Under current NSF funding rates, the average researcher will spend half their career unfunded

grant

Think about it…About 1/4 of NSF pre-proposals get invited to submit full proposals. About 1/4 of those full proposals get funded. That equates to an overall average success rate of around 6%. In other words, the average researcher will have 16 proposals rejected for every one proposal that they get funded.

By current NSF policy, a researcher can only submit 2 proposals per year. So an average researcher will just 1 grant funded every 8 years. Most grants last 3 or 4 years.

Put it all together and this means that our average researcher who applies to NSF every chance they get, will spend over half their career unfunded.

Is this really a tenable system?

Advertisements

One thought on “Under current NSF funding rates, the average researcher will spend half their career unfunded

  1. Really hard and sad reality! I don’t think the system is tenable – it leads to short-termism, and the research itself risks being not as good and useful as if researchers had horizons to work towards. Does a system based on much stronger alternative sources of funding require a business-model change of academia across the world?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s