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NSFC Fulfills Allocation of More than 18.3 Billion Yuan of its Annual Budget in 2015


In 2015, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) received 167,887 research proposals and selected on competition basis 37,606 proposals for funding under various categories of programs with a total funding amount of 18.35 billion yuan for direct costs, accounting for 80.20% of the total funding budget in 2015.

As the main channel of funding for China’s basic research and explorations on the frontier of science, the National Natural Science Fund persists in selecting the best innovative research for funding and focuses on fostering the capability of original innovation. In 2015, 16,709 awards were granted under the General Program with a total funding amount of 10.24 billion yuan for direct costs; 624 awards were granted under the Key Program with a total funding amount of 1.79 billion yuan for direct costs; 81 awards were granted under the National R&D Program for Major Research Instruments (based on free application) with a total funding amount of 502.64 million yuan for direct costs.

In respect of the fostering of talents, 16,155 awards were granted under the Young Scientists Fund Program with a total funding amount of 3.19 billion yuan for direct costs, which continued to play a key role in nurturing a strong reserve force for scientific research. 400 and 38 awards were granted respectively under the Excellent Young Scientists Fund and the Science Fund for Creative Research Groups, which continued to give impetus to the growth of top talents and research teams. In addition, more funding is invested in talent programs in 2015, and following the doubling of funding amount of awards under the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, the average funding amount of awards under the Excellent Young Scientists Fund Program has been increased from 1 million yuan per project to 1.5 million yuan per project.

Meanwhile, NSFC makes continued efforts in promoting collaborative innovation by guiding diversified social investments in basic research. Joint funds have been set up between NSFC and the local governments of Liaoning Province, Zhejiang Province, as well as several enterprises and industry associations to carry out collaborative support for research activities, and a total funding amount of 1.067 billion yuan is planned for Joint Funds Programs in 2015. Besides, collaborative activities are also conducted by NSFC and its 78 partner science foundations and research funding agencies located in 39 countries and regions.

As introduced by Yang Wei, President of NSFC, the application and funding work of NSFC displays some new features in 2015. For instance, separate direct costs and indirect costs are firstly introduced into practice, which will help optimize the use of research funds. In accordance with the newly released measures on the management of funds, the mechanism of indirect cost reimbursement is adopted so that direct expenses are exclusively used for scientific research and the cap on service fees is lifted in the request of budget. Last but not least, the average age of the grantees tends to be younger, with grantees   under the age of 40 accounting for 43.14% within the General Program, which shows that young and mid-aged scientists at the stage of active innovation in their professional career have become the main force of grantees under varied National Natural Science Fund programs.

It is introduced that NSFC’s review system continues to be improved. By releasing management regulations such as the Code of Conduct for Peer Reviewers of the National Natural Science Fund Programs and others, NSFC emphasizes experts’ strict self-discipline in line with rules and regulations, adopts the system of conflict of interest and confidentiality, and reinforces close supervision, all of which contribute to guaranteeing the quality and credibility of NSFC’s review work.

Copyright 2007 Bureau of International Cooperation, NSFC
Bic@nsfc.gov.cn
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