Michael J. Radke


NASA generally selects about 130-150 FINESST proposals each year or about 15% of total submissions. The exact selection rate varies from year to year and by division, but Astrophysics typically has the lowest selection rate and Heliophysics the highest. The overall selection rate across all divisions has been fairly stable in recent years.

The 2019 solicitation saw submissions drop by ~20% due to the COVID pandemic, but the volume of submissions has since returned to pre-pandemic levels. During this time, the number of selected proposals also increased, such that the overall selection rate has remained constant. The selection rate stability is likely just a coincidence, though, as the FINESST program is not funded directly by NASA headquarters. FINESST grants are funded by each division separately, from their own (sub)budgets. The selection rates for each division, particularly Heliophysics and Planetary Science, vary wildly from year to year.

The years plotted below correspond to the date of the solicitation, not the date the funding was received by the FI. For example, selections announced in 2022 will be plotted as 2021. Also note that these data plots show the number of submissions/selections in a given year and do not show the total number of active grants or the total amount of funding allocated to FINESST by a particular division.

Note: The data shown here are taken from the selection documents published to NSPIRES and may not match the values published on the SARA website where FINESST (and other grant) selection rates can be found.