The NSF shoe drops

Feb 27 2013 Published by under [Education&Careers]

We knew this was coming, but it sucks all the same. NSF announced today that they are cutting 1000 new projects if the sequester happens, as expected. Honestly, I don't really have much to add, it's a little numbing. I have a pending project that has cleared a lot of hurdles to get to the point where NSF was willing to fund it.

Now I get to watch that vanish. And for what?

17 responses so far

  • drugmonkey says:

    So that the 1%ers don't have to pay their fair share as per the Buffett rule.

    More or less.

  • My sincere condolences, PLS.

  • proflikesubstance says:

    DM, are you trying to get me to a second drink already?

    ME, thanks. There will be many others, so I guess misery loves company.

  • Yoshimi says:

    So sorry to hear this.

    Do you know how many new grants NSF normally funds per year?

  • DJMH says:

    Is it certain your project will get the axe? Any chance you'll escape?

  • proflikesubstance says:

    Nothing is certain right now, not even these grants getting the axe. A lot has to do with what happens over the next few days.

    As for the number of new grants each year, I don't know that offhand but will try and find it.

  • NSF funds about 11,000 per year, according to this website:
    http://www.nsf.gov/funding/aboutfunding.jsp

  • bashir says:

    What happens if you get the axe? Is there an option to go at it again another cycle or hold over for a 'pickup'?

  • ponderingfool says:

    My understanding was that if NSF recommended you for funding then most likely you will be funded. When I talked with my program officer, I was told they don't want to re-review proposals that have been recommended. New proposals that haven't been recommended will bare the brunt of sequester.

  • proflikesubstance says:

    The options post sequester are not clear. Everything is fluid.

  • Michelle says:

    I strongly recommend everyone pesters the heck out of their representative. Tell them this matters and if they want your vote, you want them to work for it!

  • Dave says:

    It's a massive fucking mess. Total calamity. I find their decision to hit new grants exclusively a bit odd though.

  • Wandering Hoosier says:

    This is happening to me too. Oh well, who needs a job? Being able to feed your family and live in a house are over-rated.

  • odyssey says:

    Dave,
    I suspect the NSF had few options in regards to spreading the pain. There are two NSF grant mechanisms: standard grants and continuing grants. With the former you get ALL the money up front - bit hard to take that back. With the latter mech each year's money is delivered after an annual report is approved. I don't know how many of each type they give out and how they decide what type to give a PI. I've had both. You could hold back some money from continuing grants, but you would have to hit those really hard to make much of a dent. And NSF grants tend to be pretty bare bones to begin with.

    I don't like the 1000 fewer approach - I have one pending - but I'm not seeing another viable option for the NSF.

    And let's not forget the continuing resolution expires soon. Things could get much, much worse...

  • DrLizzyMoore says:

    Agreed Odyssey, further these cuts are hitting mid-fiscal year off of a continuing resolution. So they've already spent $$ and are having to absorb huge cuts mid cycle. Makes a tough situation even worse.

    Sorry, PLS.

  • Dave says:

    Thanks for the explanation Odyssey. As you can tell I'm not familiar with NSF funding. The (not so) hilarious thing about all this is that NIH/NSF officials (i.e. Collins) complain that this sequester will hurt new and young investigators the most, but their response to the budget decline is to install policies that practically guarantee that.

    It is frustrating for all, especially when the general public seems to think the sequester is over-hyped tosh that wont do any damage. I guess we will find out soon enough.

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