1) “Mismatch” between education and occupation: With respect to U.S.-educated engineers and scientists, is there evidence of what some describe as “mismatches” between U.S. S&E education and domestic occupational opportunities in S&E fields, and do foreign-educated scientists and engineers differ in this respect?
2) Sufficiency of supply: What are the sources and key arguments underlying continuing reports of “shortages” of U.S.-born scientists and engineers? What kinds of data, experiences, anecdotes, or other evidence are presented? What can be said empirically about the kinds of organizations and/or individuals that promote and oppose such arguments?
3) Longitudinal and/or synthetic data: Are there creative ways to take advantage of existing but under-utilized longitudinal datasets, or alternatively to develop improved longitudinal and/or synthetic data, that would allow us to better characterize and analyze career paths and remuneration trends of U.S.-born engineers and scientists, disaggregated by field? Are there similar approaches possible for scientists and engineers who are foreign-born but U.S.-educated? For those who are both foreign-born and foreign-educated?
4) Improving labor market projections: With due attention to the failure of past efforts and the difficulties involved, research to improve the sophistication and credibility of projections of supply and demand in S&E labor markets, including assessments of the oft-cited industry and occupation projections produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of special interest is how best to factor in future supplies of foreign-born scientists and engineers, along with any possible effects of such inflows upon domestic interest in these careers.
5) Proportions foreign-born: What are the most important factors underlying empirical patterns and trends (disaggregated by S&E field and type of institution or employer) in the proportions foreign-born among a) U.S. graduate students, b) postdocs, and c) those working in the U.S. in S&E occupations? What are the best ways to measure these? To what extent can they be accurately measured? What can be learned from non-U.S. databases about U.S.-trained scientists and engineers working outside the U.S.?
6) Return rates: For foreign-born graduate students and postdocs who have studied at U.S. universities, what have been historical and recent patterns in rates of short-to-medium-term return to home countries vs. long-term or full-career employment in the U.S., disaggregated by field and country of origin? Can leading indicators of changes in historical return-rate patterns be developed for rapidly-developing countries such as China and India?
7) Characteristics of student, temporary worker, and permanent admissions: What similarities and differences (e.g. skill levels; countries of origin; career experiences; sectors/disciplines of employment; etc.) can be discerned between S&E migrants admitted to the U.S. under differing provisions of law, e.g. a) as foreign students and exchange visitors; b) as temporary workers, e.g. H-1B; c) as legal permanent residents?
8) Uses and impacts of temporary worker visa programs: What can be shown empirically as to how U.S. universities use temporary visa programs? Non-academic employers? Are there any discernable effects of temporary visa programs upon the broader S&E workforce, e.g. alleged weakening of attachment of company, career, country? Alleged links to offshore outsourcing?
9) Case studies of key employers: Carefully-selected case studies of how the forces of globalization and technology are affecting domestic and international recruitment and careers of scientists and engineers in industries such as aerospace, computer, semiconductor, pharmaceuticals, or in multinational companies such as Boeing, IBM, etc.
10) Postdocs: What characteristics distinguish domestic and foreign scientists and engineer in postdoctoral status at U.S. institutions?