Dear colleagues in the mathematics and statistics community,
This year we held the second annual Discovery Grant survey, collecting basic information as to the outcomes of the EG 1508 (Math & Stats) DG competition. While we do not have absolutely full data, we have had a very good response rate to our requests for information, and have been able to come up with a basic picture of the outcome of this year’s competition, data which is given below.
Our impression is that overall it was a much more orderly and fair outcome than the one of 2011, with evenly distributed bin levels and success rates within reason. Part of this is that the total budget coming into the EG 1508 for the competition was not unreasonably and unexpectedly cut, while another part might be that there were a lower number of applicants to EG 1508 than last year. A further point is that bin values for mathematics grants were not different from statistics grants for the same bin.
Another noteworthy feature is the number of members of mathematics and statistics departments who are applying to EGs other than EG 1508, with good success rates and good award amounts. This testifies to the continuing underfunding of math & stats grants as compared with our fellow scientists.
Because of the sensitivity of our community to the value of research performed at smaller institutions, we have also subdivided the results of this competition by institution size. Since our data is not absolutely complete, the numbers below are underestimates of the total applicants, and since the missing data is principally from smaller institutions, the success rates and grant award averages are probably over estimates.
Walter Craig for the MNLC
Bin levels (\$ values) for EG 1508
- A = \$60K
- B = \$52-51K
- C = \$48-45K
- D = \$40K
- E = \$35K
- F = \$30K
- G = \$26-24K
- H = \$22-20K
- I = \$17-15K
- J = \$13-12K
- below this received \$0K
Note: The variation in some bins by one or two \$K is probably partially due to small supplements to early career researchers, as in a NSERC-Contact announcement of October 2011. Some senior researchers have also received small additional increments, which we understand less well, although at the top of the scale this is probably due to `grandfathering’ of prior awards.
Total applications from Math and Stats departments = 235
(this is a lower bound, because of underreporting in our survey)
Total applications to EG 1508 = 211
Total grants awarded in EG 1508 = 150
Total grants awarded from other EGs = 20
Total budget (annual) allocated by EG 1508 in this competition = \$3,238K
Bin populations: A=1, B=3, C=5, D=1, E=8, F=16, G=21, H=25, I=32, J=38
EG 1508 Math: #applicants = 151 (this again is a lower bound, because of underreporting)
average grant \$22.7K
#grants = 111
success rate 73.5%
EG 1508 Statistics: #applicants = 60 (ditto)
average grant \$18.4K
#grants = 39
success rate 65%
Other EG’s: #applicants = 24 (even harder to verify completeness, this is a lower bound)
average grant \$28.2K
#grants = 20
success rate 83.3%
Percent applications to other EGs: 10%+
Data subdivided by institution size
EG 1508 Mathematics:
Size Av Grant Success Rate # Apps
3 28.31 80.00 60
2 19.22 70.59 69
1 15.71 63.64 22
Overall 22.71 73.51 151
EG 1508 Statistics:
Size Av Grant Success Rate # Apps
3 19.65 85.00 20
2 17.65 62.50 32
1 15.00 25.00 8
Overall 18.38 65.00 60
Size categories: Institutions are considered here to be of size 3 when total NSERC (annualized) grants exceed \$3M, of size 2 when total NSERC grants are between this and \$225K, and below this, size 1.
Note: In putting together this statistical data subdivided by institution size, we have (somewhat arbitrarily) classified institution size in terms of its total NSERC grant profile. Maybe it would have been better to do this with the tri-council profile instead, but this information is less available. In any case, a list of total NSERC grant awards per institution is available either from us, or else from NSERC.