period the AMOP theory program supported an average of 16 undergraduate students each year.
Beginning in FY1997, the AMOP experimental program began giving preference to increasing the size of awards as opposed to increasing the number of awards or the number of investigators supported. This practice has since been maintained. On the other hand, because funding for theory has recently been static or declining, the program has chosen to try and maintain a roughly constant award size. The AMOP experimental and theoretical programs averaged 41 and 46 percent success rates, respectively, over the reporting period.
Both AMOP programs place high value on initiating new grant activities, particularly those of junior investigators. Of new awards made in the experimental program between FY2000 and FY2005, 34 were to scientists within 10 years of their Ph.D. The numbers vary, from four new starts in FY2001 and FY2005 to eight new starts in FY2002. The much smaller AMOP theory program reports a few new starts each year. One reference point is illustrative: Of the 99 scientists listed as PIs on experimental awards in FY1996, 53 were listed as such in FY2005.
Like its sister agencies, the NSF does not track demographics in detail. Like the other agencies, the qualitative response is that the AMOP experimental program is weak with regard to participation by women and underrepresented minorities. Of the 102 senior investigators reported above, eight were women and two were underrepresented minorities. The number of women supported increased over the decade, from four to eight. The number of underrepresented minorities remained the same.
The AMOP theory program has similar experience with women as senior investigators. Of the 52 senior investigators mentioned above, 5, on average, have been women. This number has increased slightly in recent years. One underrepresented minority was funded from FY1999 through FY2002. During the remaining years none were reported. These numbers reflect only self-identified individuals.