National Science Foundation Funds Extensive Research Survey on Asian Americans

TaekuLee_2014-750The National Science Foundation has decided to fund an extensive research survey on Asian Americans.  The survey project, lead by Political Science Professor Karthick Ramakrishnan of UC Riverside, Law Professor Taeku Lee of UC Berkeley (shown here), Sociology Professor Jennifer Lee of UC Irvine, and American Studies Professor Janelle Wong of the University of Maryland, will expand on the National Asian American Survey.  This study aims to differentiate its data from other surveys by getting statistically significant samples from each of the six largest Asian American ethnic groups, with at least 400 interviews from each group, conducted in at least 11 languages.  Along with attitudes on various subjects, data on finance, health, and other areas will be collected.

I was curious as to how these professors got a grant from the National Science Foundation, an organization that I usually associate with technology and not political science.  Their grant award summary argues that since Asian Americans make a disproportionately large number of skilled STEM (Science, Technology, Engineer, and Mathematics) workers, understanding them and the barriers facing them will be critical to ensuring the economic competitiveness of the United States.  I think that is a valid argument, and it is gratifying to see the award as a recognition of the impact of Asian Americans.

The project will produce a dataset for public release in June 2017.