New Rule Hikes Pay Of Some NSF Scientists

WASHINGTON—Starting next month, NSF will be allowed to pay up to $95,000 to scientists accepting temporary positions in Washington. The new rule represents a boost of $17,500 in the federal pay ceiling created last December by Congress. But the higher cap comes at a price—a new ceiling on salaries for thousands of NSF grantees. That annual ceiling has also been set at $95,000, although typically NSF funds only the summer salaries of university scientists. The ceiling will be appl

Jeffrey Mervis
Sep 4, 1988

WASHINGTON—Starting next month, NSF will be allowed to pay up to $95,000 to scientists accepting temporary positions in Washington. The new rule represents a boost of $17,500 in the federal pay ceiling created last December by Congress.

But the higher cap comes at a price—a new ceiling on salaries for thousands of NSF grantees. That annual ceiling has also been set at $95,000, although typically NSF funds only the summer salaries of university scientists. The ceiling will be applied on a prorated basis, amounting to slightly less than $8,000 for each month of support and far less than some scientists have been used to getting.

December’s cap on temporary positions part of NSF’s 1988 budget, had caused despair among NSF’s administrators who had already been having great difficulty attracting top scientists for shortterm stints at the foundation (see The Scientist, June 13, page 1). Anyone whose salary exceeds that...

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