The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) within the National Science Foundation (NSF) grants licenses to securely access restricted-use microdata files under certain conditions. Licenses are only needed for microdata not available in public-use files.
Restricted-use microdata licenses are available from NCSES for the following:
- Early Career Doctorate Survey (ECDS)
- National Survey of College Graduates (NSCG)
- National Survey of Recent College Graduates (NSRCG)
- Scientists and Engineers Statistical Data System (SESTAT) Integrated File
- Survey of Doctorate Recipients (SDR)
- Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED)/Doctorate Record File (DRF)
Individuals within an institution or organization may request access to these microdata through the NCSES restricted-use data request portal using the instructions below. Additionally, some NCSES restricted-use microdata are available in the Federal Statistical Research Data Centers (FSRDC).
FSRDCs also store microdata from other agencies; the restricted-use microdata available in the FSRDCs can be explored here.
How to Obtain a Restricted-Use Data License from NCSES
- Navigate to the NCSES restricted-use data access online portal: https://nsfportal.norc.org/de-management-portal/account/login.
- Create an account and submit a project application. The application should include data requirements, a research plan, and a list of the specific restricted data-use variables required. The data requirements and research plan form is available here: Data Requirements and Research Plan (DOCX 37KB).
- Once the research plan and data requirements from the project application have been approved, applicants can download and complete the full license application from the online portal. For a license application to be considered complete, the researcher must (1) fill out the appropriate application forms, (2) obtain signatures from a senior official at the university who has the authority to enter the institution into a legal agreement with NSF and a system security officer who can attest to the security of the institution’s systems, (3) complete the NCSES security training, and (4) execute affidavits of nondisclosure.
- Once the license application is completed, applicants should submit it via the online portal. After approval, NCSES will provide instructions on accessing the restricted-use data through our Secure Data Access Facility.
How to Amend an Existing License
- If an existing license needs to be amended (i.e., add data users, modify data, or extend license), please e-mail: NCSES_Licensing@nsf.gov. The subject line should read, “Restricted Data License Amendment – License [Your License Number].”
- Once received, NCSES will respond with the appropriate documentation.
Who to Contact for More Information
Adrian McQueen Licensing Coordinator/Program Specialist Information and Technology Services Program National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics NCSES_Licensing@nsf.gov