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Lance A. Selfa

Pronouns: He/Him

Principal Research Scientist
Lance creates analytical data products to help researchers understand higher education and career outcomes.

Lance directs research projects and coordinates the activities of research assistants, analysts and other staff. He conducts quantitative and qualitative analysis; contributes to questionnaire content and design, designs research studies in collaboration with other staff, drafts and manages contract proposals and grant applications. He actively works with other departments and NORC staff to research new ways to analyze and visualize education data.

Lance has more than 30 years of experience in the survey research field. Starting in 1997, Lance has served in various capacities on two federally sponsored studies: the Survey of Doctorate Recipients (SDR), a biennial longitudinal study of career paths of doctorates in science, engineering and health, and the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED), an annual census of research doctorate recipients from U.S. universities. On these projects, Lance has taken a leading role in constructing and editing research databases from data collection instruments in multiple modes, working with members of the broader research community to provide customized analyses, and producing analytical data products such as reports and data tables. Working with diverse teams of researchers, Lance has contributed his expertise to many facets of the survey process, including sampling and imputation, questionnaire design and analysis, data collection, and data analytics dashboard design. In addition to using these skills on higher education studies, Lance has also contributed to other key NORC projects such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Component 2 EEO-1 Compensation Data Collection and the National Study of Early Career and Education.

Project Contributions

America’s DataHub Consortium

Demonstrating replicable processes for acquiring and providing secure access to linked data sources


National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics

Enhancing the Admitted Class Evaluation Service™

Improving services that validate college admissions and placement policies


College Board

National Science Foundation Secure Data Access Facility

Ensuring security while expanding access to data on science and engineering graduates


National Science Foundation

Survey of Doctorate Recipients

The only comprehensive data on U.S.-trained doctorate holders in science, engineering, and health


National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics at the National Science Foundation (NCSES/NSF)