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The Waiting Game

Research Funding: NSF Chemistry Division remains in limbo as details of 2011 budget are still being worked out

by Susan R. Morrissey
May 18, 2011

President Barack Obama may have signed the fiscal 2011 budget into law in mid-April, but it remains to be seen what the final amount allocated for programs and divisions within various agencies will be. For the National Science Foundation's Chemistry Division, this uncertainty means the division continues to keep awards—and the research they support—on hold.

The budget signed by the President set the overall 2011 funding for NSF at $6.8 billion, down $53 million from 2010 levels. The measure, however, does not say exactly how much money each division within the agency will get. NSF is working out those details and is expected to finalize the budget breakdown by early June.

"We have an approximate idea of what our budget will be, and we are making some awards and declarations on that basis," explains Mathew S. Platz, director of the Chemistry Division. But, he continues, final decisions on applications that the division has been holding in limbo won't come until the agency releases final budget numbers and any related program guidance  next month.

"We're getting close," Platz says, "but we're not there yet."


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