Summary of FY2001 Budget Request to Congress - National Science Foundation

 

SOCIAL, BEHAVIORAL AND ECONOMIC SCIENCES $175,140,000

The FY 2001 Budget Request for the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) Activity is $175.14 million, an increase of $29.0 million, or 19.8 percent, over the FY 2000 Current Plan of $146.14 million.

(Millions of Dollars)

 

FY 1999
Actual

FY 2000
Current Plan

FY 2001
Request

Change

Amount

Percent

Social and Economic Sciences

60.13

61.08

72.06

10.98

18.0%

Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences

40.45

45.38

59.29

13.91

30.7%

International Cooperative Scientific Activities

27.03

24.81

26.88

2.07

8.3%

Science Resources Studies

14.43

14.87

16.91

2.04

13.7%

Total, SBE

$142.04

$146.14

$175.14

$29.00

19.8%

New scientific breakthroughs are accelerating progress in areas of the social and behavioral sciences, including brain imaging, genome analysis, rigorous laboratory experimentation, Internet-based data collection, and advances in statistical analysis. At the same time, existing scientific understanding is challenged by the rapid changes taking place in society's use of communication technology, patterns of social interaction, the world economic system, and the political systems of many nations. The rapid growth of scientific activity outside the United States requires new international cooperative projects and training, and the increasing impact of technology demands increased effort to document and strengthen our nation's scientific resources and workforce.

SBE is the principal source of federal support for fundamental research on human social, cognitive, psychological and economic behavior as well as for research on the intellectual and social contexts that govern the development and use of science and technology. SBE also is responsible for providing reliable quantitative information on the science and technology enterprise, and for promoting international collaborations for research and education for U.S. scientists and engineers.

SBE focuses its resources on achieving NSF's strategic goals. Support for the development of "Ideas" is provided through its broad range of research, with emphasis on areas such as human cognition and neuroscience, including implications for learning. Research in economics, political science, and risk analysis is yielding heightened societal benefits in the form of better public policy and more efficient business management. Research findings in psychological, cognitive, and language sciences are yielding a sharper picture of how human language is acquired and how it is used, both for thought and communication, thus laying the foundation for progress in many areas of major national importance, from teaching children how to read to building computers that can talk.

At NSF, placing research and learning hand in hand is our highest priority, and the people involved in our projects represent both the focus of our investments and the most important products of them. Across its programs, SBE provides support for about 4,200 people, including students, researchers, post-doctorates, and trainees. Support for programs specifically addressing NSF's Strategic Goal of "People -- A diverse, internationally competitive and globally-engaged workforce of scientists, engineers and well-prepared citizens" totals more than $9 million in FY 2001, an increase of 18.4 percent over FY 2000. Support includes increased efforts to strengthen the global orientation of the nation's science and engineering workforce by supporting internationally collaborative research as well as research and training abroad. SBE will also devote more attention to broadening the participation of minorities, women, and people with disabilities in certain SBE fields where they are seriously underrepresented. Moreover, about 34 percent of the funding for research grants -- approximately $45 million in FY 2001-- provides support for researchers and students, including more than 2,360 post-doctorates, trainees, and graduate and undergraduate students.

SBE promotes the development of "Tools" by taking advantage of new information technologies as it directs resources into research-enhancing investments such as web-based collaboratories, digital libraries, and data bases, including the science resources data and analysis produced by the Science Resources Studies Subactivity.

These three goals focus on promoting greater collaboration among researchers in all fields of science and engineering and on making the scientific discoveries more accessible to users. These improvements will ultimately increase the connections between research discoveries and their use by society.

NSF-supported social and behavioral scientists have been honored with prestigious scientific awards in recent years. For example, Roger N. Shepard (Stanford, psychology: research into the nature of human mental processes), William K. Estes (Harvard, psychology: fundamental theories of cognition and learning), Paul A. Samuelson (MIT, economics: fundamental contributions to economic science, education, and policy), and William Julius Wilson (Harvard, sociology: pioneering methods of interdisciplinary social science research on the causes of inner-city poverty) all have won the President's National Medal of Science.

