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Update to Important Notice No. 133

July 17, 2013

On March 1, 2013, as required by law, President Obama issued the sequestration order, under which NSF budgetary resources were reduced by $356 million.  NSF has since received its full-year FY 2013 appropriations and we are now finalizing our detailed FY 2013 spending plans.  NSF affirms our commitment to honor the following guiding principles that were identified in Important Notice 133

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

While sequestration does have a significant impact on NSF’s budget, the impact on existing programs has been partially mitigated due to FY 2013 Congressional appropriations, combined with difficult choices including limits to new research that would have been initiated otherwise. After the sequestration reduction of $356 million and two government-wide FY 2013 across-the-board reductions, the NSF funding level of $6.88 billion for FY 2013 represents a decrease of 2.1 percent from last year, with more significant reductions in the research accounts for new awards.

At this funding level, NSF can sustain its emphasis on pursuing key national and scientific policy priorities, advancing innovation, economic growth, and national security through NSF’s broad-based support for science and engineering research and education at the nation’s colleges and universities. 

What does this mean to you?

  • NSF will fully fund all existing continuing grant increments in FY 2013;
  • NSF directorates have now received full-year funding allocations, which will allow funding decisions to be made prior to the end of the fiscal year on September 30th;
  • NSF expects to make fewer new awards in FY 2013;
  • NSF will fully fund all FY 2013 major research equipment and facilities construction projects;
  • Competitions for some programs and solicitations may not be conducted in FY 2013; and
  • NSF staff will not be furloughed, allowing for no interruptions to the NSF proposal review and award decision making processes.

While the budgetary situation for FY 2013 for NSF has stabilized, the situation for next fiscal year remains somewhat uncertain. Please monitor the National Science Foundation website for any further updates.