National Science Foundation

National Science Foundation (NSF) officials reported that several circumstances helped the agency mitigate the effects of sequestration in fiscal year 2013. In particular, NSF officials indicated that NSF received a higher appropriation than it anticipated for the year, which helped limit the reduction in the number of new grant awards the agency provided—NSF’s primary action to implement sequestration. In addition, the flexibility NSF received by having its eight programs, projects, and activities (PPAs) defined at a relatively high level combined with its use of its transfer authority helped it to avoid significant effects on agency staff and other priorities, such as maintaining support for ongoing facilities construction projects. NSF officials awarded 690 fewer new grants in fiscal year 2013 as an effect of sequestration. Although they could not determine the effects of fewer NSF grant awards, NSF officials said effects would likely include less innovation and advancement in science and engineering research and education in areas such as emerging technologies and cybersecurity.