GPRA Plan    
NSF GPRA Strategic Plan
FY 2001 - 2006



About the NSF

NSF Role

I.  Introduction

II.  Vision and Mission

III.  Outcome Goals

IV.  Strategy


Appendix 1: Critical Factors for Success

Appendix 2: External Factors Affecting Success

Appendix 3: Assessing NSF’s Performance

Appendix 4: Integration of NSF Plans with those of Other Agencies

Appendix 5: Resource Utilization

Appendix 6: Linking the Strategic Plan to the Performance Plan

Appendix 7: Crosswalk of NSF Goals and Programs

How We Operate

Our Attributes

National Science Board

Director's Policy Group


All NSF programs are classified according to the outcome goal on which they are primarily focused. However, is should be noted that there is considerable synergy among the goals. For example, a grant supporting materials research at a university may focus on producing new knowledge (Ideas) but also may help train the next generation of scientists and engineers (People), and provide new research equipment (Tools.) The ability of NSF-supported projects to simultaneously address multiple outcome goals increases the effectiveness and productivity of NSF’s investments.

PEOPLE – A diverse, internationally-competitive and globally engaged workforce of scientists, engineers, and well-prepared citizens.

K-12 Support

Educational System Reform (ESR)– ESR programs implement large-scale reform of science, mathematics, and technology (SMT) education, particularly at the preK-12 level, across the nation. Systemic reform projects provide access to high-quality science and mathematics educational resources for the nation’s children, and expand professional development opportunities for the instructional workforce

Rural Systemic Initiatives(RSI) – systemic reform program to promote systemic improvements in math, science and technology education for students in rural and economically disadvantaged regions of the nation.
Statewide Systemic Initiatives (SSI) – systemic reform program to encourage improvements in science, math and engineering education through comprehensive systemic changes in the education systems of the states.
Urban Systemic Program (USP) – a new program that includes innovative options calling for K-12 districts to collaborate with (1) two-year colleges in developing exemplary improvements in technical education and (2) four-year colleges and universities in improving existing teacher preparation programs and developing research enrichment opportunities for K-12 students. Program and site-specific research is encouraged across projects to increase understanding of the reform process.

Instructional Materials, Teachers & Students

Centers for Teaching and Learning program (CLT) – CLTs will address teacher competencies and will build the SMT educational infrastructure across diverse areas of specialization and geographic regions. Local Systemic Change (LSC) projects will continue to couple sustained professional development with appropriate instructional materials and will build an infrastructure for future CLTs in all regions of the country.
Instructional Materials Development – supports the development of materials and strategies to promote the improvement of science, math and technology instruction at all levels so students can acquire sophisticated content knowledge, higher order thinking abilities and problem solving skills.
Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) – provides career recognition for outstanding K-12 math and science teachers.
Teacher Enhancement / Student Development – supports professional development projects to broaden and deepen the content and pedagogical knowledge of teachers; also promotes teacher and student development through research experiences.
Teacher Preparation – responds to a national need to attract, develop and retain well-qualified teachers of science and mathematics; aims to reform PreK-12 teacher education with the intent to strengthen the content and pedagogical skills needed for delivery of standards-based science and mathematics education.

Undergraduate Support

Broadening Participation

Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) – provides funds to improve the quality of undergraduate science, mathematics, engineering and technology programs through curricular reform and enhancement, faculty development, research experiences for undergraduates, upgrading of scientific instrumentation, and improvement of research infrastructure. A program goal is to increase the number of baccalaureate recipients.
Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) – a program to increase the number of minority and other students who successfully complete baccalaureates in science, math, engineering and technology.
Model Institutions of Excellence (MIE) – collaborative support for several minority institutions that have strong track records for producing minority students with baccalaureate degrees in science, mathemathics or engineering disciplines and who go on to graduate school in these fields.
Tribal Colleges Program (TCP) – a program for Tribal Colleges that encourages Native Americans to pursue information technology and other science and technology fields of study, as well as increases the capacity of tribal colleges to offer relevant courses and enhance K-12 education in feeder school systems.

