NSF Award Size and Duration Surveys

The National Science Foundation (NSF) continues to examine ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the research funding process and its research achievements. It is critically important that NSF understand the appropriate investment, appropriate duration, and outcomes of NSF awards. As part of NSF's performance and investment analysis, in FY 2002, NSF commissioned two surveys: one survey of principal investigators and one survey of institutional representatives. The following reports summarize the responses from both surveys.

I am delighted at the enthusiastic response of the principal investigators and institutions. Over 91 percent of the principal investigators responded. In addition, several questions on the survey elicited rich and detailed written comments. These comments were so informative that the NSF commissioned an additional report to summarize their common themes.

Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. conducted the independent surveys and prepared the survey report. Deborah Shapley prepared the independent analysis of the written comments.

These reports will assist NSF in fulfilling its commitment to the nation's science and engineering research by providing valuable insight on the research award process and investment priorities and strategies.

I would like to thank all the individuals and organizations who helped with the survey and the reports. I would especially thank the principal investigators and institutional representatives for their time and effort to provide NSF with guidance and important information on NSF research awards.

    Rita R. Colwell


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