Florida Academic Institution Proposal Success Rates at the National Science Foundation

Florida Researchers Improve NSF Proposal To Award Success Rates

InternetCoast's Florida Innovation Highlights is an information resource that provides analysis and insights on innovation and technology driven job creation and economic growth in South Florida and across the State.  

The purpose of Highlights is to provide a tool to stimulate dialogue to better understand South Florida and Florida’s innovation ecosystem, its impact on the competitiveness of industries, and opportunities to leverage innovation to stimulate job creation and economic growth.  

This report summarizes successful funding of academic proposals submitted to the National Science Foundation.  Proposal success rates are a key performance indicator that tracks grant application productivity trends at Florida academic institutions, including benchmarking Florida aggregate success with success rates of other States.  The source of data for this report is the National Science Foundation (NSF).  

Between fiscal year 2010 and 2015 NSF proposal success rates, the percentage of proposals funded by NSF, was between 22 and 24 percent on a national basis as summarizes in Table 1.  This compares to a success rate between 14 and 20 percent at Florida academic institutions.   Compared to other States, Florida ranked 36th in 2015, the best performance during the 2010 – 2015 analysis period.  During the same period Florida academic institution share of U.S. awards increased from 2.9 percent in 2010 to 3.1 percent in 2015. 

Academic institutions in the District of Columbia had the highest annual success rate in 2010 – 2015, achieving a 37 percent success rate in  2015.  The top ten 2015 State success rates included Rhode Island (36%), Washington (30%), Illinois (28%), Minnesota (28%), Oregon (27%), California (27%), Massachusetts (27%), Maine (26%), and Wisconsin (26%).

Table 2 is a summary of Florida academic institution success rates during fiscal years 2010 – 2015.  In 2015, The University of Miami School of Marine & Atmospheric Sciences had the highest Florida academic success rate of 32 percent.  The institutions with the most improved success rates from 2010 to 2015 include the University of Miami School of Marine & Atmospheric Sciences, UNF, UF, FIU, USF, and UCF.  Due to privacy, institutions with small numbers of proposals were not identified in the NFS data base.

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