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The Graduate School

G-1 Communications Building
Box 353770
Seattle, Washington 98195-3770

Phone: 206.543.5900
Fax: 206.685.3234

Data Collection

The University of Washington participated in the 2006 data collection for the National Research Council (NRC) assessment of research-doctorate programs. The NRC conducted its last assessment of doctoral programs in 1995 and has revised its methods substantially for 2006. The assessment will provide benchmarking data on graduate programs throughout the United States and will result in ratings of graduate program quality. The data will be published in an online, searchable database available to the public.

The NRC assessment requires the collection of specific data from the institution, academic programs, faculty members, and graduate students. Data will be collected throughout 2006 through questionnaires developed for each of these constituencies.   The Graduate School is serving as Institutional Coordinator for this project, and will assist departments in their responses.  The Office of Institutional Studies and the UW Data Warehouse are also assisting in the data tabulation.

NRC will administer four surveys; institutional, program, faculty, and admitted to candidacy students.


How NRC Data Were Gathered and Reviewed by Departments

Four separate questionnaires in the NRC Assessment of Research Doctorate Programs targeted students, faculty, research doctoral programs, and students admitted to candidacy. After a series of postponements from NRC, the UW Graduate School gathered completed research doctoral program questionnaires in February – March 2007 online via the UW MyGrad Program. Responses to the three other questionnaires were gathered directly by the NRC. For a detailed timeline about data collection, see UW Data Collection Timeline.

The program questionnaire was completed jointly by the Graduate School (which contributed “pre-filled answers” to questions) and by departments.


Departments Reviewed and Verified Data Before Submission

Before the Graduate School submitted any program questionnaire response data to the NRC, all participating departments were invited to review and change their own program data and faculty lists however they deemed necessary. Departments had full access and a large role to review and verify these data, and could change any pre-filled answers to program questionnaires. As an important part of this pre-submission process, the Graduate School provided customized technical support, as needed and requested.

For the three other questionnaires (students, faculty, and students admitted to candidacy), the Graduate School has no information about which individuals responded, or any details of their responses.


UW Data Collection Timeline

April 11, 2007 NRC began sending email invitations for the Student Questionnaire today.  Only doctoral candidates in English, Economics, Physics, Neurobiology and Behavior, and Chemical Engineering are being invited to participate.  Here is a sample of the Web-based questionnaire.  As with the NRC Faculty Questionnaire, email invitations from NRC will be followed-up in the next few days with paper invitations mailed to the student's departmental box.  Also as with the Faculty Questionnaire, the Graduate School will not have any information on which specific students have responded and the details of their responses.
Mar. 7, 2007 An email sent yesterday by the NRC to faculty who have completed the Faculty Questionnaire was somewhat misleading.  The text (below) indicated that the NRC would no longer be contacting the respondent and this has led some faculty to ask whether this means they had not been selected as a rater.  This is not true.  Raters will be selected in late March or early April.


We have received your completed questionnaire and would like to thank you for participating in the 2006 NRC Assessment. Although we will no longer be contacting you, you might still continue to receive reminders from your institution, since they know how many questionnaires have been completed, but not by whom.

Thank you again for your patience, diligence and perseverance.

Feb. 21, 2007 The deadline for completing the Faculty Questionnaire and being considered for selection as a program rater is 9:00AM EST, Friday, February 23.
Jan. 31, 2007 NRC has extended the deadline to Feb 22 for the receipt of Faculty Questionnaires for faculty who wish to be eligible for the rater sample.  The Program Questionnaire deadline has been extended to Feb. 8.  All UW programs have submitted their Program Questionnaires to the Graduate School (THANK YOU!).  This extension will provide more time for checking those responses in the Graduate School and working with programs to address issues before uploading to NRC on Feb. 8th.
Jan. 22, 2007 NRC Will begin sending emails to UW core and new faculty in NRC programs this week to invite them to participate in the Faculty Questionnaire.  A tip-sheet for faculty is available on this site.
Jan. 8, 2007 The Program Questionnaire is available for use in MyGradProgram.  The deadline for submitting completed Program Questionnaires is January 26, 2007.
Jan. 5, 2007 The Program Questionnaire should be ready to complete in MyGradProgram by Monday, January 8th.  An announcement will be made as soon as it is ready.  The deadline for UW programs to complete the Program Questionnaire in MyGradProgram has been extended to January 26, 2007.
Dec. 5, 2006 NRC has extended the deadline for completing the Program Questionnaire to February 1, 2006.  The deadline for participating UW programs to complete the Program Questionnaire in MyGradProgram will be January 15, 2007.  Participating programs should review the Program Questionnaire sample now to facilitate completion of the questionnaire in MyGradProgram when it is available.
Dec. 4, 2006 Notes on completing the Program Questionnaire in MyGradProgram, compiled by the Graduate School.
Nov. 15, 2006 Here is John Mobley's presentation outline from the Program Questionnaire workshops that were held on Nov. 15th.
Nov. 13, 2006 Revised Program Questionnaire with check marks adjacent to questions which Graduate School plans to pre-populate. The word "LIST" appears adjacent to doctoral student financial support sections where the Graduate School will not pre-populate numbers but will provide underlying lists for guidance.  Note that the Graduate School will not attempt to pre-populate the section on postdoctoral scholars.
Nov. 9, 2006 Graduate School will host two workshops on the Program Questionnaire on Wednesday, Nov. 15, for participating program faculty and staff.  For info email
Nov. 3, 2006 NRC pushes back Program Questionnaire deadline to Jan 15 (Jan 1 for UW programs to submit to Graduate School).
Oct. 24, 2006 Reminder: Deadline for submission of faculty lists through MyGradProgram is Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2006.
Oct. 20, 2006 NRC posts heavily revised "Summary of Clarifications and FAQs"
Oct. 8, 2006 Notes on the Identification of UW Faculty
Oct. 4, 2006 Meeting notes and issues from the September regional meetings
Sept. 26, 2006 Participating UW programs submitted to NRC by the Graduate School
Sept. 21, 2006 Program Questionnaire with check marks adjacent to questions which Graduate School plans to pre-populate
Sept. 13, 2006 NRC Detailed Procedures and Timeline
Aug. 31, 2006 Dean Ortega will outline NRC assessment procedures at the Graduate Program Coordinator retreat on Sept. 22nd.  The Graduate School will follow-up with one or more workshops for GPCs and GPAs
Aug. 28, 2006 Email sent from Provost Wise to Deans, Directors, and Chairs
Aug. 14, 2006 Application submitted by Graduate School to UW Human Subjects for IRB approval
Aug. 2, 2006 John Drew and Joan Abe ask Graduate Program Assistants to help identify doctoral cohorts
June 28, 2006 Dean Ortega asks chairs to confirm program assignments to NRC taxonomy


The Graduate School
G-1 Communications  |  Box 353770  |  Seattle, Washington 98195-3770
Phone: (206) 543.5900  |  Fax: (206) 685-3234