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MINORITY SCIENCE PATHS: NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION MINORITY GRADUATE FELLOWS OF 1979-1981Prepared by Joe G. Baker, Ph.D.under the auspices of the Ad Hoc Panel on Career Outcomes of NSF Fellows Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1995
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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. This report has been reviewed by persons other than the author according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1963, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. This study was supported by contract RCD-9050012/C between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Additional copies of this report are available from: Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW--Room TJ 1000/2093 Washington, DC 20418 Copyright 1995 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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AD HOC PANEL ON CAREER OUTCOMES OF NSF FELLOWS CHARLOTTE KUH (Chair), Executive Director, Graduate Records Examination Program, Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey GEORGE LEITMANN, Office of Research Services, University of California, Berkeley California CORA MARRETT, * National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C. GEORGE W. SWENSON, JR., Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois NRC Staff Joe G. Baker, Senior Staff Officer * Member of the Ad Hoc Panel until May 1992.
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OFFICE OF SCIENTIFIC AND ENGINEERING PERSONNEL ADVISORY COMMITTEE LINDA S. WILSON (Chair), President, Radcliffe College ERNEST JAWORSKI (Vice Chair), Monsanto Company (retired) BETSY ANCKER-JOHNSON, Chairman, World Environment Center DAVID BRENEMAN, Harvard University DAVID GOODSTEIN, Vice Provost and Professor of Physics and Applied Physics, California Institute of Technology LESTER A. HOEL, Hamilton Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Virginia JUANITA M. KREPS, Department of Economics, Duke University DONALD LANGENBERG, Chancellor, University of Maryland System JUDITH S. LIEBMAN, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign BARRY MUNITZ, Chancellor, The California State University KENNETH OLDEN, Director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health EWART A.C. THOMAS, Department of Psychology, Stanford University ANNETTE B. WEINER, Dean, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, New York University WILLIAM H. MILLER (Ex-officio Member), Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley NRC Staff Alan Fechter, Executive Director Marilyn J. Baker, Associate Executive Director
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PREFACE In 1978 the National Science Foundation (NSF) established the Minority Graduate Fellowship Program. The purpose of this program was to provide financial support to minority students seeking doctorates in science or engineering fields. As an initial step in assessing the effectiveness of the program, the NSF asked the National Research Council to analyze information available on the applicants and awardees in the formative years of the program (1979-1981). In addition to examining demographic and other background data about these individuals, the doctorate completion rates of minority fellows were compared with comparable rates of other groups. This report summarizes the results of this initial examination. The data presented herein have several limitations. First, since this three-year cohort included only 1,361 applicants and 224 awardees, detailed comparisons among fields and race/ethnic groups are based on small numbers. Second, the 1979-1981 applicants and awards may differ significantly from those in more recent cohorts. Third, the data on doctorate completion rates are based on degrees awarded by 1988 or earlier (i.e., 7 to 9 years after most of these individuals had entered graduate school) and therefore underestimate the true rates of completion. This underestimation may be particularly large for minority students, who, on average, have taken longer than whites to complete their requirements for the Ph.D. Finally, it was not meaningful to compare the early career experiences of these individuals since, at the time these analyses were performed, employment data were available only through 1987. Despite these data limitations, we believe that this exploratory effort is instructive in illustrating the types of analyses that can (and should) be conducted. Based on these analyses we have identified three issues, in particular, that merit further attention: (1) differences in the experiences of students from historically black colleges and universities and other graduates, (2) the high proportion of applicants who did not accept the NSF awards, and (3) the relatively low rate of Ph.D. completion for those who did accept awards. These issues should be examined using data now available for more recent graduates. The Minority Graduate Fellowship Program plays an important role in federal efforts to achieve diversity in our science and engineering enterprise. In these times of budget stringency it is essential, therefore, that the selection process and the performance of awardees be monitored closely to ensure the program is operating effectively. We believe that this study represents a good beginning to the monitoring process. Charlotte Kuh, Chair Ad Hoc Panel on Career Outcomes of NSF Fellows v
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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This analysis was overseen by the Ad Hoc Panel on Career Outcomes of NSF Fellows, which was chaired by Charlotte Kuh and contained as its members George Leitmann, Cora Marrett, and George Swenson. The panel acted with the authority of the Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel (OSEP) Advisory Committee on Studies and Analysis. Joe G. Baker of OSEP was the study director. In addition to the guidance and suggestions provided by the panel, this work benefited from the support of many individuals and organizations. Beverly Kuhn, OSEP Fellowship Programs, made substantial contributions to the study and provided valuable insights based on over 30 years of involvement with the NSF fellowship program. Norman Braveman of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Division of Planning and Evaluation provided access to NIH data as well as helpful comments on the report. Robert Moore of the NIH Division of Research Grants also provided assistance and data. Susan Duby and Terence Porter of Graduate Fellowships, Directorate for Education and Human Resources, National Science Foundation provided intellectual as well as financial support. Paul Phelps provided guidance in the preparation of the manuscript and summaries; Kevin Coughlin and Catherine Jackson worked long and hard on its production. Marinus D. Van Der Have developed data files and tabulations for the report; his expertise and knowledge contributed greatly to the research. This work also benefited from the comments and suggestions of Pamela Ebert Flattau and Alan Fechter of OSEP.
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