Bretschneider Awarded NSF Grant

Stuart Bretschneider, CORD director of research, recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation entitled, “Forecasting the Return Home of Non-US Citizens with U.S. Ph.D.’s: Trends over time and why non-U.S. citizens with U.S. earned doctorates choose to return home.”

This yearlong study will make use of new survey data collected by NSF from US Ph.D. holders living abroad.  The three main objective of the study is first to understand trends associated with return rates for non-U.S. citizens after earning their Ph.D. degrees from U.S. institutions of higher education. Secondly, individual decisions will be studied based on an array of both push and pull factors.  Of specific interest is how do changing investments in science infrastructure both in the U.S. and abroad affect individual decisions to return home. While controlling for economic factors, investments in science infrastructure are heavily related to policy.  One the early finds suggest that since 2001, the only foreign country of origin where return rates are increasing is China, a country where public policy has led to large increases in science infrastructure investment.  It is hoped that an analysis of individual decisions to return home may provide more details on whether and how these policy effect these decisions.  The final objective of the study is to use the results from the individual choice models to better forecast likelihoods of individuals return home at the time of their initial completion of the Ph.D. degree. 

This information should help researchers improve their sampling selection strategies as NSF continues to survey graduates who live in the U.S. and abroad over time.

We invite you to view our grant related working papers titled:

Should I stay or should I go? Forecasting Return Rates for Non-US Citizens Holding US Ph.D. Degrees


Why do foreign citizens with US Ph.D. Degrees return home?