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FY 2002 Appropriations for the National Science Foundation (NSF)
(numbers are in millions)
|NSF||FY 2001 Estimate||President's FY 2002 Request||FY 2002 House||FY 2002 Senate||Conference||% change FY 2001 vs. FY 2002|
|Research & Related Activities:|
|Computer & Information Science & Engineering||478||470||521||—||516||7.9%|
|Mathematical & Physical Sciences||851||864||927||—||922||8.3%|
|Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences||164||163||179||—||169||3.0%|
|Total, Research & Related Activities||3,343||3,327||3,642||3,514||3,598||7.6%|
|Education & Human Resources||786||872||886||872||875||11.3%|
|Major Research Equipment||121||96||135||108.5||138.8||14.9%|
Multidisciplinary Priority Areas:
|Priority Area||FY 2001||FY 2002 Request||FY 2002 Senate||Conference||% change FY 2001 vs. FY 2002|
|Biocomplexity in the Environment||54.88||58.10||—||—||—|
|Information Technology Research||259.4||272.5||297.5||297.5||14.7%|
|Nanoscale Science & Engineering||149.7||173.7||198.7||198.7||32.7%|
|Learning for the 21st Century||121.5||125.5||—||—||—|
NOTES on conference agreement (11/7/01)
The House and Senate VA HUD conferees met yesterday to work out their differences on the FY 2002 funding bill. They provided NSF with $4.789 billion, an 8.4% increase over FY 2001. No specific numbers were called out for the programs within Geosciences, and the other directorates. The House and Senate are expected to vote on the final bill soon. Below are details from the conference report.
Within Mathematical and Physical Sciences, $4 million was provided for the Telescope Systems Instrumentation Program (TSIP) and $5 million was provided for astronomical sciences to "augment individual investigator support."
Within Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC):
- Large Hadron Collider: $16.9 million
- Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation: $24.4 million
- HIAPER: $35 million
- Terascale Computing Systems: $35 million
- Start-up costs for the IceCube Neutrino Detection project: $15 million
- Initial construction of the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) telescope: $12.5 million
The conferees directed NSF to provide a report regarding the full life-cycle cost of each of the projects or facilities mentioned above. "The conferees have taken the unusual step of including this statutory requirement due to its continuing concerns for the expenditure of resources for major research equipment projects and current senior management's ability to adequately address this issue.
"The report should identify, for each project and by fiscal year appropriation account used, the costs of planning, design, and development; acquisition, construction, and commissioning; and operations, management, and maintenance. This report, which should also demonstrate significant implementation of the large facility management and oversight plan, is to be provided to the Committees on Appropriations no later than February 28, 2002.
"The conferees further direct the Foundation to provide, in its annual budget submission to the Congress, a detailed priority-based description, multi-year budget, and milestone plan for all projects funded or proposed to be funded through the MREFC account, including those projects currently in the formal planning and development phase prior to National Science Board approval."
Within Education and Human Resources, the conferees provided $160 million for the Math and Science Partnership initiative (the President requested $200 million). The conference agreement includes $17 million for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU); $2.6 million has been provided to establish an initiative that will stimulate the competitive research capacity of HBCU institutions which offer doctoral degrees in science and engineering.
NOTES on the Senate Subcommittee mark-up of the bill (7/25/01):
On July 19, the Senate VA-HUD and Independent Agencies Subcommittee approved the appropriations bill which includes funding for NSF. The Senate mark for NSF gives it a 5.7% increase over FY 2001 — far short of the 15% increased needed to stay on the doubling track (the House mark provides the agency with a 9.6% increase).
Within Research & Related Activities
Like the House, the Senate bill does not call out specific numbers for the directorates within RR&A. The Senate language does include a $75 million increase (over the President's request) for "disciplinary research" within RR&A, so each directorate would get the President's request, plus a piece of that $75 million. Unlike the House, the Senate language does not specify how the $75 million would be distributed within each directorate.
