National Science Foundation (NSF) offers the same number of annual graduate research fellowships as it did in 1960s.
The National Defense Education Act, created in 1958 in direct response to the Soviet Union's launch of Sputnik, established graduate fellowships for students on the doctoral track in the sciences. While the particular program is no longer in effect, it and similar programs are widely credited with putting more talent in the pipeline and augmenting U.S. science policy. Today, we are shortchanging the interests of our students and the needs of the nation if we limit support for graduate education in critical fields. The Obama Administration proposed increased funding for research fellowships in its 2011 science budget; $158 million for the NSF, $824 million for the NIH, $15 million for DOE, and $40 million for DOD, increases of 16 percent, five percent, ten percent, and four percent, respectively, over the preceding year's fellowships budget. This was a step in the right direction in building our brain power and deserves broad support.