FAQ

How many years does the dashboard cover and how often is it updated?

The dashboard shows 10 years of data and is updated annually when the fiscal year is complete.

 

How does the number of New Awards Funded relate to NSF-Funded Institutions?

New Awards Funded represents the number of new competitive awards made in a given fiscal year, while NSF-Funded Institutions represent the count of unique institutions receiving funding from NSF in a given year, including new awards as well as increments and supplements on awards made in prior years.

 

How does the number of New Awards Funded relate to Award Obligations?

New Awards Funded represents the number of new competitive awards made in a given fiscal year, while Award Obligations represent the total amount of NSF obligations in a given year, including new awards as well as increments and supplements to awards made in prior years.

 

How do I zoom into or otherwise navigate to my district in the NSF by the Numbers dashboard?

Hovering over the congressional district map will show the map controls. The + (zoom in) and - (zoom out) functions can be used to interact with the map. 

 

Why do the funding amounts shown in the dashboard differ slightly from those displayed in NSF’s Budget Request to Congress?

The dashboard displays award funding to NSF’s Research, Engineering, and Education directorates.  In addition, it excludes funding for administrative planning and related technology investments, making the totals slightly different than the levels found in NSF’s Congressional Budget Actuals.

 

Why is NSF receiving fewer proposals now than in 2018?

NSF, first in parts of Geosciences in 2015, then followed in 2018 by Biosciences and then Engineering, began to accept proposals for core programs at any time of the year rather than at one or more established deadlines. By accepting proposals at any time, NSF is affording more time to prepare proposals, build strong collaborations, and to think more creatively without the pressure of a deadline. Spreading proposal submissions more evenly over the year may also reduce the burden on principal investigators (PIs), reviewers, and proposing organizations.

For more information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions for the Directorate for Engineering’s Dear Colleague Letter here: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2018/nsf18083/nsf18083.jsp

 

The Department of Education recently identified my institution as a Minority Serving Institution.  In the trends shown, are MSIs reflected by their current status or by their MSI status in a particular fiscal year?

Information on MSIs categorizes institutions based on their most recent Department of Education status and includes them in relevant MSI counts and funding totals in prior years.

 

NSF has reorganized over the years. How is organization presented over time in NSF by the Numbers?

Major reorganizations have been addressed by displaying proposals and award counts as well as funding in the current organizational structure. However, the data for the dashboard consist of a series of annual snapshots where NSF organizational structure is captured as it existed in the fiscal year shown. In some cases, this leads to the display of funding that does not align with the current NSF structure or to misalignments of actions and funding.

For more information about NSF reorganizations over time, please see NSF's Budget Requests to Congress and the NSF Merit Review Reports.

 

Why did funding to Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) states drop sharply in 2017 despite increases in the targeted EPSCoR program?

Given EPSCoR's aim to stimulate research that is fully competitive in NSF's disciplinary and multidisciplinary research programs, increases in the ability to capture NSF research funds serve as a proxy for gains in research competitiveness.

As in FY 2016, Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee and Utah exceeded the 0.75% threshold in FY 2017. As a result, these jurisdictions continued to be ineligible to compete in new Research Infrastructure Improvement competitions. Additionally, Iowa, Tennessee and Utah exceeded the threshold for three or more consecutive years and were no longer EPSCoR-eligible for co-funding or outreach.

More information about EPSCoR is available in NSF’s 2019 Budget Request to Congress.

 

Some of the demographic data used in the Trends dashboard in NSF by the Numbers filters changes over time. How is that handled?

The various attributes are captured as follows:

  •  EPSCoR State status is shown relative to each fiscal year. Therefore, information is shown based on the EPSCoR states that were eligible in the fiscal year(s) selected.
  • Minority Serving Institution data for all fiscal years are based on NSF’s current MSI designations as obtained from Department of Education data.

 

What do the quartiles in the NSF by the Numbers Map View represent?

To allow for easier visual comparison of metrics among states and congressional districts, the map view within NSF by the Numbers groups the metric values into four quartiles. By default, the map view expresses metrics on a per capita basis, that is, the state total for that metric divided by the population for each state. For example, if a user is analyzing Proposals Evaluated, Quartile 4 would represent states with a total per capita proposal concentration between 75%-100%, Quartile 3 represents 50-75%, Quartile 2 represents 25-50%, and Quartile 1 represents 0-25%. Darker colors indicate a higher quartile of that metric and vice versa. Users can find the color coding associated with each quartile in the legend above the map, and can also use the dropdown menu to the right of the legend to display the total metrics by state instead of per capita.

 

How does NSF calculate Per Capita metrics on NSF by the Numbers?

To normalize comparisons across states with different population sizes, the map view on Numbers by State defaults to Per Capita, meaning that the selected metric (for example, New Awards Funded) is divided by the population for each state.

The population data source for NSF by the Numbers is the United States Census Bureau's "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico." This data set is currently based on FY 2018, and NSF may update this base year as more recent data are made available. The population data set is public and can be accessed on the United States Census Bureau website.

 

How do I contact NSF for more information on the data in the dashboard?

Email data@nsf.gov