Top Organizations Receiving NSF Archaeology Funds

Posted on March 17, 2014

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Ever wonder which universities or organizations (yes, you don’t have to be a part of a university to apply) are the most successful at getting National Science Foundation funding for archaeology? Well, after some data crunching I have the numbers.

Last week I looked at the top individual recipients of National Science Foundation funding for Archaeology and Archaeology related projects. I also looked at how women are under represented as PIs for that funding. This was all based off of data (or datum for British English singular) the NSF provides (data I have made available here). That data also included the sponsoring organization that the PI was a part of. So after a little data crunching here are the top 20 recipient organizations, by number of grants in the Archaeology/Archaeometry categories:

Number of Grants  Total Amount of Grants  Adjusted for Inflation Total Amount of Grants
University of Arizona 127  $16,575,156  $24,972,090
Arizona State University 96  $5,988,033  $7,433,681
University of Pittsburgh 88  $2,425,220  $3,588,255
University of Wisconsin-Madison 67  $5,121,866  $7,662,436
University of Michigan Ann Arbor 66  $5,270,822  $7,320,554
University of California-Santa Barbara 65  $8,161,860  $11,442,602
University of Pennsylvania 64  $4,594,214  $7,079,374
University of California-Berkeley 61  $4,595,522  $8,051,949
Southern Methodist University 59  $3,190,881  $5,755,904
University of California-Los Angeles 55  $3,189,155  $4,904,698
University of New Mexico 55  $2,936,736  $4,187,735
Harvard University 51  $2,609,931  $4,184,162
University of Chicago 49  $2,334,767  $3,310,053
Washington University 49  $1,611,487  $3,099,092
University of Washington 44  $2,422,026  $3,920,617
University of Colorado at Boulder 40  $3,128,237  $4,358,555
University of Florida 39  $2,180,343  $2,920,704
University of Missouri-Columbia 35  $4,272,999  $6,136,365
Rutgers University New Brunswick 32  $1,299,961  $1,956,876
SUNY at Binghamton 32  $2,332,365  $3,670,447

As before I have mentioned in previous post grants for archaeology projects can be funding from NSF programs other than Archaeology. Here is the top 20 when taking into account all archaeology grants:

Number of Grants  Total Amount of Grants  Adjusted for Inflation Total Amount of Grants
University of Arizona 152  $26,476,022  $37,484,664
Arizona State University 118  $16,267,647  $19,032,720
University of Pittsburgh 89  $2,450,671  $3,636,069
University of Wisconsin-Madison 79  $6,338,984  $9,115,124
University of California-Berkeley 75  $8,033,937  $12,436,043
University of Pennsylvania 73  $8,607,181  $12,976,129
University of Michigan Ann Arbor 71  $5,034,098  $6,844,379
University of California-Santa Barbara 69  $9,157,502  $12,614,268
University of New Mexico 69  $3,941,604  $5,347,398
University of California-Los Angeles 65  $4,213,531  $6,101,129
Harvard University 62  $6,478,042  $8,650,898
Southern Methodist University 62  $3,240,182  $5,855,794
University of Colorado at Boulder 57  $7,933,232  $10,559,607
University of Washington 55  $6,307,993  $8,693,548
Washington University 53  $1,664,287  $3,174,268
University of Chicago 52  $3,577,774  $4,950,679
University of Florida 48  $3,244,799  $4,316,607
University of Missouri-Columbia 38  $4,687,264  $6,704,813
Rutgers University New Brunswick 37  $1,500,404  $2,211,481
Pennsylvania State Univ University Park 35  $3,207,632  $5,093,063

That is of course ordered by number of grants. Here is the order by money received, adjusted for inflation to 2013 dollars.

Number of Grants  Total Amount of Grants  Adjusted for Inflation Total Amount of Grants
University of Arizona 152  $26,476,022  $37,484,664
Arizona State University 118  $16,267,647  $19,032,720
University of Pennsylvania 73  $8,607,181  $12,976,129
University of California-Santa Barbara 69  $9,157,502  $12,614,268
University of California-Berkeley 75  $8,033,937  $12,436,043
Brown University 27  $8,872,411  $10,740,057
University of Colorado at Boulder 57  $7,933,232  $10,559,607
University of Wisconsin-Madison 79  $6,338,984  $9,115,124
University of Washington 55  $6,307,993  $8,693,548
Harvard University 62  $6,478,042  $8,650,898
University of Michigan Ann Arbor 71  $5,034,098  $6,844,379
University of Missouri-Columbia 38  $4,687,264  $6,704,813
University of California-Los Angeles 65  $4,213,531  $6,101,129
Southern Methodist University 62  $3,240,182  $5,855,794
Smithsonian Institution 13  $4,162,853  $5,780,045
University of New Mexico 69  $3,941,604  $5,347,398
Pennsylvania State Univ University Park 35  $3,207,632  $5,093,063
Washington State University 24  $3,935,723  $5,064,379
Columbia University 13  $3,928,743  $5,047,500
University of Chicago 52  $3,577,774  $4,950,679

Why Arizona Dominates?

Looking at both numbers and amounts it looks like Arizonian universities do particularly well. I did a quick look at the abstract of UA grants and the reason there so many is because a majority of them are PhD dissertation grants. I have been told that some Universities require, or at least strongly push, all their PhD students to apply for NSF funding. My understanding is that the Arizona schools are some of those type of schools. That combined with the fact that they are very large programs and the law of averages would dictate that programs with lots of PhDs applying for funding would on average get lots of awards.

It is important to remember that the median award amount to institutions is $428,075 over 30 years. Most organizations actually don’t get that much money from the NSF for archaeology.

Methods

The difference between grants from the archaeology categories and archaeology projects in all categories can be found here. Word of warning, these were very quick calculations using an excel sheet. The amounts were calculated off the the name used by institutions e.g. =countif(A:A, “UA”). Thus branch campuses are counted separately from main campuses. If one were to count all University of California universities as a single entity the results would be very different. Also, any sort of spelling mistake might cause a organization to be counted as two separate organizations.

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