The Senate provided the Interdisciplinary Mathematics program $25 million; the President's request funded it at $20 million. The report language states, "Mathematics is a vital tool in everything from climate research to computational software. For that reason, the Committee has provided a total of $25 million for this initiative."
The Telescope Systems Instrumentation Program (TSIP), which provides cutting edge instrumentation and other infrastructure improvements to the Nation's astronomy observatories as well as provide access to non-federally funded telescopes for the general astronomy community, is one of the National Academy of Sciences Astronomy and Astrophysics Committee's Decadal Survey's most important priorities. The Committee redirected the $9 million from the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) within the astronomical subactivity in RR&A, which will be funded from NSF's MRE account, to this TSIP initiative, with $4 million more added to it, and $5 million to augment individual investigator support.
The Decadal Survey also identified the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) as the most important initiative in ground-based astronomy over the next decade, playing a major role in our understanding of stellar structure, plasma physics, and sun-earth interactions and will complement many planned space missions. The Committee urged NSF to support preparatory work for the ATST, including a survey of adequate sites and development of adaptive optics technologies, at a sufficient level to enable this program to be undertaken by 2005.
NSF's peer review system was criticized in the Committee report; a February 2001 report, "A Study of the National Science Foundation's Criteria for Project Selection" found that NSF is unable to assess the criteria to encourage a broader range of institutions or greater participation of under-represented minority researchers. The National Academy of Public Administration recommended that NSF institute broader-based review panels by bringing in participants from a wider range of institutions, disciplines, and underrepresented minorities. The Committee urged NSF to immediately institute changes to its peer review process that reflect these recommendations.
Major Research Instrumentation
The Committee provided this program with $75 million; $25 million more than the request. Language from the report: "The Committee continues to remain concerned about the ability of smaller institutions to adequately participate in the Foundation's programs. Of particular interest...is the infrastructure needs of non-Ph.D. degree and minority institutions. The Committee directs the Foundation to use the additional $25 million to specifically support the merit-based instrumentation needs of these smaller research institutions."
Within Education & Human Resources
The Committee provided $20 million for a new undergraduate workforce initiative. "The Committee remains troubled by the declining supply of scientists and engineers being produced in this country. Industry is becoming more dependent on foreign workers to fill their workforce needs due to declining interest among students to enter science and engineering." NSF is expected to use these funds to establish a new merit-based, competitive grants program for colleges and universities for increasing the number of undergraduate degree recipients in science and engineering. The types of projects NSF should support, as directed by the Committee, include undergraduate traineeships; targeted mentoring relationships for students from underrepresented groups; internships offered in partnership with industry; and innovative uses of digital technologies particularly at institutions serving economically disadvantaged students.
The Committee increased the graduate education subactivity request by $15 million, to be used to increase the stipends for graduate students.
The increase in the priority area, Information and Technology Research, includes $55 million in MRE for Terascale Computing.
NOTES on the House Subcommittee markup of the bill (7/11/01):
On July 10, the House VA-HUD and Independent Agencies Subcommittee approved the appropriations bill which includes funding for NSF. The full House Appropriations Committee will consider the bill July 17.
* The bill does not call out specific numbers for these directorates, however the language in the bill specifies that "in the distribution of funds within each directorate, the Foundation is directed to provide each program, project, and activity the same percentage as that proposed in the budget request." These numbers are based on this language.
Within the Major Research Equipment account, which is renamed in the House language "Major Research Facilities Construction and Equipment," the President's request included funding for only three continuing projects, Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (Request: $24.4 million, House mark: $24.4 million), Large Hadron Collider (Request: 16.9 million, House mark: $16.9 million) and Terascale Computing (Request: $55 million, House mark: $35 million). The House bill also funds HIAPER at $35 million, Atacama Large Millimeter Array at $9 million, and IceCube Neutrino Detector, a new physics/astronomy project at $15 million.