Curriculum, Laboratory & Faculty

Advanced Technological Education (ATE) – promotes improvements in science and mathematics curricula and instruction, intended to benefit students who plan to become technicians in the high-performance workplace in the near-term. ATE provides opportunities for development of the workforce for technological positions that do not require full undergraduate programs of study. New emphases will be on information technology, manufacturing and teacher development in related areas.
Course, Curriculum & Laboratory Improvement – supports adaptation and implementation of proven curricula and laboratory instructional models, and development of educational materials.
Distinguished Teaching Scholars – recognizes and rewards undergraduate faculty whose integration of research and education enhances the quality of the future workforce and the scientific knowledge of the general public.
Engineering Education Reform – promotes systemic reform in undergraduate engineering education. For example, the program supports development of innovative curricula in nanotechnology and other areas of emerging technology. Special attention is given to institutionalizing successful innovations that have resulted from this program. It also supports smaller scale projects to integrate advanced technology research into the curriculum.
Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) – an NSF-wide program that provides opportunities for undergraduate students to experience hands-on participation in research or related scholarly activities in areas of science, math and engineering.
Scholarships for Service – a program that awards scholarships for the study of information security in return for a commitment to work for a specified time for the federal government.

Graduate and Professional Development Support


Graduate Research Fellowships (GRF) – provide recognition and three years of support for advanced study to outstanding graduate students in all fields of science, mathematics, and engineering.
Graduate Research Traineeships (GRT) – continuing – program that preceded the IGERT program. This funding is for continuing awards made under the original program.
Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education (GK-12) – initiated in FY 1999 to support graduate and advanced undergraduate science, math, engineering and technology majors as content resources for K-12 teachers. These Fellows assist teachers in the science and mathematics content to be used in instruction, demonstrate key science and mathematics concepts, and connect elementary and secondary learning to the habits and skills required for collegiate study.
Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) – an agency-wide program that sponsors the development of innovative, research-based graduate education and training programs in Ph.D. granting institutions.
Minority Graduate Education (MGE) – continues awards for increasing the number of underrepresented minority SME doctorates and their representation in the professorate.
Research Training Grants (RTGs) – grants in the biological sciences designed to give students research experience with trained researchers. Funds being redirected to IGERT.
Vertical Integration of Research and Education in the Mathematical Sciences (VIGRE) – a program designed to broaden educational content and opportunities for students (at the undergraduate level) by the integration of research and education in the mathematical sciences.

Professional Development

ADVANCE/Professional Opportunities for Women in Research in Education (POWRE) – an NSF-wide effort aimed at increasing the prominence of women in science and engineering research education. POWRE is being replaced by a new program called ADVANCE, created to advance professional opportunities for women.
The Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) – an NSF-wide activity that supports junior faculty within the context of their overall career development.
Postdoctoral Fellowships in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology Education (PFSMETE) –
encourages Ph.D. graduates in these fields to attain the skills needed to assume leadership roles in education reform at all levels. They offer the opportunity and challenge of complementing disciplinary science and engineering expertise with skills in education, thus opening new career options to the fellowship recipients.
Presidential Faculty Fellows (PFF)/NSF Young Investigators (NYI)/ Presidential Young Investigators (PYI) –
programs devoted to increasing the participation and experience of young researchers. PFF is being re-directed into CAREER. NYI and PYI are currently being phased out and replaced by CAREER.

Other Programs

Evaluation – a continuum of accountability activities such as monitoring, databases, impact studies, and program evaluations with an orientation to the measurement, data collection, and reporting requirements necessary to support the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA).
Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) –
a program that brings university and industry collaborators together at the conceptual phase of a research and education endeavor.
Informal Science Education (ISE) –
incorporates projects that provide opportunities outside a formal school setting where K-12 individuals of all interests and backgrounds can increase their appreciation and understanding of science, math, engineering and technology.
Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) –
administered on behalf of the White House by the National Science Foundation, this program seeks to identify outstanding mentoring efforts/programs designed to enhance the participation of groups underrepresented in science, mathematics and engineering.
Programs for Gender Equity (PGE) –
supports education and research activities that foster increased participation of women and girls in science, mathematics, engineering and technology.
Programs for Persons with Disabilities (PPD) –
supports efforts to increase the participation and achievement in SMET education and research of individuals with disabilities. Emphasis is placed on projects building and strengthening alliances among higher education, K-12 educational systems, and business and industry.