In addition to increasing funding to the science disciplines traditionally supported by SBE, in FY 2001, SBE will provide support for research and education efforts related to two broad, Foundation-wide initiatives: Information Technology Research and 21 st Century Workforce.

Information Technology Research (ITR): In FY 2001, SBE will provide a total of $5.81 million for ITR. These funds will support research to develop and carry out demonstration tests of new Internet-based research techniques, such as online interviews, online surveys, and online laboratory experiments. They will also support expanded research on societal impacts of information technology. Support will be provided for developing and employing digital libraries, especially those that benefit from international collaborations, and for multi-disciplinary computational social science work to develop and apply new computational techniques in the collection, archiving and analysis of social-science data, and in methods such as computer simulation that develop formal theories.

21 st Century Workforce: SBE supports a range of programs that encourage innovative approaches to educating students for the 21 st century, including fundamental research on science and mathematics learning, the human-computer interface, and promoting a diverse workforce. SBE will provide $5.40 million, an increase of $900,000 over the FY 2000 level for these programs. Of this, $2.5 million will provide continued support for the Children's Research Initiative which addresses how children learn and the environments and technologies that enhance learning; $2.0 million will support the NSF-wide Interagency Education Research Initiative; $500,000 will fund Science of Learning research on social and behavioral factors contributing to human growth and development; and $400,000 will promote participation of underrepresented groups in SBE fields (e.g. cognitive science, research methods, some subfields of economics) where they are seriously underrepresented. Support for these activities will be provided under existing NSF programs, such as the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation.

STRATEGIC GOALS

SBE's support for its ongoing and new activities contributes to NSF's efforts to achieve its strategic goals, as well as to the administration and management activities necessary to achieve those goals.

(Millions of Dollars)

 

FY 2000
Estimate

FY 2001
Estimate

Percent
Change

Ideas

110.52

132.38

19.8%

People

7.62

9.02

18.4%

Tools

25.84

28.88

11.8%

Administration and Management 1

2.16

4.86

125.0%

Total, SBE

$146.14

$175.14

19.8%

1 Includes only costs charged to the R&RA Appropriation.

Ideas

Support for discovery at and across the frontier of science and engineering and connections to their use in service to society extends over SBE's entire portfolio. Three-fourths of the SBE increase for FY 2001 will support Ideas. Funding for research in this category will increase in FY 2001 by $21.86 million, to $132.38 million. Resources will be focused upon several areas including:

  • New breakthroughs in neuroimaging and cognitive neuroscience are opening exciting opportunities for uncovering how it is that the human brain accomplishes basic cognitive and perceptual activities. The growing and multidisciplinary field of cognitive neuroscience brings together expertise from psychology, cognitive science, biological science, engineering, computer science, and other fields in an effort to understand the relationship between mind and brain. An investment of $10.0 million that builds on past funding in this area will have wide-ranging scientific and societal impacts. For example, basic research on cognitive processing and brain function will produce new insight into learning and education from infancy through adulthood; on human and machine performance in complex tasks; on future developments in artificial intelligence; and on social attitudes/stereotypes, social perceptions, and social interaction. Support for these lines of research are encouraging interest in a new social cognitive neuroscience "paradigm."

  • Additional funding for research on innovation and adaptation to innovation will provide $5.0 million for research on the processes of scientific discovery, technological innovation, knowledge accumulation, skill diffusion, and social adaptation to technological change. Research will involve scientific cooperation across the SBE sciences, and among those disciplines and other branches of science, engineering, and education. Results will inform scientific issues for policy makers and assist private sector organizations in improving their ability to respond to technological change.

  • An investment of $2.0 million will be provided for collaborations with statisticians focusing on new models and methods for understanding social and behavioral phenomena. Moreover, the statistical sciences would benefit from such collaborations, which are related to new developments in cognitive science and visualization techniques for understanding massive amounts of data.

