According to a recent report released by the National Science Foundation, 22 of the nation's 39 federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) employed 3,011 postdocs in 2010, the year the latest data are available.
Three out of every four postdocs employed in the FFRDCs in 2010 were men. Foreign nationals on temporary visas made up 60 percent of all postdocs employed in FFRDCs. Men constituted a higher percentage of foreign nationals than of U.S. citizens and permanent residents--78 percent versus 72 percent.
Among U.S. citizens and permanent residents, 75 percent were reported to be white and 14 percent were reported to be Asian. The remainder were Hispanic at 4 percent, black or African American at 1 percent, and other races or of unknown race or ethnicity were reported at 5 percent.
Overall, 75 percent of all postdocs employed in FFRDCs were working in a science field, and another 23 percent were working in an engineering field. The most frequently reported science fields were physics and astronomy at 31 percent; followed by chemistry at 18 percent; biological sciences at 8 percent; and earth, atmospheric and ocean sciences at 8 percent.
FFRDCs received approximately $16.8 billion dollars in federal expenditures in fiscal year 2010. Included in this amount is more than $1 billion in federal expenditures from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. In addition to scientific research and analysis, many of the FFRCDs provide training opportunities for the country's aspiring researchers and scientists through postdoctoral appointments.
For more information on this report, please contact Dan Foley.
Please visit the NSF's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics for more reports and other products.