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Project Title:

An Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs
PIN: BHEW-Q-03-02-A        

Major Unit:

Sub Unit: Board on Higher Education & Workforce

RSO: Kuh, Charlotte

Subject/Focus Area: Education; Policy for Science and Technology

Project Scope
This study will assess the quality and characteristics of research-doctorate
programs at institutions in the United States. The study will be conducted by
a 15 person committee, and their work will be supported by an 11 person panel
that will address data collection issues (See BHEW-Q-03-02-B for information on
the Data panel).

The study will consist of:
1) the collection of quantitative data through questionnaires administered to
institutions, programs, faculty, and admitted to candidacy students (in
selected fields),
2) the collection of additional program data on publications, citations, and
dissertation keywords, and
3) the design and construction of program ratings using the collected data.

The methodology for the study will be a refinement of that described by the
Committee to Examine the Methodology for the Assessment of Research-Doctorate
Programs in the report "Assessing Research-Doctorate Programs: A Methodology

During the first stage of the study the committee will review and finalize the
recommendations of the methodology study concerning the field taxonomy for the
programs, the questionnaires and data definitions. Procedures for data
collection will also be developed. The next stage will be devoted to data
collection at the institutions. This will begin with an institutional
questionnaire to identify programs and will be followed by a program
questionnaire that gathers information about the programs and the faculty
participating in the programs. The faculty will then be surveyed concerning
their activities, and students in selective fields will be asked to information
related to their studies and career development. In the final stage the data
will be analyzed and an on-line database will be developed and made available
to the public in September of 2008. In conjunction with the availability of the
database the committee will issue a report describing how the database can be

The committee will conduct a second phase of the study during 2008 when a group
of experts will analyze the data and write essays that will be part of a final

The approximate starting date for the project 08/10/2005"

Sponsors for the project include:

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
National Institutes of Health
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Energy
National Science Foundation

Update 10-01-08: The release schedule for reports for the NRC Assessment of Research Doctoral Programs has changed. The release of the Methodology Guide is now estimated for late October or early November 2008. The release schedule for the project report and its database will be announced when we have precise dates.

Update 11-17-08: The release of the Methodology Guide is now estimated for December 15, 2008. The final expected report release date (and/or database start date) is February 15, 2009.

Update 02-03-09: The release of the Methodology Guide will occur at least one month before the final project report is released. The release schedule for the project report and its database will be announced when we have precise dates. Please check back to this page for dates

Update 4/9/09: Procedure for Report Release:
Although the Methodology Guide has not yet emerged from NRC report review and the final report cannot be completed until the Methodology Guide is completed, we have received many inquiries about the procedures the NRC will follow about the release of the final report and database. The planned release procedure is that universities will receive results for their programs 72 hours before the public release of the report and database.

If you have questions about this, contact the Board on Higher Education and the Workforce for assistance at 202-334-2700

Project Duration: 39 months    

Provide FEEDBACK on this project.

Contact the Public Access Records Office to make an inquiry, request a list of the public access file materials, or obtain a copy of the materials found in the file.

Committee Membership
Committee Membership

 Meeting 1 - 11/27/2005
 Meeting 2 - 02/15/2006
 Meeting 3 - 03/13/2006
 Meeting 4 - 08/24/2006
 Meeting 5 - 09/20/2006
 Meeting 6 - 09/27/2006
 Meeting 7 - 09/29/2006
 Meeting 8 - 01/28/2007
 Meeting 9 - 05/14/2007
 Meeting 10 - 08/22/2007
 Meeting 11 - 11/25/2007
 Meeting 12 - 03/03/2008
 Meeting 13 - 06/08/2008
 Meeting 14 - 08/01/2009
 Meeting 15 - 11/20/2009


Reports having no URL can be seen
at the Public Access Records Office
A Guide to the Methodology of the National Research Council Assessment of Doctorate Programs
A Data-Based Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States