Summary of FY2002 Budget Request to Congress - National Science Foundation


The FY 2002 Budget Request for the Multidisciplinary Activities Subactivity is $23.39 million, a decrease of $6.53million, or -21.8 percent below the FY 2001 Current Plan of $29.92 million.

(Millions of Dollars)

   FY 2000
FY 2001
Current Plan
FY 2002
Amount Percent
Research Project Support
Total, OMA

The Multidisciplinary Activities Subactivity (OMA) enables MPS to respond to a broad range of creative ideas from the MPS community and to support particularly novel, challenging, or complex interdisciplinary projects in research and education. The Subactivity encourages multidisciplinary proposals from all segments of the MPS community and especially encourages initiatives by multi-investigator, multidisciplinary teams pursuing problems on a scale that exceeds the capacity of individual investigators or which are not readily accommodated by existing MPS program structures.

OMA facilitates joint ventures across existing organizational boundaries within the NSF, and with research universities, private industry, and other federal, state, and local government agencies. Because attracting the brightest young intellects is critical to the vitality of the scientific enterprise, the Subactivity also encourages research projects incorporating education and training experiences appropriate to produce a work force of high quality with skills for lifelong learning and flexibility in the face of rapid, global economic changes.

The Subactivity supports innovative experiments in education that could lead to new paradigms in graduate and undergraduate education in the mathematical and physical sciences. It also is a focal point within the MPS Activity for activities to facilitate the development of a diverse and globally competitive workforce and to utilize effectively the MPS research infrastructure as a resource to enhance the K-12 teaching cohort and broaden the discovery-based learning experiences of K-16 students. Examples of OMA investment in K-16 education include:

  • Support of partnerships between minority-serving institutions and MPS research centers that enable historically underrepresented demographic groups to enrich their undergraduate and graduate education, and to participate fully in frontier research.

  • Support for Research Experiences for Teachers, which provides in-service and pre-service K-12 teachers with discovery-based learning experiences in the MPS disciplines. Through supplements from OMA offered to the nearly 200 REU sites in MPS, K-12 teachers are supported for up to ten weeks of research activities.

  • Support for the state-wide participation of Nebraska high school physical science students and teachers in the detection of very high energy cosmic rays. Using detectors positioned on school roofs across the state, students and teachers participate in an integrated research and education activity that has internet-based coordination by university researchers and reflects the way in which fundamental research is done.

An excellent example of the effective integration of research and education is the new Internships in Public Science Education (IPSE) program. IPSE is designed to bring recent science results from MPS disciplines to the public by promoting partnerships between the MPS research community and specialists in public science education. The IPSE activity provides support for undergraduate and graduate students and K-12 teachers to work in conjunction with MPS research scientists, and with professionals at science centers and museums, on projects in public science education.

In FY 2002, OMA will be reduced $6.53 million, to total $23.39 million. This one-time reduction was needed to provide funding for ALMA and to lessen the impact of reductions across MPS Subactivities. OMA will continue to work with other MPS Subactivities and programs across the Foundation to broaden the disciplinary base of research and education in the mathematical and physical sciences. Of particular importance are the interfaces between MPS and the Biological Sciences Activity and between MPS and the Education and Human Resources Activity.

The FY 2002 Budget Request includes:

  • 4.0 million for investment in research by multidisciplinary groups of scientists, mathematicians, and engineers leading to the development of next-generation instrumentation that integrates computation and measurement to enable fundamental advances and broad training across a wide spectrum of disciplines.

  • $4.0 million for the support of the NSF-wide Learning for the 21st Century.

  • $3.0 million for the support of university-industry interactions through the Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) program, which affords a vital mechanism for broadening graduate and postdoctoral training.

  • $3.0 million for the support of multidisciplinary institutes to stimulate new and emerging areas of research and education in the MPS disciplines. Included is $1.0 million in support for the new International Materials Institutes to be initiated in FY 2002.

  • $2.0 million for the support of MPS Distinguished International Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (MPS-DRF) that will enable graduate students and postdoctoral investigators to carry out research at the world's leading facilities and laboratories, and to acquire an essential international dimension to their professional development.

  • $2.0 million to enable the extensive MPS research investment to be drawn upon for formal and informal science education, particularly through the MPS Internships in Public Science Education (IPSE) that enable partnerships between MPS researchers and the public science education communities.

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