The National Science Foundation requests $4.47 billion for Fiscal Year 2002, $56.1 million or 1.3 percent over FY 2001. This investment in the nations future will train young scientists and engineers, create new knowledge, and develop cutting-edge tools that together will fuel economic prosperity and increase social well-being in the years ahead. NSF will provide leadership in the Presidents Math and Science Partnership, and sustained investments in NSFs core programming will contribute to progress across science and engineering.
Nothing is more central to the nations prosperity than the ability to create and make use of knowledge. The technological innovation that is driving productivity gains in American industry depends increasingly on fundamental scientific research. Over the past five years alone, the information technology sector, which accounts for 8.3 percent of U.S. GDP, accounted for almost one-third of U.S. economic growth.
Today, however, global communications and rapid technological change have raised the bar on competition. Scientific knowledge is becoming the most sought after commodity in the world. The U.S. ranks only 6th among OECD nations in the share of GDP devoted to research and development. And, the latest results of international testing confirm that we need to strengthen math and science education at all levels. A 24-year-old in Japan is three times more likely than one in the U.S. to hold a bachelors degree in engineering. In South Korea, the figure is 2.7 times; and in the European Union, 1.6. Securing U.S. world leadership in science and technology has never been more important to the future of the nation.
The productivity of the U.S. scientific and engineering community the fruits of which can be seen in the information technology, communications, and biotechnology industries depends critically on NSF support of fundamental research. Although NSF accounts for under 4 percent of federal research and development spending, it supports roughly 50 percent of the non-medical fundamental research at our colleges and universities. With these same investments, NSF supports the training of scientists and engineers who will provide the highly skilled workforce required in the new knowledge-based economy. NSFs programs directly enable the work of nearly 200,000 scientists, engineers, teachers, and students each year.
Funding levels for each of NSFs five appropriation accounts are shown in the table below.
NSF Funding by Appropriation
(Millions of Dollars)
Totals may not add due to rounding.
People, Ideas and Tools: NSF Strategic Goals
The FY 2002 Budget Request reflects NSFs strength a broad base of research and education activities that provides the nation with the People, the Ideas, and the Tools needed to fuel innovation and economic growth. These are the three goals identified in the NSF strategic plan:
People are NSFs most important product. They represent both the focus of our investments and the most important products of them. Support for programs specifically addressing NSFs Strategic Goal of People totals more than $1.0 billion in FY 2002, an increase of 12.8 percent over FY 2001. A major focus for these activities is in the Education and Human Resources (EHR) account. The EHR efforts are integrated with complementary efforts across the Foundation where the activities in the Research and Related Activities account contribute over $300 million of the $1.0 billion toward the People goal. Moreover, about 40 percent of the funding for research grants an amount approaching $900 million in FY 2002 provides support for researchers and students, including approximately 60,000 post doctorates, trainees, and graduate and undergraduate students. People generate the Ideas that are the currency of the new knowledge-based economy. Tools enable scientific discovery and provide access to unique education opportunities. They also open new opportunities for innovative applications well beyond the research arena. Advances in information technology are a striking example of this.
These goals support NSFs mission to promote progress across all of science and engineering research and education. Funding levels associated with the Foundations three strategic goals are shown in the table below.
NSF Budget by Strategic Goal
(Millions of Dollars)
Totals may not add due to rounding.
HIGHLIGHTS AND PRIORITIES
The FY 2002 Budget Request builds on NSFs strength as the only agency of the federal government exclusively devoted to promoting basic research and education at all levels and across all fields of science and engineering.
Math and Science Partnership Initiative
The FY 2002 Budget Request proposes $200 million for the Presidents new Math and Science Partnership initiative. The purpose of this investment is to ensure that all K-12 students have the opportunity to perform to high standards. The Partnership initiative will provide funds for states andlocal school districts to join with institutions of higher education, particularly with their departments of mathematics, science, and engineering, to strengthen K-12 math and science education. To accomplish this, the initiative will support a variety of partnership structures and approaches to address these issues:
The initiative will promote the development and use of effective, research-based approaches that can raise math and science standards for students, improve the quality of teachers and teaching materials, and create innovative ways to reach underserved schools. It will also emphasize the development of appropriate mechanisms to measure progress and assess accountability.
Financial Support for Graduate Students
The FY 2002 Budget will provide approximately $8.0 million (depending upon the number of awardees) to increase stipends for the Graduate Research Fellowships, the Graduate Teaching Fellowships in K-12 Education, and the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship programs. Stipends will increase from $18,000 to $20,500 for academic year 2002-2003. Financial support for graduate students in the science, mathematics, engineering, and technology disciplines is a critical component of ensuring a diverse and globally competitive workforce of scientists and engineers. Increasing stipends is one strategy to attract more U.S. citizens, nationals and permanent residents to graduate education in science and engineering. Currently, the average stipend level for graduate students in science and engineering disciplines is less than half the average wage for bachelors degree recipients. This wide disparity may be a significant factor in declining graduate school enrollments for science and engineering disciplines. Between 1994 and 1997, first-time graduate school enrollments dropped 12.6 percent; enrollment figures for African-Americans fell 19.6 percent. A recent survey found that 57 percent of baccalaureate recipients did not apply to science and engineering graduate programs for financial reasons. Those with the largest undergraduate debt were least likely to continue on to graduate school. Underrepresented minorities were far more likely to borrow for undergraduate study and thus, account for a larger percentage of those citing financial reasons for not continuing their education.
