NISS-USDA Cross-Sector Initiative creates Research in Residence ProgramNovember 20, 2008
The National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS), a private, non-profit organization focusing on statistical research, has established a Cross-Sector Research in Residence Program in partnership with the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the survey and estimation arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This new collaborative venture by NISS and the USDA is the first project of a NISS initiative to host academic-government research teams focused on specific federal agency objectives.
Each team of five people will comprise a faculty researcher in statistics, a NASS researcher, a NISS mentor, a postdoctoral fellow and a graduate student who will work intensively together at NISS during the summers of 2009 and 2010 to solve research questions posed by NASS.
Varied projects will focus on advances in statistical methodology for implementation in USDA surveys and analysis of survey results. Four candidate areas of research have already been identified; and applications to work on each of these are now being sought from university faculty and students.
- Multivariate Imputation Mechanisms and Valid Mean Squared Error Estimation: Agricultural Resource Management Survey - Phase III
- New Design and Estimation Methodologies for Biased Self-Exclusion (Under-coverage): Estimation of Small Farms from Census Mail List NASS accounts for the incompleteness of its Census Mail List (CML)
- New Statistical Editing and Imputation Methods That Preserve Data Quality: Quarterly Agricultural Survey
- Statistical Multi-Source Predictive Models and Error Estimates: Major USDA Crop Protection Forecasts and Estimates
The research teams will examine these focus areas over two consecutive summer periods. The program will start in the summer of 2009 when the complete teams meet at NISS; during the first three weeks, each team will formulate its research agenda. The postdoctoral fellow and graduate student will spend the summer at NISS working on the project under NISS mentorship, with periodic meetings with the faculty member and the NASS researcher. During the academic year, the postdoctoral fellow will reside at the USDA, to continue to work with the NASS researcher. In the summer of 2010, the teams will meet again at NISS and complete their work.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is the survey and estimation arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. NASS conducts hundreds of surveys each year and conducts a Census of Agriculture every five years. These national surveys, in combination with various sources of available administrative data, form a rich data basis for forecasting/estimating a broad array of farm and rural characteristics covering virtually every aspect of U.S. agriculture. Production and supplies of food and fiber, prices paid and received by farmers, farm labor and wages, farm finances, chemical use, and changes in the demographics of U.S. producers are some examples of the statistical data gathered by NASS.
The National Institute of Statistical Sciences was established in 1990 by the national statistics societies and the Research Triangle universities and organizations. Its mission is to identify, catalyze and foster high-impact, cross-disciplinary and cross-sector research involving the statistical sciences. NISS is dedicated to strengthening and serving the national statistics community, most notably by engaging community members in applied research driven by challenges facing government and industry. NISS also provides career development opportunities for statisticians and scientists, especially those in the formative stages of their careers. NISS is located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
For more information about the NISS/NASS Cross-Sector Research in Residence Program, or to apply for one of the positions, go to http://www.niss.org/rir200910/Summer-Research-in-Residence2009-10.html.
National Institute of Statistical Sciences
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