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The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) is the nation’s leading provider of statistical data on the U.S. science and engineering enterprise. NCSES is one of thirteen principal federal statistical agencies, set apart by the mission of collecting data related to U.S. competitiveness and STEM education. NCSES is responsible for statistical data regarding: research and development, the science and engineering workforce, U.S. competitiveness in science, engineering, technology, and R&D, and the condition and progress of STEM education in the United States.

What will I be doing?

Activities may include:

  • Interpreting data and analyzing results using appropriate methods, techniques, and visualizations;
  • Practice identifying, analyzing, interpreting, and visualizing trends and patterns in complex data sets;
  • Gaining knowledge of state-of-the-art statistical, analytical, and visualization methods and techniques through reading, meetings with federal and non-federal researchers and analysts, and participation in professional meetings.

You may also have the opportunity to make use of, support, and improve key NCSES and National Science Board products such as Science and Engineering Indicators; the National Patterns of R&D Resources; the Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering Report; and the Annual Business Survey.

What types of appointments are available?

The NSF NCSES Research Ambassadors Program offers a variety of opportunities for students and researchers, including

  • Student Internships (part-time or full-time during the calendar year)
  • Summer Internships (typically 2 to 4 month appointments between May and September)
  • Postgraduate Fellowships (typically 12 months with possible extensions)
  • Faculty Appointments (typically 12 months with possible extensions)

Opportunities are open to applicants who are currently pursuing or have completed a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral degree. Visit current opportunities to learn more about what is available, including for eligibility and specific application requirements.

Why should I apply?

  • To learn from top researchers and subject matter experts in data analysis, statistics, economics, science policy, research and more
  • Real world experience in cutting edge research from the world's premier source for data and information on the science and engineering enterprise
  • Develop skills within and outside of your field of study and interest and earn a competitive edge
  • Network with your peers, travel, and participate in educational events

 

  • “A research experience at NCSES should always be sought, regardless of what your strengths or fields of study may be!” Alexis Doreste, 2020 Summer Intern

  •  “My experience has definitely made me more cognizant of the fact that there are alternative methods and venues for achieving my career goals besides just academia.” Matthew Fritz, 2020-2021 Fellow

  • In the NCSES Research Ambassadors Program, you will get to network with top researchers in your field and explore a federal career with NSF.

Search Current Opportunities

Learn More

NCSES Activities

As one of 13 federal statistical agencies, NCSES designs, supports, and directs periodic national surveys and performs a variety of other data collections and research. The following activities form the core of NCSES work:

  • Collection, acquisition, analysis, reporting, and dissemination of statistical data related to the United States and other nations
  • Support of research that uses NCSES data
  • Methodological research in areas related to NCSES work
  • Education and training of researchers in the use of large-scale nationally representative data sets

Learn more at https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/.

NCSES Mission

Data collections related to U.S. competitiveness and STEM education are part of these new responsibilities. NCSES is responsible for statistical data on the following:

  • Research and Development
  • The science and engineering workforce
  • U.S. competitiveness in science, engineering, technology, and R&D
  • The condition and progress of STEM education in the United States

Research Offices at NCSES

  • Human Resources Statistics Program (HRS)

    Collects and disseminates data on participation in the educational system and workforce, with emphasis on participation in science and engineering fields and a range of occupations.

    Collect and disseminate data on:

    • Educational background
    • Demographic characteristics
    • Professional activities
    • Employment

    Learn more about HRS surveys at https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/surveys.cfm

    • Early Career Doctorates 
    • Survey of Earned Doctorates
    • Survey of Doctorate Recipient,
    • Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science & Engineering
    • National Survey of College Graduates
    • National Survey of Recent College Graduates
    • Survey of Postdocs at Federally Funded Research & Development Centers
    • Women, Minorities, & Persons with Disabilities in Science & Engineering Report: https://ncses.nsf.gov/pubs/nsf19304/
  • Research and Development Statistics Program (RDS)

    Conducts surveys, studies, reports and analyses on the size and health of the U.S. research and development (R&D) enterprise.

    Focuses on R&D expenditures, research infrastructure, innovation, and the international comparability of those U.S. metrics. Collects data on R&D performed and funded by government, business, universities, and other non-profit organizations.

    Learn more about RDS surveys at https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/surveys.cfm

    • Research and Development Funding and Expenditures
    • Annual Business Survey
    • Business Enterprise Research and Development Survey (BERD)
    • Business R&D and Innovation Survey - Microbusiness (BRDI-M)
    • FFRDC Research and Development Survey
    • Higher Education Research and Development Survey (HERD)
    • Nonprofit Research Activities Survey (Forthcoming)
    • Survey of Federal Funds for Research and Development
    • Survey of Federal Science and Engineering Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit Institutions[+]
    • Survey of State Government Research and Development
    • Science and Engineering Research Facilities
    • Survey of Science and Engineering Research Facilities
  • Science and Engineering Indicators Program (SEI)

    Oversees the Division's cross-cutting overview and international reports.

