Proposal to Triple NSF GFRP Awards and the Size of the Awards by 33%

Posted on October 14, 2007  Comments (3)

Hillary Clinton’s Innovation Agenda (press release from the campaign):

Triple the number of NSF fellowships and increase the size of each award by 33 percent. At present, the NSF offers approximately 1,000 fellowships per year. This number is not much changed from the 1960s, although the number of college students graduating with science and engineering degrees has grown three fold. The NSF fellowship is the key financial resource for science and engineering graduate students. Hillary will increase the number of fellowships to 3,000 per year. She will also increase each award from $30,000 to $40,000 per year (simultaneously, she will increase the NSF award to each recipient’s school from $10,500 per recipient to $14,000 per recipient to help cover educational costs).

That sounds great to me. I have talked about this before: Increasing American Fellowship Support for Scientists and Engineers. I work for ASEE on the IT systems in support of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Operation Center (the ASEE portion of the program) and other engineering fellowship programs). This blog is my own and is not affiliated with ASEE.

The proposed legislation on Graduate Scholar Awards in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math also has a similar aim and commitment. Here is a post from 2005 on similar proposals. As I mentioned in The Innovation Agenda, 2005 while I agree with this spending I also believe what I said then:

Currently the United States has over $8,000,000,000,000 (that is over $8 trillion – see current count) in debt (increasing by over $400 Billion a year). That brings every person’s share to over $27,000. Given that, it seems reckless to just add spending without either cutting something else or increasing taxes and I don’t see those details in the innovation agenda.

The debt now? Over $9,000,000,000,000 (increasing more than $1.4 billion a day for the last year). More on Washington taxing future generations to pay for what we spend today.

3 Responses to “Proposal to Triple NSF GFRP Awards and the Size of the Awards by 33%”

  1. Aurelie Thiele
    October 24th, 2007 @ 6:41 pm

    This sounds great of course, but those are the most prestigious graduate fellowships available in science and engineering – wouldn’t tripling the number of awards dilute the prestige associated with them? Maybe there are enough terrific applicants each year to justify such an increase, but I doubt that has been taken into account in the proposal. The NSF has other fellowship programs available such as the IGERT fellowships too. Besides, if I were to increase the amount of the award I would actually use the extra money to pay the students longer, rather than increase the amount of the monthly stipend.

  2. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Science and Engineering in Politics
    December 4th, 2007 @ 12:07 pm

    If the science and engineering community are not well represented to our representatives the interests of the science and engineering community will get short changed…

  3. CuriousCat: Saving Fermilab
    May 31st, 2008 @ 7:16 am

    the anonymous donor that saved Fermilab with a $5 million donation likely benefited from the successful investments in science centers of excellence in the past…

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