Email Print Share
NSF Days NSF Day attendees with raised hands

About NSF Days

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is the federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense..." NSF supports basic research in science and engineering across all disciplines. In fact, with an annual budget of $8.3 billion in FY 2020, NSF is the funding source for 24 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America's colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing.

NSF funds reach all 50 states and territories by issuing limited-term grants--to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives nearly 50,000 competitive proposals for funding, and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

But WHO gets those awards? And more to the point, how can YOU?

You can start by attending an NSF Day!

Throughout the year, NSF partners with academic institutions in diverse locations throughout the United States to hold NSF Days. In fact, after the NSF Days held in 2017, NSF is proud to have now held NSF Days in every state in the union!

In addition, we were pleased to have hosted our very first Virtual NSF Day in 2016 in partnership with Florida State University. With the lessons learned, we will plan more V-NSF Days to supplement our annual NSF Day schedule.

Put simply, whether actual or virtual, NSF Days introduce researchers to NSF and teach them how to get a piece of that funding action. NSF Days provide insight and instruction on how to compete for NSF funding for science, engineering and education research. These day-long workshops provide background on the foundation, its mission, priorities, and budget. Program managers and staff give an overview on proposal writing, programs that fall within and across NSF's seven scientific and engineering directorates; and NSF's merit review process, considered the gold standard worldwide for how funding decisions are made. NSF representatives are on hand all day to answer questions and to host discipline-specific breakout sessions to personally engage in discussions with attendees.

After the NSF Day, participants leave with increased knowledge and resources, in hand and online, to help them navigate the proposal process and obtain NSF funding.

Contact: Lisa-Joy Zgorski, NSF Days Lead.