NSF was concerned that the number of applications has not been increasing. It was good to see that fellows are recommending the MPRF program to their students and colleagues. However, the national pool of minority scientists is so low that not much of an increase in applications is expected. The number of minority doctorates in the biological sciences grew slowly from 139 in 1989 to 320 in 2000. During this interval 2,822 biological science doctorates were awarded to minorities (an average of 235 per year); 1,898 of them sought postdoctoral support; and the MPRF program supported 10.6 percent of these postdoctorals. The numbers are similar for SBE doctorates. Between 1989 and 2000, the number of doctorates in social and behavioral sciences and economics awarded to minorities increased from 264 to 514. During this interval 4,703 doctorates were awarded to minorities in SBE fields (an average of 392 per year); 921 sought postdoctoral support, and 4.7 percent of them were supported by the MPRF program.
The success rates for fellows in the MPRF program were high. The problem, of course, is that there was no comparison group. It was difficult enough getting data on the study group, since the numbers were so small. But the success rates were good, and NSF considers the MPRF to be an exemplary program.