POWRE: Professional Opportunities for Women in Research and Education

FY 1999 Program Activities Report

The Professional Opportunities for Women in Research and Education (POWRE) Program was developed and implemented by the National Science Foundation in 1997. The goal of the POWRE program is to increase the participation, prominence, and influence of women, who are underrepresented in the science and engineering workforce, in all fields of science and engineering supported by NSF. POWRE awards are designed to attain this goal by providing the Principal Investigator with an opportunity to obtain funding for an activity that represents a significant advance at a critical career stage. The program has supported a wide range of activities, including access to and use of new or special facilities, skills, or methodologies; international collaboration; exploratory work to determine the feasibility of new lines of research inquiries or educational activities; focused support at a critical career stage; and innovative ideas for integrating research and education.

Management of the FY 99 competition was coordinated through the POWRE Coordinating Committee, an internal NSF working group with agency-wide representation. The Committee used a wide variety of communication methods, including the electronic publishing capabilities of the Internet, to publicize the program, distribute the program announcement and respond to requests for clarifying information. Comprehensive information about the program and links to related information are maintained on the NSF POWRE Home Page.

NSF received 583 POWRE proposals in response to Program Announcement NSF 98-160. A total of 159 individual investigator awards, representing a wide range of scientific disciplines and areas of interest, were made in FY 99. FY 99 funding totaled over $11.5 million, and included funds made available by the National Institutes of Health in addition to support from NSF programs and directorates. The overall success rate in the POWRE competition was 27 percent. Information on the awards is summarized in Table 1 below. A list of awards for each research directorate can be viewed by clicking on the directorate acronym in Table 1. A list of all of the awards, by directorate and principal investigator, appears in Table 2. Additional award details, including abstracts, can be located by typing a proposal number from the list of awards, or the word POWRE, in the NSF Award Data Search Box.


Proposals, Awards and Success Rates by Directorate

Directorate Proposals Awards Success Rate
BIO 159 36 23%
CISE 43 10 23%
EHR 32 7 22%
ENG 119 30 25%
GEO 50 12 24%
MPS 110 43 39%
SBE 70 21 30%
Totals 583 159 27%

The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. Grantees are wholly responsible for conducting their project activities and preparing the results for publication. Thus, the Foundation does not assume responsibility for such findings or their interpretation.

NSF welcomes proposals from all qualified scientists, engineers and educators. The Foundation strongly encourages women, minorities, and persons with disabilities to compete fully in its programs. In accordance with federal statutes, regulations, and NSF policies, no person on grounds of race, color, age, sex, national origin, or disability shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from NSF (unless otherwise specified in the eligibility requirements for a particular program).

Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities (FASED) provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities (investigators and other staff, including student research assistants) to work on NSF-supported projects. See the program announcement or contact the program coordinator at (703) 306-1636.

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