Newsletter: Annual NSF Report and the Annual ATE Survey

Posted on January 1, 2014 by  in Newsletter - ()

Doctoral Associate, EvaluATE, Western Michigan University

A common question EvaluATE has been asked about the ATE survey (conducted annually since 2000, with an average response rate of 95 percent) is, “Why can’t you just use the information we provided in our annual report?” Although there is overlap between the information required for the annual ATE survey and the annual reports that grantees submit through Research.gov, the survey is tailored to ATE activities and outcomes. In contrast, the Research.gov reporting system is set up to accommodate a vast array of NSF-funded endeavors—from polar research expeditions to television programming to the development technical degree programs. Also, Research.gov reports are narrative reports that are delivered to program officers in PDF format. As such, there is no way to aggregate information submitted via Research.gov into a report about the overall ATE program, which is what NSF needs to supports the program’s accountability to Congress.

Although they serve distinct purposes, much of the information asked for in the ATE Survey can and should be reported in ATE grantees’ annual reports to NSF. So, EvaluATE has developed a new resource to help stream-line reporting activities of ATE grantees. We’ve extracted information from Research.gov so that PIs can see all the information required in annual reports in one place (rather than having to click through the multi-layered system or strain their eyes viewing the screenshots in Research.gov’s Project Reports Preview PDF document). The document also identifies items from the ATE Survey that are relevant to various annual report sections, so PIs can maximize the use of the data collected about their projects. We welcome your feedback on this draft resource (see p. 1). You may download a draft from evalu-ate.org/annual_survey/.