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Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request; Higher Education Research and Development Survey

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National Science Foundation.




The National Science Foundation (NSF) is announcing plans to renew this collection. In accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we are providing opportunity for public comment on this action. After obtaining and considering public comment, NSF will prepare the submission requesting Office of Management and Budget (OMB) clearance of this collection for no longer than 3 years.


Written comments on this notice must be received by May 17, 2019 to be assured consideration. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent practicable. Send comments to address below.

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Suzanne H. Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation, 2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Suite W18200, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone (703) 292-7556; or send email to 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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Title of Collection: Higher Education Research and Development Survey.

OMB Approval Number: 3145-0100.

Expiration Date of Current Approval: September 30, 2019.

Type of Request: Intent to Extend a Current Information Collection.

Abstract: Established within NSF by the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 § 505, codified in the NSF Act of 1950, as amended, NCSES—one of 13 principal federal statistical agencies—serves as a central Federal clearinghouse for the collection, interpretation, analysis, and dissemination of objective data on science, engineering, technology, and research and development for use by practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and the public.

The Higher Education Research and Development (R&D) Survey (formerly known as the Survey of R&D Expenditures at Universities and Colleges) originated in fiscal year (FY) 1954 and has been conducted annually since FY 1972. The survey represents one facet of the research and development component of NCSES's statistical program, which also includes R&D surveys on the business, federal government, higher education, state government, and nonprofit sectors.

Use of the Information: The proposed project will continue the annual survey cycle for three years. The Higher Education R&D Survey will provide continuity of statistics on R&D expenditures by source of funding, type of R&D (basic research, applied research, or experimental development), and field of research, with separate data requested on research equipment by field. Further breakdowns are collected on funds passed through to subrecipients and funds received as a subrecipient, and on R&D expenditures by field from specific federal agency sources. As of FY 2010, the survey also requests total R&D expenditures funded from foreign sources, R&D within an institution's medical school, clinical trial expenditures, R&D by type of funding mechanism (contracts vs. grants), and R&D by cost category (salaries, equipment, software, etc.). The survey also requests headcounts of principal investigators and other personnel paid from R&D funds.

Data are published in NCSES's annual publication series Higher Education Research and Development, available on the web at​statistics/​srvyherd/​.

Expected respondents: The FY 2019 Higher Education R&D Survey will be administered to approximately 650 institutions. In addition, a shorter version of the survey asking for R&D expenditures by source of funding and broad field will be sent to approximately 300 institutions spending under $1 million on R&D in their previous fiscal year. Finally, a survey requesting R&D expenditures by source of funds, cost categories, and type of R&D will be administered to the 42 Federally Funded Research and Development Centers.

Estimate of burden: The survey is a fully automated web data collection effort and is handled primarily by administrators in university sponsored programs and accounting offices. To minimize burden, institutions are provided with an abundance of guidance and resources on the web and are able to respond via downloadable spreadsheet if desired. Each institution's record is pre-loaded with the 2 previous years of comparable data that facilitate editing and trend checking. Response to this voluntary survey has exceeded 95 percent each year.

The average burden estimate is 54 hours for the approximately 650 Start Printed Page 9840institutions reporting at least $1 million in R&D expenditures, 8 hours for the approximately 300 institutions reporting less than $1 million, and 11 hours for the 42 organizations completing the FFRDC survey. The total calculated burden across all forms is 37,962 hours.

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, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; 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: March 13, 2019.

Suzanne H. Plimpton,

Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation.

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[FR Doc. 2019-04980 Filed 3-15-19; 8:45 am]