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NSF-Wide Investments

The National Science Foundation's (NSF) fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget request to Congress identifies the following areas for NSF-wide investments. These priority investments focus on areas where progress in basic research is vital to addressing key national challenges such as spurring innovation in manufacturing, improving data storage and analysis (e.g., Big Data), securing critical infrastructure, and promoting innovation and economic growth.

Major FY 2014 Investments

bilayer graphene grown by depositing carbon atoms from methane gas Cyber-enabled Materials, Manufacturing and Smart Systems (CEMMSS) (PDF)
In response to the Administration’s Materials Genome Initiative (MGI), Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, and the National Robotics Initiative (NRI), the Cyber-enabled Materials, Manufacturing and Smart Systems (CEMMSS) framework aims to integrate a number of science and engineering activities across the Foundation--breakthrough materials, advanced manufacturing, robotics, and cyber-physical systems.
Visualization of Internet connections in the U.S. Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science, Engineering and Education(CIF21) (PDF)
The Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science, Engineering and Education (CIF21) investment promises to accelerate and transform the processes and outcomes of scientific discovery and innovation by providing advanced cyberinfrastructure that enables new functional capabilities across all disciplines in computational and data-enabled science and engineering (CDS&E).
Photo of flexible photovoltaic module Integrated NSF Support Promoting Interdisciplinary Research and Education (INSPIRE) (PDF)
INSPIRE was established to address some of the most complicated and pressing scientific problems that lie at the intersections of traditional disciplines and to advance NSF’s strategic goal--Transform the Frontiers--and Performance Goal T-1: Make investments that lead to emerging new fields of science and engineering and shifts in existing fields.
Composite image of a woman looking at seedlings; NSF logo and I-Corps logo NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) (PDF)
In order to cultivate a national innovation ecosystem, NSF established the NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) in FY 2011. The NSF I-Corps' purpose is to support NSF-funded researchers who, with teams, are interested in transitioning their research out of the lab. I-Corps awards are based on the maturity of the effort (i.e. is the research ready to leave the lab), strength of the team, and anticipated market value.
Artificial leaf Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability (SEES) (PDF)
Given the pressing national and global need to realize a sustainable human future, NSF has developed a coordinated research portfolio spanning the entire range of scientific domains at NSF: the Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (SEES) program. SEES is a broad investment in the scientific underpinnings of sustainability at numerous temporal and spatial scales. Multiple perspectives and areas of expertise are required to increase our understanding of integrated systems of human society and the natural world.
Magnifying glass showing the word password Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) (PDF)
The Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) investment is aimed at building a cybersecure society and providing a strong competitive edge in the nation's ability to produce high-quality digital systems and a well-trained workforce. Achieving a cybersecure society is a critical challenge in today's world, as corporations, agencies, national infrastructure and individuals have been victims of cyber-attacks. These attacks exploit weaknesses in technical infrastructures and human behavior.

STEM Education

Two students and aircraft engine 3-D projection Catalyzing Advances in Undergraduate STEM Education (CAUSE) (PDF)
NSF's new Catalyzing Advances in Undergraduate STEM Education (CAUSE) program is a natural evolution and consolidation of the Foundation's ongoing efforts to couple STEM disciplinary expertise with education research expertise to better understand and improve undergraduate STEM learning and persistence of students from all groups and to support STEM workforce development.
Sean Berglund in lab Major Investments in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Graduate Eudcation (PDF)
The U.S. government invests significantly to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduate education through traineeships and fellowships, along with a substantial investment through faculty research grants where graduate students are supported as research assistants. To underscore the importance of these investments, the FY 2014 Budget Request introduces a coherent and streamlined NSF investment strategy for the preparation of tomorrow's science and engineering (S&E) workforce.

Other NSF-wide Activities

Semiconducting metal junction formed from two carbon nanotubes National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) (PDF)
NSF's contribution to the multiagency National Nanotechnology Initiative encompasses the systematic understanding, organization, manipulation, and control of matter at the atomic, molecular, and supramolecular levels in the size range of 1 to 100 nanometers. Novel materials, devices, and systems--with their building blocks designed on the scale of nanometers--open up new directions in science, engineering, and technology with potentially profound implications for society.
Researcher welding a GPS station on the flanks of Mount St. Helens Networking and Information Technology R&D (NITRD) (PDF)
NSF is a primary federal agency supporting the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development program. NSF's NITRD portfolio includes all funding in the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) and the Office of Cyberinfrastructure (OCI), and contributions from all of the agency's other directorates.
Surf along a coastline U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) (PDF)
The U.S. Global Change Research Program provides the nation and the world with the scientific knowledge necessary for understanding and predicting climate change and environmental responses, managing risk, and anticipating opportunities that may result from changes in climate and climate variability. Research conducted through the USGCRP (www.globalchange.gov) builds on the scientific advances of recent decades and deepens our understanding of how the interplay between human and natural systems affects the climate system, and of the impacts of a changing climate on those systems.

NSF Activities

EcoCradle packaging material is composed of agricultural byproducts bound by fungal roots. Advanced Manufacturing (PDF)
Few areas of research hold as much potential for significant short-term and long-term economic impact as research in advanced manufacturing. Rather than a "refinement" of traditional manufacturing processes, advanced manufacturing involves new methodologies, new systems, new processes, and entirely new paradigms for translating fundamental raw materials into finished products. NSF supports a diverse research portfolio providing basic research discoveries that benefit advanced manufacturing.
Dye pattern resembling a green apple NSF Centers (PDF)
NSF supports a variety of centers programs that contribute to the Foundation's mission and vision. Centers exploit opportunities in science, engineering, and technology in which the complexity of the research problem or the resources needed to solve the problem require the advantages of scope, scale, duration, equipment, facilities, and students. Einstein@home
Composite of electron cloud visualization with gallium arsenide crystal structure Science and Engineering Beyond Moore's Law (SEBML) (PDF)
The goal of Science and Engineering Beyond Moore's Law is to position the U.S. at the forefront of communications and computation capability beyond the physical and conceptual limitations of current technologies. Moore's Law is the empirical observation, made in 1965, by the co-founder of Intel, Gordon E. Moore, that semiconductor device density, and therefore computer processing power, doubles about every 18 months. Currently, many innovations are being pursued to prolong the scalability of computer processing power, but with silicon technology the fundamental physical and conceptual limits of Moore's Law are likely to be reached in 10 to 20 years. To take computation beyond Moore's Law requires new scientific, mathematical, engineering, and conceptual frameworks.
Students using a microscope Selected Crosscutting Programs (PDF)
NSF crosscutting programs include interdisciplinary programs and programs that are supported by multiple directorates. Examples of major crosscutting activities include ADVANCE, Climate Change Education Program, Enhancing Access to the Radio Spectrum (EARS), Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER), Graduate Fellowships and Traineeships, Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER), Research at the Interface of the Biological, Mathematical, and Physical Sciences (BioMaPS), Research Experiences for Teachers (RET), Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) and Science and Technology Centers (STCs).

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NSF has designated special areas of emphasis or priority areas in previous budget years. A select list of materials from previous years is available here.


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