OPP 10-001 December 2009
National Science Foundation
- Mission. The National Science Foundation1 is a catalyst for progress in discovery and learning. NSF provides leadership, stewardship, and funds to sustain and strengthen the Nation's science, mathematics, and engineering capabilities and education and to promote the use of those capabilities in service to society.
- Organization. NSF, a U.S. Government agency established in 1950, has a staff of 1,200 and directorates or offices for mathematics and physical sciences (including chemistry and astronomy); geosciences (earth, atmosphere, ocean); biological sciences; sociological, behavioral, and economic sciences; engineering; computer sciences and information systems; education; international activities; environmental studies; crosscutting programs; and polar programs.
- Primary activity. Scientists, engineers, and educators at U.S. institutions compete for support by submitting proposals that respond to NSF program areas.2 Annually:
- 40,000 proposals competitively reviewed
- 11,000 new awards to 2,000 institutions
- Budget (NSF Overall). The National Science Foundation requests $7.045 billion for FY 2010, $555 million or 8.5 percent over the FY 2009 plan of $6.49 billion. In addition, since investments in science and technology foster economic growth and create high-tech, high-wage jobs, NSF received a one-time appropriation of $3.0 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), raising the agency's overall FY 2009 appropriation to $9.49 billion.3
- Budget (NSF Antarctic). NSF spending in FY 2008 for the U.S. Antarctic Program was $355.94 million, of which $59.06 million was for research grants and Science & Technology Center, $240.008 million was for operations and science support, $5.91 million was for Environment, Health & Safety, $67.63 million was for logistics, and $50.89 million was for USCG polar icebreakers operating in the Arctic and the Antarctic. NSF funds about 97 percent of all Federally supported Antarctic research and research support. For FY 2009, NSF estimates that it spent $372.41 million, of which $65.25 million was for research grants and the Science & Technology Center, $246.87 million for operations and science support, $6.29 million for Environment, Safety & Health, and $67.52 million for logistics. NSF also budgeted $54 million for operation and maintenance of the USCG polar icebreakers. In addition to its regular funding, NSF received $174 million for polar research and support as part of the funding for the ARRA. Of these funds, $66.50 million was for Antarctic research grants and $15.50 million was for Antarctic Infrastructure and Logistics. For FY 2010, NSF has requested $407.30 million, of which $72.50 is for research grants and the Science & Technology Center, $273.60 million is for operations and science support, $7.20 million is for Environment, Safety & Health, and $67.52million is for logistics. NSF also budgeted $54 million for operation and maintenance of the USCG polar icebreakers.4
|2 https://www.nsf.gov/funding/ (Browse NSF funding opportunities)|
|3 NSF FY 10 Budget Request: https://www.nsf.gov/about/budget/fy2010/index.jsp|
|4 Office of Polar Programs FY 10 Budget Request: https://www.nsf.gov/about/budget/fy2010/pdf/26_fy2010.pdf (PDF file, 283 KB)|