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)
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.
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)
1 Includes only costs charged to the R&RA Appropriation.
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:
In support of the Ideas goal, SBE funds the following centers:
(Millions of Dollars)
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.
(Millions of Dollars)
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:
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.
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)
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:
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
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