Part I:
Background and Methodology

Scope

This report, prepared in consultation with Karen Bogart who conducted the interviews, summarizes the results of interviews with program officers and senior executives in the science and engineering work force in the headquarters of the Office of Naval Research in Arlington, Virginia. The first set of 45 interviews was conducted with a sample of women, minority males, and white males employed as GS 13, GS 14, and GS 15 program officers. The second set of 26 interviews was conducted with senior executives and division and department heads, all of whom were white males.

The Study Sample

Program Officers

Study participants were drawn from the ONR science and engineering (S&E) work force, whose members numbered 150 in February 1996. The original study sample encompassed all women, all minority males* (Asian Americans and African Americans), and a sample of white males selected to match the ONR job codes (fields of specializations) from which minorities and women were drawn. Sample participants initially included 16 women, 9 minority males, and 26 white males for a total of 51. In March 1996, two participants who had inadvertently been miscoded were added, bringing the total study sample to 53.

Members of the study sample were contacted in November 1995 and asked to participate in a self-report survey conducted by mail. In the original mailing they were also advised that they would be contacted at a later date to schedule a 90-minute follow-up interview. In January 1996 prospective interview participants were contacted by e-mail and voice mail and asked to participate in an interview.

Senior Executives

In April 1996 all 27 senior executives at ONR were added to the study sample. This group was made up of the 19 members of the official Senior Executive Service (SES) and 8 senior managers. The SES members included 5 department directors who together constitute the Science and Technology Advisory Board (STAB). The department directors develop and implement science policy and represent ONR to Congress and to the Pentagon. Below the department directors were 14 SES members whose numbers included 12 division heads and 2 associates. The division heads have primary responsibility for recruiting, hiring, and promoting program officers. They administer people rather than programs, in contrast to the program officers whom they supervise. Among the senior managers who participated in the interviews were 4 chief scientists (GS 16s) whose focus is primarily on science rather than on administration (they do not recruit, hire, review, or promote) and 4 division and department heads employed at the GS 15 level.

Study participants were contacted in April/May 1996 and asked to participate in a self-report survey conducted by mail. In the original mailing they were also advised that they would be contacted at a later date to schedule a 90-minute follow-up interview. In May 1996, prospective interview participants were contacted by e-mail and voice mail and asked to participate in an interview.

*  

Editor's note: Although Asian Americans are not underrepresented in science and engineering, they were included in the interviews in order to gather information from a broad spectrum of ONR personnel. The phrase "minority males" as used in this Appendix, therefore, refers to all non-white males, including Asian Americans.



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