H-1B Nonimmigrant Petitioner Account – established by Title IV of the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-277); requires that a prescribed percentage of funds in the Account be made available to NSF for the following activities:

Computer Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Scholarships (CSEMS) – merit-based scholarships are to be provided for new or continued enrollment at institutions of higher education by eligible low-income individuals pursuing associate, undergraduate, or graduate degrees in the disciplines specified.
Grants for Mathematics, Engineering, or Science Enrichment Courses –
are intended to provide opportunities to students for enrollment in year-round academic enrichment courses in mathematics, engineering, or science.
Systemic Reform Activities –
are intended to supplement systemic reform activities administered under the Educational System Reform (ESR) Subactivity.

IDEAS – Discovery at and across the frontier of science and engineering, and connections to its use in society.

Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) – aims to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in science, math, engineering and technology by making substantial resources available to upgrade the capabilities of the most research-productive minority institutions.
National Consortium for Violence Research –
supports research on the causes of violent behavior; encourages young researchers, especially underrepresented minorities, to enter this field; and disseminates research results to research and policy communities.
Chemistry Centers –
includes the Environmental Molecular Sciences Institutes and the Center for Molecular Sciences, which advance understanding and control at the level of fundamental molecular science.
Climate Change Technology Initiative (CCTI 1 – an interagency initiative which promotes research aimed at technologies, such as products and production methods that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the efficiency of energy and materials used in transportation, buildings and manufacturing, for reducing U.S. carbon emissions at the lowest possible cost.
Partnerships for Advanced Tech in Housing (PATH)1 – an interagency program to develop and promote the adoption of advanced housing technologies that will reduce energy consumption in building, heating/cooling and maintenance of the nation's residential housing.
Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP)1 – cross-disciplinary research on improved performance and sustainability of critical infrastructure systems, i.e. communication, housing, transportation.
Cyber Security for the 21st Century 1 –
a program sponsored by the Office of Personnel Management and NSF that will offer college scholarships to students with concentrations in information security in exchange for their public service after graduation. This program will create a new generation of computer security specialists who will work to defend our nation’s computer systems and networks.
Earthquake Engineering Research Centers –
centers that bring together multi-institutional teams of investigators to provide the knowledge and technology base for industry and public agencies to build and retrofit structures and other infrastructure to prevent damage from earthquakes. These centers take a systems approach, integrate research and education, and develop partnerships with industry and the public agencies responsible for earthquake hazard mitigation at the local level.
Engineering Research Centers and Groups (ERCs) –
university-based centers that facilitate the development of new knowledge and technology. These centers share several important characteristics: a unifying long-term, coordinated approach to complex engineering problems, an emphasis on partnerships and knowledge transfer linkages with industry, and significant educational and outreach programs aimed at integrating education and research. The ERCs link cross-disciplinary teams of investigators across institutional boundaries to advance fundamental knowledge in nanoscale science and engineering, develop a wide range of new technologies, and prepare model curricula to educate new generations for this emerging field.
Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) – established in 1978, EPSCoR participation is limited to states that have historically received lesser amounts of federal funding for academic research and development and have demonstrated a commitment to develop their research bases and to improve the quality of science, mathematics, and engineering research conducted at their universities and colleges. Current participants include the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and 19 states – Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Food Safety1 – an interagency initiative to address food-borne microbial hazards, supported by the Engineering directorate.
Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) - an interagency program which brings together K-12 students, teachers, and scientists from around the world who work together to help us learn more about the environment. By participating in GLOBE, teachers guide their students through daily, weekly, and seasonal environmental observations, such as air temperature and precipitation. Using the Internet, students send their data to the GLOBE Student Data Archive. Scientists and other students use this data for their research.
High-Performance Computing, Information and Communications (HPCCIT)1, 2 – an NSTC crosscut whose programs invest in long-term R&D to advance computing, information, and communications in the U.S. This includes information technology research (ITR) listed under the NSF Information Technology initiative.
Next Generation Internet (NGI) 1 – the focus is on high performance connectivity between academic research institutions, contributing to basic infrastructure for high-end research applications, and taking a major role in developing the national scalable high-performance network infrastructure for the U.S. research and education community. NGI is part of the HPCCIT crosscut.
Human Dimensions of Global Change – comprised of two centers supported by SBE: Indiana University-Bloomington Center focuses on how humans and institutions affect forest clearance and reforestation; Center at Carnegie Mellon University employs an integrated, multi-disciplinary, model-based approach to the analysis of complex global change problems.
Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC) – centers to develop long-term partnerships among industry, academe and government. They provide a steady stream of enabling technologies critical to advancing industrial manufacturing processes, information technology support systems, and new product lines.
Information Technology Centers – supports fundamental research in information technology that incorporates scientific applications or addresses social, ethical and workforce issues; part of the Information Technology Research initiative.
Innovation Partnerships – The Office of Innovation Partnerships, initiated in FY 2000 as a result of Congressional action, stimulates the innovation process and strengthens economic development in diverse research and education settings, with emphasis on geographic areas that are not currently participating fully in NSF programs. Academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and private sector organizations are encouraged to develop partnership arrangements to build infrastructure and bring together human resources across institutions and sectors.
