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|Gemini South image of NGC 5426-27 (Arp 271) as imaged by the Gemini Multi-Object Spectograph.
Credit: Courtesy of the Gemini Observatory
National Science Foundation (NSF) Director Arden L. Bement, Jr. today presented the agency's proposed $7.045 billion budget for fiscal year (FY) 2010, an 8.5 percent increase over its planned expenditures for FY 2009. The additional $555 million would increase funding for major investments in the scientific infrastructure, research endeavors and human capital.
"With this budget, the President makes it absolutely clear that science and engineering research and education are vital to the nation's future," Bement said in a presentation to the National Science Board. "NSF has a long history of success in supporting research with far-reaching impacts on the U.S. economy and the well-being of Americans."
The requested budget will also put the agency on a path to doubling its budget from FY 2006 to FY 2016, as envisioned in the President's Plan for Science and Innovation, which is designed to sustain the momentum for investing in science and innovation that was generated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.
Several prominent initiatives and other key investments outlined by President Obama will receive increased support under the requested budget:
Potentially Transformative Research. Transformative research involves ideas, discoveries or tools that radically change our understanding of existing scientific or engineering concepts or educational practices. Such research is risky but can be high-reward if it leads to breakthroughs or creates new paradigms or fields. NSF explicitly recognizes the critical importance of transformative research in its merit review process. In FY 2010, each research division will set aside a minimum of $2.0 million ($92.0 million Foundation-wide) to explore methodologies and leverage ongoing activities that foster transformative research.
New Faculty and Young Investigators. (11.6 percent increase to $203.8 million) NSF's Foundation-wide Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program supports junior faculty who integrate top-notch education with outstanding research and will receive an 11.6 percent increase, to $203.8 million. The five-year awards emphasize exploring new approaches and pursuing potentially transformative activities.
Graduate Research Fellowship Program. The prestigious program is the flagship for the federal government in supporting advanced education in a broad array of science and engineering disciplines as well as international research activity. To launch the Presidential initiative of tripling the number of new fellowships awarded annually by FY 2013, the request supports 1,654 new Fellowships in FY 2010.
Advanced Technological Education (ATE). Focusing on two-year colleges, ATE supports partnerships between academic institutions and employers to improve the education of science and engineering technicians. Career pathways between secondary schools, two-year, and four-year colleges are supported, as are curriculum and professional development activities. Increasing the program's budget by 24 percent to $64.0 million in FY 2010 is the beginning of a growth trajectory reaching $100.0 million in FY 2013.
Climate Change Education Program. This new program, which will be funded at $10.0 million each in FY 2009 and FY 2010, will catalyze activity at the national level and help develop the next generation of environmentally engaged scientists and engineers by supporting awards in the following educational areas: increasing public understanding and engagement; development of resources for learning; informing local and national science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education policy; and preparing a climate science professional workforce.
Science education and workforce development is also a priority in the requested budget, reflecting the profound impact that scientific knowledge and training can have on the career options of individuals, the economic well-being of families and community as well as the nation's competitiveness.
Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT). This program, which will see a nine percent increase to $68.88 million, helps prepare doctoral students by integrating research and education in innovative ways that are tailored to the unique requirements of newly emerging interdisciplinary fields and new career options.
Discovery Research K-12. This program, which will receive $108.5 million under the proposed budget, develops more effective tools and resources for teachers and students that will support inquiry-based classroom practices and a more intensive scientifically-based assessment of the efficacy of these resources.
Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program. This program, funded at $55.0 million under the proposed budget, enables institutions to develop and implement programs to prepare STEM undergraduate majors--and mid-career STEM professionals--to become K-12 science and mathematics teachers.
The Math and Science Partnership (MSP). Linking K-12 teachers with their colleagues in higher education, this program will receive $58.2 million in FY 2010, and will continue to build capacity while integrating the work of higher education with that of K-12 to strengthen and reform science and mathematics education.
