February 27, 2013

Impact of Sequestration on NSF

By Christy Gullion

The National Science Foundation has issued an Important Notice concerning the impact of sequestration on the NSF programs. In that notice, NSF indicates that they intend to make the necessary FY 2013 reductions with “as little disruption as possible to established commitments” and will use the following set of core principles to guide sequestration planning activities:

  • Protect commitments to NSF’s core mission and maintain existing awards;
  • Protect the NSF workforce; and
  • Protect STEM human capital development programs.

The notice goes on to detail what they foresee as the major impact of sequestration, which will be noticed through reductions to the number of new research grants and cooperative agreements awarded in FY 2013. They anticipate that the total number of new research grants will be reduced by approximately 1,000 for the remainder of this fiscal year.

But the good news for existing grants is that all continuing grant increments in FY 2013 will be awarded, as scheduled, and there will be no impact on existing NSF standard grants. The same intent applies to annual increments for cooperative agreements, though overall funding constraints may require reductions to certain major investments. These will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

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