Integrated Science for Ecosystems Challenges (ISEC)1 – an interagency initiative designed to develop the knowledge base, information infrastructure and modeling framework to help resource managers predict/assess environmental and economic impacts of stress on vulnerable terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
Interagency Education Research Initiative (IERI) – initiated in FY 1999 in partnership with the Department of Education and the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development to support research efforts in areas including: school readiness for learning, reading, and mathematics; K-3 learning in reading and mathematics; and K-12 teacher education in reading, mathematics, and science. Special emphasis is placed on application of educational technologies to K-12 education.
Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) – promotes investigations of whole ecosystems and their component organisms and processes at sites that represent major biomes. The 24 LTER sites include coastal ecosystems; human-dominated, urban ecosystems; the Arctic tundra of Alaska; the deserts of New Mexico; the rainforests of Puerto Rico; and the Dry Valleys of Antarctica. Projects are multidisciplinary and actively encourage collaborative research with non-ecological investigators.
Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSEC)– formerly known as Materials Research Laboratories (MRL), support interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary materials research and education while addressing fundamental problems in science and engineering that are important to society.
Mathematical Sciences Research Institutes – centers to stimulate research in the mathematical sciences, bringing together in a programmatically focused scientific environment, top people in a given research subject, where new ideas can be developed and exploited.
National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) – located in downtown Santa Barbara, CA, scientists at NCEAS conduct collaborative research on major fundamental and applied problems in ecology. The goal is to identify major ecological patterns and understand the processes that generate them – NCEAS provides the atmosphere, facilities, equipment, and staff to help reach this goal. The National Science Foundation, the State of California, and the University of California at Santa Barbara provide funding for NCEAS.
National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis – center that supports research to advance the theory, methods and techniques of geographic analysis based on geographic information systems (GIS) and other spatial analysis tools that are integral to large-scale research, planning and management.
National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) – seeks to advance fundamental engineering and related scientific knowledge to mitigate the impacts of earthquakes, including support for fundamental research that leads to more earthquake-resistant buildings and facilities.
Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV)1 – a federal program to reduce manufacturing cost and time for all vehicles; to increase fuel efficiency and reduce vehicle emissions; and to develop a new class of vehicles with three times the fuel efficiency of today’s autos and comparable performance and cost of ownership. NSF does not maintain a focused PNGV program, but rather supports PNGV-related efforts through its disciplinary and other established programs.
Physics Frontiers Centers (formerly Physics Centers) – a new program planned for FY 2001, these centers will provide critical resources and needed infrastructure to exceptionally promising new areas of physics such as atom lasers, quantum information science, computational physics, biological physics, and astrophysics.
Plant Genome Centers – portion of the Plant Genome Research initiative that is devoted to supporting virtual centers (centers without walls) or collaboratories where coordinated, multi-investigator teams pursue comprehensive plant genome research programs relevant to economically important plants and plant processes. Currently active centers range in size and scope, some with a focus on functional genomics and others with a focus on developing tools and resources for plant genomics studies for the scientific community.
Plant Genome Research – research that advances our understanding of the structure, organization and function of plant genomics, and that accelerates utilization of new knowledge and innovative technologies toward a more complete understanding of basic biological processes in plants. This fundamental research has application to agriculture, forestry, energy, and the environment, as well as the production of plant-based industrial materials and chemicals.
Research Opportunity Awards (ROA) – a component of the Research at Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) program, ROAs provide opportunities for faculty at institutions with limited research opportunities to participate in NSF-funded research at other institutions.
Research at Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) – NSF-wide research program designed to support new multidisciplinary collaborative research groups at primarily undergraduate institutions. Each group is composed of faculty members representing at least two disciplinary areas and includes up to 10 undergraduates.
Science and Technology Centers (STCs) – NSF program that serves as an innovative vehicle for the conduct of world-class research by bringing together a critical mass of facilities and expertise from academia, national laboratories and industry, involving multiple partners and bringing key strengths to the national research enterprise. Classes 1 and 2 are phasing out; a new third class of STCs will begin in 2000.
Small Business Innovation Research program (SBIR) – a federal program to stimulate small business participation in research across the science and engineering disciplines, with a goal of creating new technologies, industries, businesses and jobs. The program also works to promote effective linkages among small businesses, university experts, and state agencies to provide technical business expertise in talented entrepreneurs.
Small Business Technology Transfer program (STTR) – a federal program that links entrepreneurs to the academic research community, encouraging commercialization of government-funded research by the private sector to promote industrial innovation.
State/Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (State/I/UCRC) – an extension of the I/UCRC model, focusing more actively on state or regional local economic development; currently being phased out.
U.S. Global Change Research Program1 – an interagency federal effort that provides the foundation for increasing the skill of predictions of seasonal-to-interannual climate fluctuations (which can bring excessively wet and dry periods) and long-term climate change. The USGCRP also sponsors research to understand the vulnerabilities to changes in important environmental factors, including changes in climate, ultraviolet (UV) radiation at the Earth's surface, and land cover. The scientific knowledge gained is used to inform decision making on environmental issues and to ensure the social and economic health of future generations.