Language in the House report states, "With regard to HIAPER, the Committee's recommendation is expected to provide for the purchase of the appropriate airframe as well as preliminary planning, development and/or acquisition of necessary modifications of the airframe for research purposes, instrumentation, data systems, and engineering activities."
Within Education and Human Resources, the House bill provides $200 million for the new Math and Science Partnerships Initiative (MPSI), the level requested by the President. This program would fund two major programs: the Infrastructure Partnerships program would give grants to states to partner with higher education institutions to develop plans to improve teacher education, certification, and licensing in mathematics and science, while the Action Partnerships program would focus on designing new models for K-12 science and math education. The bill also provides the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) program $17 million, an increase above the budget request.
NOTES on President's FY 2002 budget request (4/10/01):
In FY 2001, Congress provided NSF with an historic increase of more than 13 percent. However, despite language acknowledging that the "technological innovation that is driving productivity gains in American industry depends increasingly on fundamental scientific research," the President's FY 2002 budget request for NSF allows for only a 1.3 percent increase over FY 2001, and provides for an actual decrease in NSF's research programs — the Research and Related Activities account decreases by $15.95 million, or 0.5 percent, from FY 2001 figures. Increases are provided for some Administration initiatives, particularly in the field of science education, yet most existing programs are held flat or are even cut. Below are highlights from the President's budget request for NSF.
Within the GEO directorate in the Research and Related Activities account, the only "winner" is the Earth Sciences account, up 0.8% over FY01. Atmospheric Sciences is down 1.0% and Ocean Sciences is down 1.0%.
Within the Major Research Equipment (MRE) account, the following three projects were funded:
- Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation received $24.4 million (down $3.74 million);
- Large Hadron Collider was funded at $16.0 million (up $0.54 million);
- Terascale Computing System received $55 million (up $10.1 million).
Funding was not included in MRE for two continuing projects, the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) and HIAPER. Funding was also not included for projects that reached their completion in FY 2002, including the South Pole Station modernization and Polar Support Aircraft upgrades.
Within NSF's "Core Investments"
- The Interdisciplinary Mathematics program, which will bring "cutting edge mathematics to problems in the physical, biological and social sciences" is funded at $20 million. In FY 2002, the focus will be on the management of large data sets, the modeling of uncertainty, and the modeling and prediction of complex non-linear systems. Some examples of the latter include studies of brain function, communication networks, modern economic behaviors, and the prediction of weather and ocean circulation.
Within the Education and Human Resources (EHR) account, a new focus is introduced: The Math and Science Partnership Initiative for K-12 students, which is part of the President's No Child Left Behind endeavor. This new initiative provides $200 million to support a variety of partnership structures and approaches to address the following issues:
- too few teachers trained to teach math and science;
- too few schools offering a challenging curriculum with textbooks to support it; and
- too few students taking advanced course work.
Funding is included for the following Undergraduate Education Programs:
- Advanced Technological Education: $39.16 million;
- Minority Serving Institutions: $35 million;
- Research Experiences for Undergraduates (Foundation-wide program): $41.96 million;
- Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement activities: $57.54 million;
- Scholarship for Service: $11.18 million.
Increases for Graduate and Professional Education programs include:
- Increased stipends for graduate students is up from $18,000/year to $20,500/year;
- Graduate Research Fellowship program: $63.15 million;
- Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education: $26.17 million;
- Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) program: $39.18 million;
- Faculty Early Career Development: $118.84 million;
- ADVANCE, a program to increase the participation and advancement of women in all field of science and engineering: $16 million.
Other Education Programs:
- Informal Science Education activities: $56 million;
- Program for Gender Equity: $11.19 million;
- Program for Persons with Disabilities: $5.28 million;
- The National SMETE Digital Library: $26.80 million (down $350,000 from FY01). This incorporates the Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE).
"Blue Ribbon Panel"
The President's budget request includes language on NSF working with NASA to convene a Blue Ribbon Panel "...to assess the effectiveness of the current organization of Federal support for astronomical sciences. NASA and NSF will turn over the undertaking of the study to the National Academy of Sciences."