  • SBE will increase support for research tracing human biological and behavioral changes over time (Human Origins) by $2.0 million and in FY 2001 will focus on integrating different research streams. This research will merge the results of field research by integrated teams of paleoanthropologists, geologists, paleontologists and others to recover hominid fossils and to reconstruct the environments in which they evolved. The most advanced methods from molecular biology will be used for research on cultural and genome diversity present in living populations to provide insights into human prehistory.

  • SBE will increase support by $1.0 million for research opportunities that take advantage of research expertise and facilities in other nations, via partnerships and collaborations, particularly in East Asian nations that are expanding their national research systems.

  • SBE will continue efforts to increase the average size and duration of the awards, thus enabling scientists to devote a greater portion of their time to actual research. This will contribute to increasing the efficiency of the Foundation's merit review process and achieve greater cost-effectiveness for both NSF and the university community. Also in accord with the Foundation's FY 2001 Performance Plan, SBE will provide increased attention to the percentage of competitive research grants going to new investigators.

  • An additional $500,000 will be allocated to funding Science of Learning research on social and behavioral factors that contribute to children's growth and development.

In support of the Ideas goal, SBE funds the following centers:

(Millions of Dollars)

 

FY 2000
Estimate

FY 2001
Estimate

Percent
Change

Long Term Ecological Research sites

0.30

0.30

0.0%

STC for Cognitive Science 1

1.05

0.84

-20.0%

National Consortium for Violence Research 2

[2.0]

2.00

N/A

Research Centers on the Human Dimensions of Global Change

3.32

3.40

2.4%

Total, SBE

$4.67

$6.54

40.0%

1 The reduction of support for STCs reflects the planned phase-out of the second class in FY 2000 and FY 2001.
2 FY 2000 funding was on an annualized basis from the previous year and is not included in the total.

 

  • The STC for Cognitive Science at the University of Pennsylvania, funded jointly by SBE and the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Activity, facilitates collaborations among academic and industrial researchers and students from a variety of disciplines. By investigating language acquisition, perception-action processing, and computation in humans and machines, the Center provides a basis for advances in machine intelligence, human learning, and human perception of computer-generated information.

  • The National Consortium for Violence Research has three missions: supporting research on the causes of violent behavior, encouraging young scientists, especially underrepresented minorities, to enter this field of research, and disseminating research results to research and policy communities. New scientific findings with important societal implications and widely accessible integrated data archives are emerging from this consortium, now in its fourth year.

  • Two SBE centers conduct research on the Human Dimensions of Global Change. The Center for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Environmental Change (CIPEC) at Indiana University focuses on how humans and institutions affect deforestation and replacement. CIPEC also trains doctorate-level environmental social scientists. The Carnegie Mellon Center for Integrated Study of the Human Dimensions of Global Change conducts research on global change issues and promotes worldwide discourse among researchers and the public on global change.

People

Support for People is $9.02 million, an increase of $1.40 million over the FY 2000 level. SBE's activities will support the development of a diverse and internationally competitive workforce of scientists, engineers, and well-prepared citizens. SBE programs support dissertations, summer programs, workshops, and minority scholar development.

SBE's International Cooperative Scientific Activities (INT) is the Foundation's focal point for the international component of this goal.

  • An increment of $1.0 million will develop international research and training experiences for US researchers in both developed and developing nations. The rapid globalization of science and technology challenges traditional assumptions about how we prepare our scientists, engineers, and educators to succeed. Training must include an understanding of the global environment--the technologically advanced countries of Europe and Japan, as well as others. A unique opportunity exists in the dynamic newer economies of East Asia, which invest heavily in scientific research and are rapidly developing knowledge-intensive economies. This increase would support the addition of international components to existing NSF activities, such as the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training program, Research Experiences for Undergraduates, and other training programs.

  • As part of the 21 st Century Workforce initiative, an additional $400,000 will be provided to promote diversity within SBE fields where minorities, women, and persons with disabilities are underrepresented.

