NSF places a high priority on efforts to improve science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education and training at all levels: pre-kindergarten through secondary, undergraduate, graduate, and public science literacy. In addition, special emphasis is placed on increasing participation among groups which have been historically underrepresented in science and engineering fields. Other important efforts include programs for evaluation and communication that establish the extent to which education programs achieve their goals and that program and project outcomes reach a wide audience.

NSF programs are dedicated to increasing the opportunities for all students to learn mathematics and science, prepare for higher education, complete degrees in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology fields, join the workforce as competent and contributing members, and become well-informed, science-literate citizens of the United States. Such participation, from education to employment to life-long learning, is NSF's vision of human resource development in the national interest.

NSF fosters the natural connections between learning and discovery. When research resides alongside education and training, the rewards of discovery are shared more quickly and disseminated more widely. Support for education and training includes most activities funded through the Education and Human Resources appropriation, as well as those programs funded through the Research and Related Activities appropriation that accomplish education and training through the tie to research programs. There are many activities found within the other key program functions that also contribute to meeting the goal of the integration of research and education. Examples include: Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI), Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER), and Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI).

(Millions of Dollars)


The goal of NSF's programs at the PreK-12 level is for all students to succeed in mathematics, science, and technology. To accomplish this goal, NSF programs are directed at teachers, students, curriculum development, and systemic reform. NSF's systemic reform efforts aim to make lasting improvements in science, mathematics, and technology education at the state level, in urban centers, and in rural regions. The systemic approach involves broad partnerships in the development of goals, solutions, and actions. Teacher enhancement and teacher preparation programs strengthen teachers' knowledge and pedagogical skills and create a network of teachers who are better able to foster reform. PreK-12 curricula are enhanced through the instructional materials development program.

The FY 1998 Budget Request for PreK-12 programs is $376 million, a decrease of about $1 million from the FY 1997 Estimate. In FY 1998, support will focus in the following activities: systemic reform, particularly the urban and rural systemic initiatives; teacher preparation and enhancement; and incorporation of mathematics and science learning technologies in instructional materials within the context of the NSF-wide Knowledge and Distributed Intelligence initiative. Informal science education funding remains constant, with emphasis on engaging parents in science and mathematics education, integrating research and education, and fostering linkages with formal, in-school activities, particularly in systemic initiatives sites. Funding for Statewide Systemic Initiatives will continue to decline as part of a phase-out of awards, planned since the program's inception.


NSF's programs support many facets of undergraduate education, including instrumentation and laboratory improvement, curriculum development, faculty enhancement, and undergraduate student research. In order to improve the quality of undergraduate courses and curricula in the sciences, NSF provides funds to encourage the development of multi- and interdisciplinary courses as well as to encourage science, mathematics, and engineering faculty members to take leadership in developing educational experiences that enhance the competence of prospective teachers.

NSF programs that address undergraduate needs include:

Undergraduate activities will total $156 million in FY 1998, an increase of $5 million over the FY 1997 Estimate. FY 1998 priorities include expansion of the Institution-wide Reform of Undergraduate Education program initiated in FY 1996 and enhancements to the Advanced Technological Education and Instrumentation and Laboratory Improvement programs. Other funds for undergraduate research activities are included under Research Project Support, particularly REU which provides opportunities for undergraduates to gain valuable scientific research experiences, and RUI which provides research support for faculty in predominantly undergraduate institutions.


NSF's graduate education programs are designed to improve the human resource base of science and engineering in the U. S. and to increase the participation of scientists and engineers from groups that are underrepresented in advanced levels of science, mathematics, and engineering.

Graduate and postdoctoral programs will total $114 million in FY 1998, an increase of $17 million over FY 1997. In FY 1998, NSF will build a cross-Foundation effort on the base of the Research Training Groups in the biological sciences and the Graduate Research Traineeships program. This new NSF-wide Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) program will total about $20 million. It reflects a shift in strategy from a more diffuse support of graduate education through research grants to a focused experiment designed to respond to the growing need for researchers and teachers educated beyond the boundaries of a single discipline.

Other graduate support increases include collaboration between the Mathematical and Physical Sciences and Education and Human Resources Activities to support projects aimed at achieving systemic reform in teaching and learning at the graduate and undergraduate levels, including departmental training grants in the mathematical sciences. The science education postdoctoral program for production of K-12 and undergraduate level professionals, initiated in FY 1997, will be sustained. Other funds for graduate student and postdoctoral research activities are included under Research Project Support.

Other Support for Education and Training

NSF supports programs to promote public understanding of science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (SMET), including the collection, analysis, and dissemination of data on U.S. and international resources devoted to science, engineering, and technology. The FY 1998 Budget Request for these activities is $24 million, an increase of $2 million over FY 1997. In FY 1998, NSF will provide increased support to improve data on graduate education and employment in science and engineering. The increase will support activities that are directed toward improvement of surveys and databases as well as toward more advanced analytical approaches. Also, increased support will focus on expanding applications of technology that promote scientific literacy and on broadening efforts to disseminate findings from NSF-supported research.

Education and Training:

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