To date, 262 Nobel laureates have been supported by the public through grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation at some point in their careers — and sometimes throughout their careers. Their discoveries and breakthroughs have impacted our lives by enhancing our health, making our world safer and more secure, opening new economic opportunities, creating the industries of the future and more.
NSF was established as an independent federal agency in 1950 to promote the progress of science, largely by supporting fundamental research. Today, NSF makes more than 10,000 new research awards each year to fuel discovery at the frontiers of knowledge.
Fundamental research can lead to transformative breakthroughs like those recognized by the Nobel Prizes. The broad public impacts of NSF's mission to fuel those breakthroughs are reflected in part by the large number of Nobel laureates whose research activities have been supported by NSF.
The information presented here is based on NSF's awards database, which covers awards from the 1970s to the present, as well as on printed information that predates NSF electronic records, and on information from the Nobel Foundation.