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NSF 13-101

Notice:  Implementation of the 2013 Federal Continuing Appropriations Act provisions affecting the NSF Political Science Program

Date: June 7, 2013

Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences

The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013 (P.L. 113-6, enacted on March 26, 2013) contains a provision that places restrictions on the types of research projects that can be funded through the Political Science Program.  Specifically, Division B, Title III, Sec. 543 reads:

  1. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to carry out the functions of the Political Science Program in the Division of Social and Economic Sciences of the Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences of the National Science Foundation, except for research projects that the Director of the National Science Foundation certifies as promoting national security or the economic interests of the United States.
  2. The Director of the National Science Foundation shall publish a statement of the reason for each certification made pursuant to subsection (a) on the public website of the National Science Foundation.
  3. Any unobligated balances for the Political Science Program described in subsection (a) may be provided for other scientific research and studies that do not duplicate those being funded by other Federal agencies.

The Political Science Program in the Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) will continue to engage panels to review grant proposals, using the two National Science Board approved merit review criteria (Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts).  Panels will also be asked to provide input on whether proposals meet one or both of the additional criteria required for exceptions under P.L. 113-6, i.e., promoting national security or the economic interests of the United States.

Based on the advice of the review panels, NSF Program Officers will make funding recommendations. All PIs will receive the customary communications from NSF about funding decisions. Note, however, that due to the provisions stipulated by P.L. 113-6, funding decisions for Political Science proposals may be delayed.

The provisions of P.L. 113-6 apply only to the Political Science program in SBE for Fiscal Year 2013. NSF will post information about requirements for future fiscal years as they are known.  Investigators are encouraged to stay apprised of future notices regarding the Political Science program by visiting

Questions about this Notice may be addressed to the following SBE program contacts: Brian Humes ( and Erik Herron (