Advocacy & Public Policy Newsletter ~ April 2013
ADVANCE Funding Continues to Decline
Based on the Presidentâ€™s recommended funding level, the NSF released its own budget. As was previously mentioned, examining the allocation of resources based on a proposed budget is helpful in understanding the priorities of the agency. The goal of the ADVANCE program is to develop systemic approaches to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers. The amount allocated for ADVANCE, one of two remaining programs committed to gender and science, continues to be on a downward trend, taking it to nearly 2002 levels. However, when one considers that the rate of inflation from April 2002 to March 2013 is 29.46%, it reflects a serious failure to sustain those levels let alone invest in that program. Furthermore, $250K of the ADVANCE funding is being set aside for the Career Life Balance initiative.
All grant proposals submitted to NSF are evaluated based on two merit review criteria: intellectual merit and broader impacts. While the majority of funding from NSF goes towards basic and applied research, roughly 11% of the total budget is dedicated to programs that focus on broadening participation in science and engineering. As a percent of both the money for the total NSF budget as well as the Broadening Participation budget, ADVANCE has seen a steady decline.