NSF Funding Rates

I found a nice blog post (link) discussing the falling rates of successful funding from the National Science Foundation (specifically DEB).  I've copied a graph from the post below.


The number of proposals is growing each year, which is good.  However, the funding is not growing.  So the success rate is dropping and is now in the single digit (currently ~7% level) and falling.  People with new positions, like myself, are getting hit especially hard.  I have submitted an NSF preproposal each year and have not been successful yet in getting funding from them.  (I have however obtained funding from the Hawai'i Community Foundation, which I am very grateful for.)  Because getting grants (and publishing) early in your career is necessary for getting tenure this is pushing many new faculty to explore alternative ways to get funding, as I did with the HCF.  Follow the link at the beginning to see the original article.

Not increasing research funding is not investing in the future of our country.  To put this in perspective, the NSF budget is $7 billion (2012).  The graph below is the US budget (2012):

NSF falls under the discretionary category.  Here is a breakdown below (2013):

As you can see, the National Science Foundation is not even on the radar and falls below the lowest listing of $9 billion for the EPA.

When people see "NSF" what do we want to come to mind?  "National Science Foundation" or "Non-Sufficient Funds"

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