TOOLS – Broadly accessible, state-of-the-art information bases and shared research and education tools.

Academic Research Fleet – a fleet of large ships for ocean-wide investigations, intermediate size ships for regional investigations, small ships for coastal and estuarine work, and platforms with special capabilities such as the submersible Alvin. The ships are both privately and federally owned and are operated by academic institutions. NSF provides a majority of the support for the operation, maintenance, and upgrade of the fleet.
Advanced Networking Infrastructure – enables and expands scholarly communication and collaboration by providing network access for researchers and educators to high performance, remote scientific facilities including supercomputer facilities and information resources.
Antarctic Facilities and Operations – Antarctic infrastructure, operations and science support for the three U.S. Antarctic research stations: McMurdo Station on Ross Island, Palmer Station on Anvers Island, and Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. In addition, necessary facilities include ski-equipped and fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, research vessels (including a specially constructed ice-breaking research vessel), and an ice-strengthened supply and support ship. Over 650 researchers and students utilize the Antarctic facilities each year.
Antarctic Logistics – Antarctic logistics support is supplied in part by the Department of Defense, including: flight activity and aircraft maintenance carried out by military personnel in the 109th Airlift Wing (AW) of the New York Air National Guard; support for air traffic control, weather forecasting, and electronic equipment maintenance; use of DOD satellites for communications.
Arctic Logistics – Arctic research support and logistics funds; includes facilities, operations and research support. Arctic facilities include camps and sites for studies of greenhouse gases, monitoring stations for research on ultra-violet radiation, ice coring sites for studies of global climate history, high latitude radar observatories and magnetometers for upper atmospheric research, use of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy, and the use of a vessel from the academic research fleet for oceanographic research in the Arctic Ocean.
Cornell Electron-positron Storage Ring (CESR) – a physics facility that produces electron and positron colliding beams that allow detailed studies of physics, including research on the matter-antimatter asymmetry in the universe as well as a fundamental asymmetry of nature called CP violation.
EarthScope:  US Array and San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD)2 – a distributed, multi-purpose geophysical instrument array that will allow scientists to make major advances in our knowledge and understanding of the structure and dynamics of the North American continent. These observational facilities provide a framework for broad integrated studies across the earth sciences, including research on earthquakes and seismic hazards, magmatic systems and volcanic hazards, lithospheric dynamics, regional tectonics, continental structure and evolution, and fluids in the crust. EarthScope investigations will be done in close partnership with local and state governments, federal agencies such as the U.S. Geological Survey, and with Canada and Mexico when investigations border on those countries.
GEMINI – an international collaboration that is building 8-meter telescopes in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Observatories are located in Mauna Kea, Hawaii and Cerro Pachon, Chile. Gemini will offer world-class and unique opportunities to the scientific community both in the infrared optimization of the telescope and in the use of adaptive optics.
High-Performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for Environmental Research (HIAPER) 2 – a medium sized jet aircraft capable of operating in the upper troposphere to lower stratosphere and associated next-generation instrumentation, which will allow research on many of the outstanding issues in the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and cryosphere.
Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) – facility to provide rapid analysis of earthquakes, aid in monitoring nuclear proliferation, permit imaging of the internal physical structure of the Earth, and make data on seismic events available to researchers worldwide.
Large Hadron Collider (LHC)2 – an international project housed at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland, the LHC will be the world’s highest energy accelerator facility. The LHC will enable a search for the Higgs particle, the existence and properties of which will provide a deeper understanding of the origin of mass of the known elementary particles. It will also enable a search for particles predicted by a powerful theoretical tool framework known as supersymmetry which will provide clues as to how the four known forces evolved from different aspects of the same "unified" force in the early universe.
Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) – The LIGO construction project began in FY 1992 as a collaboration between physicists and engineers at the California Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to test the dynamical features of Einstein’s theory of gravitation and to study the properties of intense gravitational fields from their radiation. Today, several other institutions are also involved. LIGO consists of identical, but widely separated detectors, one in Hanford, Washington, and the other in Livingston, Louisiana, that will be used for fundamental physics experiments to directly detect gravitational waves and gather data on their sources.
Millimeter Array2 – a memorandum of understanding merging U.S. and European design and development efforts for an expanded array to be called the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) was signed between the National Science Foundation and a consortium of European institutions and funding agencies. ALMA will be the world’s most sensitive, highest resolution millimeter-wavelength telescope, operating in the wavelength range from 3 to 0.4 mm. It will combine an angular resolution comparable to that of the Hubble Space Telescope with the sensitivity of a single antenna nearly 100 meters in diameter. The array will provide a testing ground for theories of star birth and stellar evolution, galaxy formation and evolution, and the evolution of the universe itself. It will reveal the inner workings of the central black hole "engines" which power quasars, and will make possible a search for earth-like planets around hundreds of nearby stars.
Major Research Instrumentation program (MRI) – designed to improve the condition of scientific and engineering equipment for research and research training in our nation’s academic institutions. This program seeks to improve the quality and expand the scope of research and research training in science and engineering, and to foster the integration of research and education by providing instrumentation for research-intensive learning environments.
National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) – located at Michigan State University, this facility provides important research opportunities to the community with particular emphasis on nuclear astrophysics.
