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An Inter-provincial Comparative Study on the Programs Approved by National Natural Science Foundation of China in 2017

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DOI: 10.25236/emcs.2018.166


Le Wang, Wanliang Dai, Yue Wang

Corresponding Author

Yue Wang


This paper uses annual statistical data from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, analyzes the total number of programs approved and total funding of seven main types of programs in 31 provinces of mainland China in 2017. Unlike other studies that focus on universities or disciplines, this study focuses on the gaps between provinces. The result shows that, there are huge differences between provinces in mainland China. Beijing has the largest number of programs and funding. Shanghai and Jiangsu are very close behind. The top five provinces took half of the country's programs and funding. But many provinces have obtained only a small number of programs and the amount of funding; the number of some provinces is still less than a good-ranking university. This paper visualizes the results of inter-provincial comparisons with the provincial map of China. Based on analysis results, NSFC should increase the number of programs and tilting towards backward areas, encourage outstanding universities to help other universities or build sub-campus areas in backward areas and promote balanced development of the region, reduce funding for high-funding programs and give more opportunities for young scientists, and further expand the scale and support of Fund for Less Developed Regions.


National Natural Science Fund Mainland China research programs young scholars inter-provincial comparison