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CRA Bulletin

January 6, 2005

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<< Previous Bulletin (November 23, 2004)

National Academies Releases Report Evaluating DOD Basic Research

In a report released by the National Academies in late December 2004, a defense review panel found that efforts in basic research at the Department of Defense were declining in both absolute dollars and as a percentage of the overall DOD science and technology budget. However, the study did find that when tasked with performing truly basic research ("6.1" research, in defense parlance), DOD program managers generally did a good job of focusing 6.1 funding on the discovery of fundamental knowledge in support of the department's needs.

For more on the report:

Competitiveness Report Cites Need for "Significantly" Increased Federal R&D Funds

The Council on Competitiveness' long-awaited report on their National Innovation Initiative is now out and contains some very strong recommendations in support of the federal role in funding fundamental research. The Council, an association of corporate chief executives, university presidents and labor leaders, concluded that innovation will be the single most important factor in determining America's success through the 21st century and that focus in three areas is crucial in optimizing innovation: developing talent; investment in R&D; and development of the physical and policy infrastructure that supports innovators. Included in the Council's recommendations is a specific call for increased federal R&D funding:

Increase significantly the research budgets of agencies that support basic research in the physical sciences and engineering, and complete the commitment to double the NSF budget. These increases should strive to ensure that the federal commitment of research to all federal agencies totals one percent of U.S. GDP.

For more:

Increases Among CS and CE Doctorates Awarded in 2003

According to the National Science Foundation, the number of doctorates awarded in the Computer Sciences increased 7 percent in 2003, to 866. Doctorates granted in Computer Engineering increased 16 percent, to 191. These compare to a nearly 3 percent increase in the number of Science & Engineering (S&E) doctorates granted, and a less than 2 percent increase in all doctorates granted. At the same time, the 2003 figures are lower than those seen in the early and mid-1990s.

Although women received 37.5 percent of the S&E doctorates in 2003, they received only 14.1 percent of CE degrees, and 20.2 percent of CS degrees.

The NSF report, Science and Engineering Doctorate Awards: 2003, is online at

Growth of R&D Employment During the 1990s

NSF data show that U.S. industrial R&D employment was nearly level in the early 1990s. Since then, R&D employment strengthened, reaching one million workers for the first time in 1999. In 2001 there were 1.05 million FTE R&D workers in the United States compared to 109.01 million workers in industries other than agriculture (nonfarm workers) (NSF and Bureau of Labor Statistics data; table 1).

According to Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) data, U.S. affiliates of foreign companies employed 141,700 R&D workers in the United States in 2001. R&D expenditures in U.S. affiliates of foreign companies represented 15 percent of U.S. industrial R&D expenditures in 2001. Germany, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, and Japan accounted for about 70 percent of R&D expenditures and R&D employment in 2001 by U.S. affiliates of foreign companies.

In 1999 U.S. multinational corporations (MNCs) employed a global R&D workforce of 770,300, or close to 3 percent of their employees. U.S. MNCs comprise U.S. parent companies and their majority-owned affiliates located overseas (foreign affiliates). U.S. parent companies employed 84 percent (646,800) of their R&D workers domestically; the remaining 16 percent (123,500) worked abroad for their foreign affiliates.

The NSF report, Industrial R&D Employment in the United States and in U.S. Multinational Corporations, is online at

Conference Support for Minority Students in CSE and their Mentors

Attending a professional conference is both exciting and challenging for students. To help students break through the ice and learn to enjoy conferences, the Coalition to Diversify Computing is offering support for minority students to attend technical conferences with their mentors. Students and mentors will attend a professional conference as a team, providing the opportunity for the students to benefit from introductions to key researchers at the conference while they gain insight from their mentors into the dynamics of a professional event. Each team will consist of at least one student (up to three students may apply) and one mentor. The deadlines for 2005 are as follows: February 1st, May 1st, September 1st, and December 1st. For more information, visit the CDC web site:

CRA-W Grad Cohort Workshop: Applications accepted through January 20th

The Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) is accepting applications from women in their first or second year of their first graduate program for a workshop to be held February 25-26, 2005 in San Francisco. The workshop, funded by Microsoft and Google, is the cornerstone of CRA-W's Grad Cohort Program which aims to increase the ranks of senior women by building and mentoring nationwide cohorts of women through their graduate studies. The deadline for applications is January 20, 2005. For more information about the program visit:


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