A $2 million, three-year NSF grant recently awarded to the Institute for Research on Innovation and Science (IRIS) will create a mosaic of linked data resources that will shed new light on the impacts of university-based research.

Under the auspices of the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), the funding will allow IRIS to link its unique UMETRICS dataset to several existing data resources. This will give researchers new avenues to study the role of collaboration, funding from multiple sources, productivity of various types, and features of graduate training on early career success in academia, as well as the characteristics, health and resilience of the academic research supply chain, and the role of research funding in supporting small, innovative, minority and women owned businesses.

The project will create individual level linkages between the UMETRICS dataset and Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) and the Early Career Doctorate Survey (ECDS). The UMETRICS dataset is collected from IRIS member institutions representing more than 80 campuses across the nation, and contains spending and employment information on nearly 450,000 funded awards, $99 billion in award spending, payments to more than 900,000 research vendors and wages to about 720,000 employees.

“The potential for novel scientific findings from these linked datasets is tremendous,” said Jason Owen-Smith, Executive Director of IRIS, Executive Director, Research Analysis & Data Integration Office, and Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan. “We also expect this work to demonstrate the value of linked data mosaic for research and for science and innovation policy.”