(Millions of Dollars)

 

FY 2000
Estimate

FY 2001
Estimate

Percent
Change

Undergraduate

1.92

2.62

36.5%

Graduate and Professional

5.70

6.40

12.3%

Total, SBE

$7.62

$9.02

18.4%

Tools

A total of $28.88 million in FY 2001, an increase of $3.04 million over FY 2000, will support the development of tools that are required to support research and education in several ways:

  • An investment of $14.63 million, $1.0 million over the FY 2000 level, will support expanded development of shared research databases, web-based collaboratories, and advanced research approaches that provide fundamental infrastructure for large, diverse scientific communities. These projects are essential components of the research agenda of the social and behavioral sciences. Created to take advantage of new computational and communications technology, these products and approaches will collect and integrate economic, cultural, cognitive, psychological, social, political and geographic data and will provide more powerful tools for analysis and dissemination. Some will achieve greater scientific gains from existing data, and others will extend new methodologies from the narrow areas where they are being developed to broader studies and multiple research sites. New science and technology databases will illuminate research on critical issues like globalization, the development of new industries, and factors that shape the scientific workforce.

  • An increase of $2.04 million for the Science Resources Studies Subactivity, will help the Foundation fulfill its mandate to produce data and analysis on the scientific and engineering enterprise. This funding will enable SBE to provide an even higher quality, comprehensive, and integrated information base that is easy to access and use, and that will provide a sounder basis for decision making about science and technology issues.

Administration and Management

Administration and Management provides for administrative activities necessary to enable NSF to achieve its strategic goals. This includes the cost of Intergovernmental Personnel Act appointments, contractors performing administrative functions, and, in FY 2001, travel for staff in the program offices.

BUDGET PRESENTATION

NSF has previously organized its budget presentation around four key program functions - Research Project Support, Research Facilities, Education and Training, and Administration and Management. In order to link the FY 2001 Budget Request to the NSF Strategic Plan, we have organized the FY 2001 Budget Request around the strategic outcome goals of Ideas, People and Tools, as well as the Administration and Management activities necessary to achieve these goals.

The table below provides an FY 2001 crosswalk for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences between funding for the strategic goals and the key program functions.

(Millions of Dollars)

 

Ideas

People

Tools

A&M

Total, SBE

Research Project Support

132.38

5.00

14.63

 

$152.01

Facilities

 

 

 

 

$0.00

Education & Training

 

4.02

14.25

 

$18.27

Administration & Management

 

 

 

4.86

$4.86

Total, SBE

$132.38

$9.02

$28.88

$4.86

$175.14

Number of People Involved in SBE Activities

The number of individuals supported by the Social and Economic Sciences and Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences Subactivities is shown below:

 

FY 1999
Actual

FY 2000
Estimate

FY 2001
Estimate

Senior Researchers

1,415

1,450

1,580

Other Professionals

235

240

260

Postdoctorates

80

80

80

Graduate Students

1,108

1,200

1,350

Undergraduate Students

860

880

930

Total Number of People

3,698

3,850

4,200

In addition, International Cooperative Scientific Activities indirectly support approximately 1,000 US researchers and students for travel to seminars, symposia or workshops, or for participation in international research collaborations.

Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Funding Profile


 

FY 1999
Actual

FY 2000
Estimate

FY 2001
Estimate

Number of Requests for Funding

4,256

4,700

5,150

Dollars Requested (in thousands)

$1,191,272

$1,375,000

$151,000,000

Total Number of Awards

1,777

1,900

2,050

Statistics for Competitive Awards:

Number

1,190

1,250

1,400

Funding Rate

30%

30%

32%

Median Annualized Award Size 1,2

$53,337

$55,100

$59,000

Average Annualized Award Size 1,2

$65,442

$66,700

$72,500

Average Duration (yrs.) 1

2.2

2.2

2.3

1 Statistics for award size and duration are for Research Grants only.
2 Statistics for award size are reported for the SES and BCS Subactivities. This provides a measure of award activity comparable to the other research Activities.

 

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Last Updated:
01/29/05
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