SBE - Budget

The Social, Behavioral, and Economics Sciences (SBE) Activity supports research, infrastructure and education in the social, behavioral, cognitive and economic sciences, primarily through grants to investigators at universities and other institutions. The research it supports has resulted in substantial advances in our understanding of human and social development and of how people behave, both as individuals and as parts of groups and other more formal organizations. SBE also supports the collection and dissemination of statistics on the science and engineering enterprise.

SBE is a principal source of federal support for fundamental research on human cognition and behavior and social structures and social interaction, as well as for research on the intellectual and social contexts that govern the development and use of science and technology. Overall, SBE accounts for 63 percent of federal support for basic research in the social sciences at U.S. academic institutions. In some fields, including anthropology, archaeology, political science, economics, sociology and the social aspects of psychology, it is the predominant or exclusive source of federal support for basic research and infrastructure development. Critical federal research and development (R&D) investment priorities, including homeland and national security, economic prosperity, integrating research and education, and environmental quality are rooted in the kinds of behavior the SBE sciences seek to understand. The Science Resources Statistics subactivity within SBE is the Federal statistical agency responsible for the compilation and analysis of data on the science and engineering enterprise. Major components are surveys of the science and engineering workforce and their education and on the nation’s research and development portfolio. The results of this work are used to assess the state of the nation’s domestic workforce in S&E, its ability to compete globally and the outlook for the nation’s research capacity, as well as providing critical benchmarking information on cyberinfrastructure in the research and biomedical communities. Findings from SRS studies have long been important to the development of the nation’s educational and science policy agendas.