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FY 2001 Appropriations for the National Science Foundation (NSF)
|NSF||FY 2000 Estimate||President's FY 2001 Request||FY 2001 House||FY 2001 Senate||Final||% Change FY 2000 vs. FY 2001|
|Research & Related Activities:|
|Computer & Information Science & Engineering||388||529||439||—||481*||23.9%|
|Mathematical & Physical Sciences||758||881||802||—||839*||10.8%|
|Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences||146||175||158||—||165*||13.1%|
|Integrative Activities (includes Major Research Instrumentation)||129||119||87||—||—||—|
|Total, Research & Related Activities||2,966||3,541||3,135||3,246||3,350||12.9%|
|Education & Human Resources||691||729||694||765||785||13.6%|
|Major Research Equipment||94||139||77||109||122||29.3%|
The President signed the VA-HUD appropriations bill on October 27.
* Within NSF's Research and Related Activities account, rather than provide specific funding levels for each directorate, the conference report states that NSF must "provide each program, project, and activity the same percentage of the overall budget as that provided in the budget request." Based on this language, the table above is an estimate for each directorate.
On Oct. 12, the Senate approved the VA-HUD appropriations bill. The Senate also incorporated into the VA-HUD bill the revised Energy and Water bill, which did not contain the Missouri River provision which the President threatened to veto. The Senate passed this combined bill 87-8, and awaits final approval from the House — the vote will take place the week of 10/16/00.
The conference agreement provides NSF $4.426 billion, a 13.6% increase over FY 2000. NSF's major initiatives also received increases over last year:
Information Technology Research activities received $215 million, a $125 million increase; Biocomplexity received $75 million, a $25 million increase; Nanoscale received $150 million, a $52.7 million increase. Further details on how the rest of RRA funding will be divided amont the research directorates are not yet available.
On Wednesday, September 13, the Senate VA-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee marked up its FY 2001 bill, followed by approval by the full Senate Apropriations Committee. The Senate mark would provide NSF with a 10.26% increase over FY 2000.
Unlike the House-passed bill, the Senate bill does not include specific funding levels for each directorate. Specifics were provided, however, on initiatives within NSF's Research and Related Activities account:
- Information Technology Research activities: $215 million (up $125 million from FY00);
- Biocomplexity: $75 million (up $25 million from FY00);
- Nanoscale Science and Engineering: $125 million (up $27.7 million from FY00);
- Plant Genome Research: $65 million (up $6.4 million from FY00).
Within the Major Research Equipment account, the second Terascale Computing would receive $45 million (the President's request). The Committee does not provide funding for EarthScope or the National Ecological Observatory Network, due to "budget constraints."
The Senate Committee report stated its disappointment with the Administration's lack of support in its request for assisting smaller research institutions and minorities. Within the Education and Human Resources account, the committee recommended $12 million for the Historically Black Colleges and Universities-Undergraduate Program (up $3.6 million over FY00). These funds are to be augmented another $1 million from the Research and Related Activities account, for a total funding of $13 million for FY01.
Within NSF's Major Research Instrumentation account, the Senate Committee recommended $75 million to "address the infrastructure needs of research institutions. NSF is encouraged to target these funds in assisting smaller research institutions."
The Senate report also states the Committee's strong support for the Informal Science Education (ISE) program, and "especially values the ISE program in raising interest among children and young adults in science and technology..." However, the Committee expressed concern for the funding levels proposed by the Administration for NSF's graduate research education programs. "The Committee is concerned particularly with the proposed reduction in funding for the highly successful and prestigious Graduate Research Fellowships program." The Committee provided $55.2 million for the program for FY 2002, allowing the Foundation to raise the annual stipend amount from its current level of $16,200 to $18,000 per award.
On Tuesday, May 23, the House VA-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee approved its FY 2001 funding bill. Although the Subcommittee had less to spend than last year, NSF received a modest increase (4.3%) from FY 2000. This increase is significant because the bill provides substantially lower funding for nearly every other agency under the Subcommittee's jurisdiction, except VA Medical and HUD Housing Programs. The Geosciences Directorate received a 7.3% increase.
Within the Major Research Equipment Account, the Subcommittee did not provide funding for two new projects included in the President's budget request: EarthScope and the National Ecological Observatory Network, both of which the committee said had great merit and the action was taken without prejudice. The Subcommittee also did not provide funding for the second Terascale Computing facility, stating that it wished to wait for the first Terascale Computing System, funding in FY 2000, to be completed and evaluated.
Within the Education and Human Resources account, the Subcommittee provided the National SMETE Digital Library $13 million. The request was for $27 million.