News Release 04-013

National Science Board Says NSF Needs $19 Billion Annually to Address U.S. Research and Education Needs

February 2, 2004

Arlington, Va.—The National Science Board (NSB) released a report today that responds to Section 22 of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Authorization Act of 2002, in which Congress directed the Board to address the Foundation's budgetary and programmatic growth through fiscal 2007. The Board is the independent body appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate to establish the policies of the Foundation, and provide policy advice to the president and the Congress on matters of science and engineering research and education.

In a letter accompanying the report, Board Chairman Warren Washington said the recommendations "are provided at a very broad level and assume full implementation of the [Congressionally] authorized increase in NSF's budget to $9.8 billion in FY07." Further, the letter says, " the report estimates that approximately $19 billion would be required to fully address all unmet needs...and ensure continued U.S. leadership in the international science, engineering and technology enterprise."

Entitled "Fulfilling the Promise: A Report to Congress on the Budgetary and Programmatic Expansion of the National Science Foundation," and informally known as the "Section 22 Report," the document identifies specific areas for spending authorized budget increases through fiscal 2007, rather than across-the-board increases.

The report recommends almost $3 billion, for example, to expand the shrinking cadre of Americans who chose science and technology careers and calls for increased education and training mechanisms to access the relatively untapped talents of racial and ethnic minority Americans.

Those funds would also be used to increase research grant size and duration and open new research frontiers. Another $1.2 billion is suggested to enhance research technology and infrastructure.

"Clearly," the report says, "we must attract more U.S. students to [science and engineering] fields, and provide them with high quality education and training and access to the most advanced tools, facilities, and cyber infrastructure. If we fail to do this, increasing numbers of high technology and manufacturing jobs will go overseas. " The report also says $200 million should be added to NSF's annual budget to maintain its excellence in research management and provide for expanded responsibilities in that area.

Board Chairman Washington states that while the FY2007 authorized level of $9.8 billion "...will significantly enhance NSF's ability to address many unmet needs identified by the Board, the report estimates that approximately $19 billion would be required to fully address all unmet needs."

Washington goes on to state: "... The present federal budget realities will require the NSF and the Board to adjust the planned budget and programmatic expansion to fit actual yearly increments. However, the Board feels strongly that the current positive momentum for annual increases to the NSF budget must be maintained in order to enhance NSF's ability to address these issues, and ensure continued US leadership in the international science, engineering and technology enterprise."

An online version of the report is available on line at:


NSF PR 04-13 (NSB 04-17)

NSB is composed of 24 part-time members, appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. They are selected on the basis of their eminence in basic, medical, or social sciences, engineering, agriculture, education, research management or public affairs. The NSF Director serves on the Board, ex officio.

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Media Contacts
Bill Noxon, NSF, (703) 292-7750,

Program Contacts
Jean Pomeroy, NSF, (703) 292-7000,

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2017, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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