    Compiles and analyzes data from special studies, Science Resource Statistics surveys, and other national and international sources to produce the biennial congressionally mandated report on Science and Engineering Indicators. 

    Learn more about SEI publications at https://ncses.nsf.gov/indicators



  • Administrative and Program Operations Group (APOG)

    Responsible for oversight and management of human resources, financial management, budget development, managerial support, business process management and assistance to the NCSES’s Director, Deputy Director and NCSES staff.

    Assists in preparing input to the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences front office for Congressional and OMB budgets and NSF long-range plans.

  • Statistics, Methods and Research Program (SMP)

    Provides statistical and survey methodological support to the Center with an emphasis on ensuring the highest quality data collection designs and statistical output.

    Survey methodologists conduct questionnaire design and testing as well as guide methodological decisions about data collection protocols and alternative data sources. The mathematical statisticians on the team are instrumental in sampling and weighting decisions as well as analysis plans and data protection.

  • Information and Technology Services Program (ITSP)

    Responsible for NCSES's information dissemination and data management activities, including the overall management of the Center’s data systems, publications process (both print and electronic), and website.

    Develops editing, composition, and web development guidelines and has responsibility for managing the Center’s internal and external information technology environment.

    Check out the Interactive Data Tool created by ITSP at https://ncsesdata.nsf.gov/home 

Appointment Details

  • Eligibility

    In order to qualify for a NSF NCSES Research Ambassadors Program internship, fellowship, or faculty appointment, you must meet all outlined criteria for eligibility. Read more to learn about eligibility requirements.

    • Be 18 years of age or older at time of application
    • Be currently pursuing, have received or expect to complete all requirements for a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral degree by the anticipated start date.

    While U.S. citizenship is not required for participation at NCSES, some opportunities may require U.S. citizenship. All appointment offers are contingent upon having a valid immigration status.

    Eligibility requirements will vary depending on the opportunity. See current opportunities for more information on specific eligibility requirements.

  • Application Selection

    Applications will be reviewed for eligibility and compliance before moving forward to the merit review and final selection.

    Application reviews are based on application completeness, scientific and/or technical merit, and relevance to NCSES priorities. Criteria includes:

    • Academic performance
    • Potential for success in research
    • Background, skills and experience relevant to the opportunity

    Eligible applications will receive a review by subject matter experts at NCSES. The review process may include phone and/or in-person interviews with potential candidates. NCSES makes final selections and notifies ORISE. ORISE will notify the applicants of the selection decisions.

  • Timeline

    Timeline information for appointments

    Application deadlines can be found under the current active opportunity. For some opportunities, applications are accepted until the opportunity is filled. The application period for summer internships is typically from November to February with selections in March/Early April.



  • Benefits

    This section outlines typical benefits you will receive as part of the NSF NCSES Research Ambassadors Program.

    As an intern, fellow, or faculty in the NSF NCSES Research Ambassadors Program, you will receive a stipend as support for your living and other expenses during the appointment. Stipend rates are determined by NCSES officials and are based on your academic and professional background, as well as the type of appointment (e.g., fellowship, summer internship, faculty appointment).

    You may also be eligible to receive one or more of the following, depending on the type of appointment:

    • Health Insurance Allowance
    • Relocation Allowance if you are located more than 50 miles one way from the facility.
    • Housing Allowance
    • Research Allowance for expenses related to scientific and professional development activities, such as travel. Travel may include domestic and foreign travel to professional development experiences, scientific/technical research conferences and professional meetings and other activities.
    • Tuition Reimbursement

    In person interview travel reimbursement for prospective candidates may also be offered.

    Appointment Period:  Postgraduate fellowships and faculty appointments are typically for a year with the option to extend the appointment for additional years. Extensions are contingent upon project needs and funding availability. The maximum time a participant can remain in the ORISE program is five years from his/her initial start date. Summer internships are typically for two to four months between May and September.

    Security Clearance: Appointments are contingent on the participant’s receipt of the necessary security clearance to access assigned research facilities. You must have or be eligible to obtain and maintain a security clearance for the duration of your appointment. If you are selected for an appointment, a NCSES representative will coordinate with you on security clearance requirements.

  • Conditions of the Appointment

    Information on commitment, health insurance, deliverables, and policies of the  NSF NCSES Research Ambassadors Program.

