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The Clinton Administration is seeking a 3% hike for the National Science Foundation (NSF) in FY 1996. NSF Director Neal Lane characterized the $3.36 billion request as “good news in tight times.” The request, which represents the smallest increase proposed by any recent president, would essentially keep funding flat in real dollars.

However, money within the NSF budget for research and related activities would see a roughly 8% or $174 million increase. Within this $2.45 billion account, NSF is also giving a high priority to supporting individuals and small research groups. This increase would be offset by cuts in education and research facility construction. In the geosciences, NSF estimates that the funding rate for competitive awards would be frozen at about 35% in FY 1996. Both the median and average annuated award size would increase by about 4% to $65,000 and $87,500, respectively.