Federal Laboratories Research and Development Survey

Project Overview

The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics within the National Science Foundation has a need to collect research and development (R&D) activity data from federal laboratories (e.g., performers of R&D) to produce valid and reliable estimates of government intramural R&D expenditures. While some surveys collect similar information from federal agencies on their external R&D funding, comprehensive data reported are lacking on intramural R&D expenditures, the number of federal R&D personnel, and the amount of space within federal laboratories dedicated to R&D activities.

This project identifies the eligible universe of federal laboratories and designs a new survey to gather detailed information on their R&D activities. This national survey will be conducted via web-based methodology. The results of this survey will inform international comparisons of R&D performance and provide policymakers with more complete data on the federal government’s own R&D activities.

Insight is developing and testing this new survey’s web-based data collection instrument through cognitive testing, usability testing, and pilot testing. Insight will—

  • Conduct exploratory interviews with federal lab staff to inform survey content and data collection methodology.
  • Convene an expert panel of federal representatives, policymakers, and R&D data users.
  • Conduct cognitive interviews of the web survey instrument.
  • Conduct follow-up interviews with pilot test participants.


Summary report for each task