The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) is a principal statistical agency located within the National Science Foundation (NSF). NCSES was re-authorized from the original mandate in the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 by Section 505 of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010.
Who We Are
NCSES is responsible for statistical data on the following broad areas of interest:
- Research and development
- The science and engineering workforce
- U.S. competitiveness in science, engineering, technology, and R&D
- The condition and progress of STEM education in the United States
NCSES is committed to providing information that is objective and transparent, adhering to all directives and standards set forth by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
As one of the 13 principal federal statistical agencies, NCSES also follows guiding principles and practices that ensure it provides accurate, timely, relevant, and objective information for public and policy use.
Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency
Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency highlights the principles and practices that guide NCSES in its efforts to provide accurate, timely, relevant, and objective information for public and policy use.
NCSES is part of the Federal Statistical System (FSS), which is committed to advancing the methods for collection and accessibility of objective statistical information in the United States. These efforts include increased collaboration within the FSS network, adopting a common framework for protecting statistical data, and disseminating statistical data securely and equitably, in accordance with the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2018 (CIPSEA) and other provisions within the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 (Evidence Act). This work is foundational to informing decisions across the public and private sectors.
More information on how the Federal Statistical System is building toward the future is available in the Analytical Perspectives chapter titled “Leveraging Federal Statistics to Strengthen Evidence-Based Decision-making.”
Our Core Activities
As one of 13 principal federal statistical agencies, NCSES designs, supports, and directs periodic national surveys and performs a variety of other data collections and research. The following activities form the core of NCSES work:
- The collection, acquisition, analysis, reporting, and dissemination of statistical data related to the United States and other nations
- Support of research that uses NCSES data
- Methodological research in areas related to its work
- Education and training of researchers in the use of large-scale nationally representative data sets
As part of its mandate to provide information that can be used by practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and the public, NCSES prepares several reports a year, including Science and Engineering Indicators for the National Science Board, Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, and National Patterns of R&D Resources.
NCSES also makes data available to the public through data tools and other data resources.