Scientist Years (SY): A scientist is a research worker responsible for original thought, judgments, and accomplishments in independent scientific study. This includes the investigation leaders, project leaders, and portions of the time of supervising scientists or staff assistants whose work meets the preceding definitions. Generally, the individual holds an academic rank of assistant professor or above and is capable of holding principal investigator status at the reporting institution. Outstanding graduate students with sound backgrounds of professional accomplishments may thoroughly merit the responsibilities of a scientist. However, most graduate students are rated as professional support.

Administrative staff should be excluded, unless they meet these requirements and are active participants in the actual research of the project. It is important to report scientist years accurately, because this category is frequently used in decision making.

Job titles for scientists include: professor, associate professor, assistant professor, distinguished professor, scientist

Professional Years (PY): A professional does not qualify as a scientist under the preceding definition, but nevertheless contributes to research activities. Professionals usually hold one or more college degrees, and have otherwise qualified for employment in a professional category. A few may hold a Ph.D. or equivalent degree, and may be in a high-level academic position, but nonetheless may be categorized as a research assistant or research support rather than as a research scientist. Graduate students may be categorized as professionals. Generally, professionals have a high degree of research-activity responsibility but do not hold principle investigator status at the reporting institution.

Job titles for professional support include: administrative assistant, associate director, department head, instructor, research associate, resident director, statistician, programmer, analyst, director, assistant director, graduate assistant, research assistant, research specialist, post doctoral fellow, visiting professor, fiscal officer, editor

Technical Years (TY): Technical Support staff are associated with research efforts in a technical capacity and do not participate in the investigative aspects of the research.

Job titles for technical support include: laboratory assistant, mechanic, laboratory technician, draftsman, research technologist, farm foreman, carpenter, machinist, skilled tradesperson

If you have any further questions, please contact our office at or via phone at 814-865-3136.