    • Appointments typically involve a full-time commitment to the assigned research project at NCSES or at designated collaborating institutions as deemed necessary by NCSES scientific staff. There may also be opportunities for part-time research appointments.
    • Participants must avoid obligations that will interrupt their research during their tenure. The participant’s research must be conducted in a manner and according to a time schedule that meets the overall research needs of NCSES.
    • As guest researchers, participants are expected to conform to all NCSES facility policies relevant to his/her status.
    • Participants will not be expected to perform activities that are reserved for federal employees; to supervise, mentor, hire or fire anyone; have budget, program management, or signature authority; carry an official job title; or function in any way as a representative of the federal government.
    • Participants will become administratively associated with Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) through a letter of appointment and Terms of Appointment. Participants will be required to sign and abide by the appointment letter, the Terms of Appointment, and other documents required by NCSES.
    • Participants are required to have health insurance on the first day of the appointment and throughout the duration of the program. Participants may not be present at NCSES facilities if their insurance coverage lapses. 
    • Participants are expected to perform professionally, demonstrate integrity and good judgment, and complete all research project deliverables as identified in letter of appointment and by the hosting facility.
  • Nature of Appointment

    This program is administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE).

    ORISE is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) asset managed by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) through a contract between ORAU and DOE. You will be considered a program participant and will not enter into an employee/employer relationship with NSF, NCSES, ORISE, ORAU, DOE, or other hosting facility.

Application Components

Your application should consist of the following components:

  • Zintellect profile
  • Essay Questions (goals, experiences, and skills relevant to the opportunity).
  • Academic Records - An unofficial transcript or copy of your academic records provided by the applicant or by academic advisors from internal institution systems may be submitted. An official transcript and/or academic records may be required if selected for an appointment.
  • Current Resume/CV
  • A minimum of One (1) Recommendation - Applicants are required to provide contact information for at least one recommendation in order to submit the application. You are encouraged to request a recommendation from a professional who can speak to your abilities and potential for success as well as your scientific capabilities and personal characteristics. Recommendation requests must be sent through the Zintellect application system. Recommenders will be asked to complete a recommendation in Zintellect. Letters of recommendation submitted via email will not be accepted. Additional recommendations may be required depending on the specific opportunity.

Submitted documents must have all social security numbers, student identification numbers, and/or dates of birth removed (blanked out, blackened out, made illegible, etc.) prior to uploading into the application system. All documents must be in English or include an official English translation.

Additional application components may be required for certain opportunities. Refer to the Zintellect catalog to review current opportunities and apply today!

Frequently Asked Questions

This section includes frequently asked questions about the NSF NCSES Research Ambassadors Program.

  • For all appointments, the application deadline can be found under the current active opportunity. Some opportunities accept applications until the opportunity is filled.

    The application period for summer internships is typically from November to February with selections in March/Early April.

  • While U.S. citizenship is not required for participation at NCSES, some opportunities may require U.S. citizenship. All appointment offers are contingent upon having a valid immigration status.

  • Application reviews are based on application completeness, scientific and/or technical merit, and relevance to NCSES priorities. Eligible applications will receive a review by subject matter experts at NCSES. The review process may include phone and/or in-person interviews with potential candidates. NCSES makes final selections and notifies ORISE. ORISE will notify the applicants of the selection decisions.

  • Postgraduate fellowships are for a year with the option to extend the appointment for additional years. Faculty appointments do not have a defined length of time and are dependent on the specific opportunity. Extensions are contingent upon project needs and funding availability. The maximum time a participant can remain in the ORISE program is five years from his/her initial start date.

    Summer internships are typically for two to four months between May and September. Other student internships do not have a typical timeframe and will vary depending on the specific opportunity.


  • Please ensure that all of the necessary application materials have been received and that you have the necessary educational qualifications for the opportunity. Successful applicants will provide application information that is well thought out and clearly aligns with NCSES areas of importance identified in the opportunity as well as a strong connection to the topic areas for the opportunity.

  • A minimum of one (1) recommendation is required. You should obtain your recommendation from a person who is familiar with your educational and professional qualifications.

  • Most appointments offer limited reimbursement for relocation expenses, if your address is outside a radius of 50 miles one way from your appointment location. Review current opportunities to determine specific benefits for that appointment.

  • Reasonable accommodations can be made if you intend to travel prior to the start of your appointment. These are handled on a case by case basis.

  • We do not advise you to do this. Doing so may result in non-reimbursable expenses. Your appointment is not official until you formally accept the appointment offer.

  • You may apply for and be eligible to participate in different ORISE programs.

Stay connected with the all-new ORISE GO app!

The all-new ORISE GO mobile app helps you stay engaged, connected and informed during your ORISE experience and beyond. Use ORISE GO to search and apply for opportunities, learn about exclusive ORISE events, manage applications, accept offers, and more. Visit the ORISE GO page for more info on how to download the app to your mobile device.

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Questions? Contact Us

General Questions/Information

NSF-NCSES@orise.orau.gov

Holly Bizoe, Program Specialist
Jennifer Burnette, Project Manager

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