Summary of FY2002 Budget Request to Congress - National Science Foundation


The FY 2002 Budget Request for the Graduate Education (DGE) Subactivity is $95.50 million, an increase of $7.75 million, or 8.8 percent, over the FY 2001 Current Plan of $87.75 million.

(Millions of Dollars)

   FY 2000
FY 2001
Current Plan
FY 2002
Amount Percent
Graduate Student Support
Total, DGE

The Graduate Education Subactivity aims to recognize and support a diverse pool of outstanding individuals in their pursuit of advanced science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education; encourage reform of graduate education; and strengthen links between higher education and K-12 education. These efforts will help strengthen U.S. education at all levels and help ensure continued U.S. economic and research preeminence. Individuals are supported through research and teaching fellowships and traineeships at the graduate level. The increase of $7.75 million reflects the Foundation's commitment to increasing graduate stipend levels over time to attract the high quality students necessary for the nation's future.

Graduate Research Fellowships (GRF) provide support for the most promising science, mathematics, and engineering students in the U.S. to develop their knowledge and skills so that they perform at the forefront of education and research. In FY 2002, priorities include restoring the number of new awards to 900 (up from 850 in FY 2001), achieving greater diversity in the applicant and awardee pools, and continuing to increase support levels to strengthen the competitiveness and prestige of the program. Since 1952, nearly 36,000 U.S. students have received GRF awards, and many have made substantial contributions to scientific research and to society. Funding for this program increases by $3.67 million to $58.75 million. In academic year (AY) 2001-2002, the annual stipend will be increased by $1,200 to $18,000, and the cost-of-education allowance will be maintained at $10,500, with approximately 2,400 active Fellows. This meets NSF's commitments for AY 2001-2002 and maintains progress toward the planned stipend level of $20,500 for AY 2002-2003.

Graduate Research Fellows report many noteworthy accomplishments as well as positive effects of the award. In 2000, 17 Fellows reported that they submitted applications for, or were awarded, patents. For example, Robert Rossi, a Fellow in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology, applied for a patent on a method to modify the surface properties of silicon for the purposes of natural lithography using a process that leaves behind no chemical residue. This is used in his research on converting light into electrical and chemical energy. He took a one-year leave from his fellowship to improve a laboratory course in the Chemistry Department, and to prepare curriculum materials and teach at a local high school.

Graduate Teaching Fellowships in K-12 Education (GK-12) support graduate and advanced undergraduate SMET students as content resources for K-12 teachers. This program links the acknowledged excellence of U.S. graduate education with the critical needs of the K-12 sector. Graduate Teaching Fellows assist K-12 teachers in the science and mathematics content of their teaching, demonstrate key science and mathematics concepts, and gain pedagogical skills necessary at all education levels. Professional development opportunities are also provided for the K-12 teachers. In AY 2002-2003, the Graduate Teaching Fellows' annual stipends will be increased to $20,500. Approximately 580 graduate and 230 advanced undergraduate students will be supported. The FY 2002 EHR Request for GK-12 is $22.41 million, an increase of $2.70 million over the FY 2001 Current Plan.

Fellows from the University of Pennsylvania GK-12 Project (ACCESS Science) assisted West Philadelphia High School students in engineering and building an electric vehicle. For the first time in the history of the American Tour de Sol (the country's largest electric vehicle competition), an inner-city high school competed successfully, finishing in sixth place in their division.

Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeships (lGERT), an NSF-wide program initiated in FY 1998, promotes new paradigms in graduate education. Graduate students engage in a broad array of coursework and research opportunities that cross disciplinary boundaries; explore career options through internships; develop skills such as communication, computation, and teamwork; and engage in international activities. Support for IGERT within EHR increases by $2.39 million, to $14.34 million in FY 2002. Stipends for Graduate Trainees will be increased in AY 2002-2003 to $20,500 per year; approximately 1,160 trainees will be supported.

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