The Journal of Technology Transfer

, Volume 44, Issue 5, pp 1638–1664 | Cite as

Scientific and technological (human) social capital formation and Industry–University Cooperative Research Centers: a quasi-experimental evaluation of graduate student outcomes

  • Olena LeonchukEmail author
  • Denis O. Gray


In the current paper, we attempt to contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of science, technology and innovation (STI) outputs and outcomes through the application of a Scientific and Technical Human Capital (STHC) evaluation framework. We do this by describing a study that focuses on a type of STI initiative that appears ripe with potential to affect STHC impacts—Industry–University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRCs). In doing so we summarize relevant theory related to the STHC framework and social capital formation more generally. We also define IUCRCs and highlight the program mechanisms that appear likely to impact the STHC outcomes. Finally, we narrow our focus to a relatively neglected research target of the STI evaluation—science and engineering (S&E) doctoral students. We compare social capital and other students’ outcomes by employing a rare quasi-experimental design with two training modalities: IUCRC and more traditional, non-center training. We show that our results demonstrate strong evidence for positive effects of IUCRC training on graduate S&E students’ outcomes. We also explain significant moderating effect of citizenship status on some of our results where international students, who account for 50% of this population, do not receive the same social capital outcomes as students with US citizenship or permanent resident status. In addition, we describe patterns in international students’ intentions to stay in the US and how they are affected by students’ training modality. Finally, we discuss the results and implications in the context of graduate training, STHC evaluation framework and STI and immigration policy.


Social capital Students Science technology and innovation Cooperative research centers Industry–university cooperation 

JEL Classification

J24 O15 O34 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.North Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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