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ASTI collects primary data through national survey rounds in close collaboration with country focal points. These focal points are typically based at national agricultural research institutes but may be independent consultants. Survey forms are distributed to all agencies known to conduct agricultural research in a given country. ASTI has developed three different types of surveys:

  1. Government and nonprofit agencies
  2. Higher education entities
  3. Private-for profit companies

ASTI surveys typically cover the following categories of information:

  • Institutional information, such as the location, affiliation, and organizational structure of agricultural research agencies
  • Human resource information, such as the number, recruitment, and turnover of researchers and support staff employed; their ages, gender, and qualifications; and the amount of time they spend on research
  • Financial information, such as funding levels and sources, and spending levels and allocations
  • Research focus, including details of the coverage of commodities, themes, and research disciplines
  • Research outputs, such as the number of scientific publications, and the release of new varieties and technologies
  • Numbers of students enrolled and graduated at agricultural faculties

Time-series data are collected on levels of research investments, sources of research funding, total levels of research staffing, research outputs, and student numbers. The remaining indicators are collected for particular benchmark years to facilitate cross-country comparisons. Additional qualitative information is gathered through supplementary surveys and face-to-face meetings with specific agencies to provide a more complete picture of national agricultural research systems than can be attained through quantitative data alone.

photo of agricultural research