Nanofabrication – a network of five university user facilities that offer advanced nano- and micro-fabrication capabilities to researchers in all fields.
National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center (NAIC) – the 305-meter-diameter radio and radar telescope located at Arecibo, Puerto Rico. NAIC is a visitor-oriented national research center devoted to scientific investigations in radio and radar astronomy and atmospheric sciences. NAIC provides telescope users with a wide range of research and observing instrumentation, including receivers, transmitters, movable line feeds, and digital data acquisition and processing equipment.
National Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology Education Digital Library (NSDL) – NSDL’s goal is to advance the methods used to collect, store, organize and use widely distributed knowledge resources that contain diverse types of information and content stored in a variety of electronic forms.
National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) – serves the entire atmospheric sciences research community and part of the ocean sciences community. Facilities available to university, NCAR, and other researchers include an advanced computational center providing resources and services well suited for the development and execution of large models and for the archiving and manipulation of large data sets. NCAR also provides research aircraft that can be equipped with sensors to measure dynamic, physical, and chemical states of the atmosphere. In addition, one airborne and one portable ground-based radar and other surface sensing systems are available for atmospheric research.
National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON)2 – 10 observatories nationwide that will serve as national research platforms for integrated, cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research in field biology. Collectively, the network will form a large array that will allow scientists to conduct experiments on ecological systems at all levels of biological organization from molecular genetics to whole ecosystems and across scales ranging from seconds to geological time and from microns to regions and continents. Part of the Biocomplexity in the Environment Initiative.
National High Field Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance (FT-ICR) Mass Spectrometry Center – a chemistry facility used to measure the atomic composition of complex molecular systems; part of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES)2 – a project funded through the MRE account that will upgrade, modernize, expand and network major facilities including: (a) shake tables used for earthquake simulations; (b) large reaction walls for pseudo-dynamic testing; (c) centrifuges for testing soils under earthquake loading; and (d) field testing facilities.
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL) – supports the research needs of materials scientists and other researchers in broad-spectrum science and technology. A team of researchers from the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL) has conducted the first experiments in continuous magnetic fields of 45 tesla (one million times the Earth's magnetic field) in a new hybrid magnet. This new magnetic field strength gives scientists a new scale of magnetic energy to create new states of matter and probe deeper into electronic and magnetic materials than ever before.
National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) – a national center for research in ground-based optical and infrared astronomy and solar physics. NOAO includes Kitt Peak National Observatory outside Tucson, Arizona; Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile; and the National Solar Observatory in Arizona and New Mexico. Large optical telescopes, observing equipment, and research support services are made available to qualified scientists.
National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) – headquartered at Charlottesville, Virginia, and operates radio telescopes at sites in Arizona, New Mexico, and West Virginia. NRAO makes radio astronomy facilities available to qualified visiting scientists and provides staff support for use of the large radio antennas, receivers, and other equipment needed to detect, measure, and identify radio waves from astronomical objects.
Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Facilities – infrastructure associated with the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP). ODP activities are an international exploration of Earth's crust beneath the ocean revealing the composition, structure, and history of the submerged portion of Earth's surface. Ocean drilling involves logging and collecting geologic samples from the floor of the deep ocean basins through rotary coring and hydraulic piston coring.
Partnerships for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (PACI) – provides access to, and support for, high-end computing for the national scientific and engineering community, and the development and application of the necessary software, tools and algorithms for their use on scalable, widely distributed resources. Emphasis will be on scaling applications codes to be ready for transitions to the Terascale Computing Systems and access and visualization techniques for very large data resources to support research in disciplinary areas. The education, outreach and training component of PACI will continue to broaden and accelerate the capability of the nation to utilize the advanced computational capabilities being developed.
Polar Aircraft Modernization (LC-130s)2 – funding to upgrade ski-equipped aircraft to meet Air Force standards. These aircraft are part of Antarctic and Arctic logistical support.
Research Resources – focuses on the infrastructural tools necessary to perform state-of-the-art scientific research. It includes databases and the informatics tools and techniques needed to manage them, multi-user instrumentation, development of instrumentation and new technologies, living stock centers, and marine laboratories and terrestrial field stations.
Science & Technology Policy Institute (STPI) (formerly CTI) – a federally funded R&D center established by Congress to support devising and implementing science and technology policy.
Science Resources Studies (SRS) – a division within the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences directorate (SBE), responsible for collecting, analyzing and disseminating data on the science and engineering (S&E) enterprise.
South Pole Station2 – modernization of the existing South Pole Station. Costs include materials, labor, logistics for transportation of all materials and personnel to the South Pole, construction support, inspection and equipment, as well as demolition and disposal. The goals of the modernization are to maintain a U.S. presence in accord with national policy, provide a safe working and living environment, provide a platform for science, and to achieve a 25-year station life.
Terascale Computing Systems2 – provides access to scalable, balanced, terascale computing resources for the broad-based academic science and engineering community served by NSF; part of the Information Technology Research Initiative

