WASHINGTON—The National Science Foundation plans to increase the budget of a new research program for undergraduates after receiving an unexpectedly large number of applicants from universities and other research facilities around the country.

Rushing to meet a March 1 deadline on less than three months' notice, researchers submitted proposals to hire groups of students to work at more than 600 sites as part of NSF's new Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program.

Alan Leshner, coordinator for the program, said that individual research directorates plan to juggle their budgets to permit more money to go into the undergraduate program. "The floor is $9 million, and we will spend more," Leshner said. "We just have too much proposal pressure." Accepting all the proposals would require a budget almost three times its present size.

NSF's original announcement called for about 2,000 undergraduates to work this summer either at new sites that offered places...

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