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OPP 06-001 November 2005

National Science Foundation

    1. Mission.  The National Science Foundation 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.

    2. 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.

    3. Primary activity.  Scientists, engineers, and educators at U.S. institutions compete for support by submitting proposals that respond to NSF program areas.1  Annually:
      1. 30,000 proposals competitively reviewed
      2. 10,000 new awards to 2,000 institutions

    4. Budget (NSF Overall).  The National Science Foundation requests $5.6-billion for FY 2006, $132-million or 2.4 percent over the FY 2005 request of $5.47 billion.2

    5. Budget (NSF Antarctic).  NSF spending in FY 2005 for the U.S. Antarctic Program was $329.6-million, of which $45.50-million was for research grants, $216.58-million was for operations and science support, and $67.52-million was for logistics. NSF funds about 97 percent of all Federally supported Antarctic research and research support.  For FY 2006, NSF has requested $325.69-million, of which $44.59 is for research grants, $213.58-million for operations and science support, and $67.52-million is for logistics.  NSF also will receive an additional transfer of $48.0 million for U.S. icebreaking operations in the Antarctic and Arctic, formerly the responsibility of the U.S. Coast Guard.
End notes
[1] (Browse NSF funding opportunities)
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