Other Facilities

Geosciences (GEO) Facilities – include multi-user accelerator-based mass spectrometers and synchrotron beamlines, and facilities to support the scientific use of the Global Positioning System.
Materials Research Facilities – include the National High Field Mass Spectrometry Center, NIST Neutron Scattering Facility, Cornell High-Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS), and Wisconsin Synchrotron Radiation Center.
Physics Facilities – include the Indiana University Cyclotron Facility (IUCF) and the Cornell High-Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS).

INITIATIVES — In addition to support for core research, education and tools, NSF emphasizes priority investments in interdependent areas which cut across the People, Ideas and Tools goals. These areas combine exciting opportunities in research and education with immense potential to generate important benefits to society. The FY 2001 Budget Initiatives are:

  • Information Technology Research (ITR)

  • Biocomplexity in the Environment (BE)

  • 21st Century Workforce

  • Nanoscale Science and Engineering

1National Science and Technology Council Crosscuts
2Major Research Equipment Programs – The Major Research Equipment account provides funding for the construction and acquisition of major research facilities that provide unique capabilities at the cutting edge of science and engineering. Projects supported by this account are intended to expand the boundaries of technology and will offer significant new research opportunities, frequently in totally new directions, for the science and engineering community. Operations and maintenance costs of the facilities are provided through the Research and Related Activities (R&RA) account