Study of Words Used in NSF Grant Proposals

February 8, 2019

A new study (abstract available here) in the Journal of Language and Social Psychology analyzed the words used in the abstracts of National Science Foundation grants. The analysis found that projects received, on average, larger awards when abstracts were longer, used fewer common words and were written with "verbal certainty." In some ways, the findings raise questions about NSF requests that scientists "communicate in a plain manner," the study says.

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