NSFs core research and education activities sustain the health and vitality of the nations science and engineering research and education in all fields and education at all levels. These funds support merit-reviewed research and education across the full NSF portfolio and will help provide balance across all fields. Investments in core research and education activities are essential to developing a diverse science and engineering workforce, and to advancing the frontiers of knowledge on a broad front.
A centerpiece of NSFs core investments in FY 2002 is the Interdisciplinary Mathematics program funded at $20.0 million. This emphasis on the mathematical sciences recognizes its increasingly critical role in advancing interdisciplinary science. Because mathematics is both a powerful tool for insight and a common language for science and engineering, this increased investment will accelerate exchange with other disciplines, bringing cutting-edge mathematics to problems in the physical, biological and social sciences. In FY 2002, NSF will focus on the management of large data sets, the modeling of uncertainty, and the modeling and prediction of complex non-linear systems. Some examples of the latter include studies of brain function, communication networks, modern economic behaviors, and the prediction of weather and ocean circulation.
In addition to its investments in core research and education, NSF identifies and supports emerging opportunities in priority areas that hold exceptional promise to advance knowledge. The FY 2002 Budget Request emphasizes investments in four interdependent priority areas Biocomplexity in the Environment (BE), Information Technology Research (ITR), Nanoscale Science and Engineering, and Learning for the 21st Century.
Funding levels for each of these priority areas are shown in the table below.
NSF Funding by Priority Areas
(Millions of Dollars)
Totals may not add due to rounding.
Additional FY 2002 Highlights
Childrens Research Initiative (CRI). Support for the Childrens Research Initiative (CRI) is maintained at $5.0 million in FY 2002. The CRI focuses on theory-driven, policy-related research on children, learning, and the influence of families and communities on child development. The CRI also will support research related to enhancing literacy and improving math and science skills.
EPSCoR. Funding for EPSCoR (the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) will total nearly $100.0 million. This includes $74.81 million provided through the Education and Human Resources appropriation, and up to $25.0 million provided through NSFs Research and Related Activities account, to enable EPSCoR researchers to participate more fully in NSF research activities.
H-1B Nonimmigrant Petitioner Fees. As provided in recent legislation to strengthen the technology workforce, approximately $144.0 million is anticipated from H-1B nonimmigrant fees for:
Major Research Equipment. The Major Research Equipment account for FY 2002 will fund three continuing projects:
Plant Genome Research Program. The FY 2002 budget provides $65.0 million to support ongoing research on genomics of plants of major economic importance. The long-term goal of this program is to understand the structure, organization and function of plant genomes important to agriculture, the environment, energy and health.
2010 Project. With the completion of the genome of the model plant Arabidopsis in FY 2001, researchers began a systematic effort to determine the functions of the 20,000 to 25,000 genes of this flowering plant. Knowledge of the functions of the Arabidopsis genes will be of great value in understanding the basic biological processes in all flowering plants and in creating better products for society, from food to pharmaceuticals to environmentally benign agricultural and waste-treatment processes. The 2010 project is funded at $20.0 million in FY 2002.
Science and Technology Centers. The FY 2002 budget provides $25.62 million to initiate a new cohort of Science and Technology Centers in topics that span the range of disciplines supported by NSF.
Graduate Fellowships for K-12 Education (GK-12). The FY 2002 budget request for the GK-12 program totals $26.17 million. This program puts graduate students in K-12 classrooms, and exposes them to the opportunities and challenges of K-12 teaching, while introducing K-12 students and teachers to active researchers.
Increasing Management Efficiency.
The FY 2002 Budget Request provides $170.04 million for Salaries and Expenses, an increase of $9.50 million, or 5.9 percent, over FY 2001. This increase will improve NSFs ability to administer and manage its growing portfolio of program activities. Over the past decade, funding for NSF administration and management has remained relatively flat, despite robust increases in program responsibilities and budgets. While NSF has compensated for an increased workload by investing in information technology, workload pressures are mounting in the areas of systems and data management, program management, and staffing and resource management. This year, NSF will complete work on a 5-year workforce plan, based on an already completed workforce planning study, that will delineate future needs in this area.
With the aim of further increasing efficiency, NSF will evaluate the need for management reforms in several other areas.
Scientists, engineers, and educators in almost every field are on the threshold of new discoveries that could fundamentally change the products and processes of industry, spawn whole new sectors of the economy, and revolutionize teaching and learning at all levels. The investments proposed in NSFs FY 2002 Budget Request will help ensure that the U.S. keeps pace with these expanding opportunities in science and technology.
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