. institution. The purpose of this longitudinal panel survey is to collect data that will be used to provide national estimates on the doctoral science and engineering workforce and changes in their employment, education and demographic characteristics. The SDR is one of the three component surveys of the Scientists and Engineers Statistical Data System (SESTAT), which produces national estimates of the size and characteristics of the nation's science and engineering workforce. The 2010 SDR will provide necessary input into the SESTAT.

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 SDR is designed to comply with these mandates by providing information on the supply and utilization of the nation's doctoral level scientists and engineers. The NSF uses the information from the SDR to prepare congressionally mandated reports such as Women, Minorities and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering and Science and Engineering Indicators. The NSF publishes statistics from the SDR in many reports, but primarily in the biennial series, Characteristics of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers in the United States. A public release file of collected data, designed to protect respondent confidentiality, also will be made available to researchers on CD-ROM and on the World Wide Web.

Currently, the NSF has contracted with the National Opinion Research Corporation (NORC) of the University of Chicago to conduct this survey. Data will be obtained by mail questionnaire, computer-assisted telephone interviews and Web survey beginning in October 2010. The survey will be collected in conformance with the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 and the individual's response to the survey is voluntary. NSF will ensure that all information collected will be kept strictly confidential and will be used only for statistical purposes.

2. Expected Respondents. A statistical sample of approximately 40,000 individuals with U.S. earned doctorates in science, engineering and health will be contacted in 2010, and this is the main SDR sample. The total response rate in 2008 was 80%. NSF will also include a supplemental statistical sample of 3,300 U.S. doctorates that received their degrees in the 2001-2009 academic years, who are non-U.S. citizens, and indicated they planned on leaving the U.S. after they received their U.S. doctorate. The total response rate for the supplemental sample in 2008 was 72%.

3. Estimate of Burden. The amount of time to complete the questionnaire may vary depending on an individual's circumstances; however, on average it will take approximately 25 minutes. NSF estimates that the annual burden will be 13,400 hours for the main sample and 990 hours for the supplemental sample. Thus, NSF estimates that the total annual burden for both the main and the supplemental sample will be 14,390 hours.

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Dated: February 18, 2010.

Suzanne H. Plimpton,

Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation.

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[FR Doc. 2010-3591 Filed 2-23-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7555-01-P