In addition to these initiatives and priorities, the proposed budget will also ensure that NSF is able to continue to make other crucial investments that are integral to NSF's mission and vision.
Climate Change Science Program (CCSP). This interagency program coordinates climate research across 13 departments and agencies, and will receive a 36.6 percent increase under the proposed budget. NSF's role is to provide a comprehensive scientific foundation for CCSP through support of a broad and basic research portfolio, which can provide insight into the fundamental processes underlying climate.
Climate Research. The FY 2010 Request includes $197.3 million for a Foundation-wide investment that builds upon CCSP and previous NSF efforts. It focuses on multidisciplinary research that deepens our current understanding of complex interactions that influence climate, through expanded observing capabilities, modeling and simulation, and fundamental research on ways to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of a changing climate. Investments will address smart adaptation and mitigation science, regional and decadal-scale climate modeling, ecosystem vulnerability, the carbon and water cycles, ocean acidification, abrupt climate change and weather extremes.
Cyber-enabled Discovery and Innovation (CDI). (44.7 percent increase to $102.6 million) CDI supports transformative, multidisciplinary science and engineering research outcomes made possible by innovations and advances in computational concepts, methods, models, algorithms and tools. CDI breakthroughs advance one or more of the three themes: From Data to Knowledge; Understanding Complexity in Natural, Built, and Social Systems; Building Virtual Organizations.
Cybersecurity. The FY 2010 Request includes $126.7 million for cybersecurity research and education, with $40.0 million specifically devoted to research in usability, theoretical foundations and privacy in support of the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative.
Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). NSF remains a leader in efforts to broaden participation in science and engineering in all states and regions. Funding for EPSCoR increases by 10.6 percent to $147.1 million.
Homeland Security Activities. NSF programs apply to home-land security priorities in two areas: protecting critical infrastructure and key assets and defending against catastrophic threats. The proposed budget will increase that funding 2.2 percent to $385.5 million.
Networking and Information Technology R&D (NITRD). NITRD coordinates networking and information technology investments across agencies. Major funding increases for FY 2010 are in such areas as large scale networking, high-end computing research, human computer interaction, and research on social, economic, and workforce aspects of advanced computing and communications technologies. The proposed budget will increase funding for the program by 10.6 percent increase to $1,110.8 million.
National Nanotechnology Initiative. This multiagency initiative seeks systematic understanding, organization, manipulation, and control of atomic, molecular, and supramolecular levels of matter in the size range of 1-100 nanometers. The initiative will receive a 6.5 percent increase to $423.0 million under the proposed budget, which will also provide a $2.0 million increase for the Environmental, Health, and Safety area to support decision analysis research.
Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction. ($117.29 million)
* Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory: $46.30 million.
* Atacama Large Millimeter Array: $42.76 million.
* IceCube Neutrino Observatory: $950,000.
* Advanced Technology Solar Telescope: $10.0 million.
* Ocean Observatories Initiative: $14.28 million.
* Judgment Fund: $3.0 million.
Regaining our Energy Science and Engineering Edge (RE-ENERGYSE). This set of investments, part of the President's New Energy for America plan, focuses on preparing students for careers related to research and education on clean energy. NSF, working with the Department of Energy, will leverage existing programs and partnerships to train scientists and technicians, educate K-12 and undergraduate students, and inform the public.
Science and Engineering Beyond Moore's Law. In 10 to 20 years, current silicon technology will reach the limits of Moore's Law--the empirical observation that computing power doubles roughly every 18 months. Activities in FY 2010, funded at $46.7 million, will encourage transformational activities as well as creating partnering opportunities with the private sector and national laboratories to accelerate innovation.
Science and Technology Centers (STC). STCs integrate cutting-edge research, excellence in education, targeted knowledge transfer, and development of a diverse workforce across all disciplines of science and engineering. STCs conduct research through partnerships among academic institutions, national laboratories, industrial organizations, and/or other public/private entities, and via international collaborations, as appropriate. With funding set at $57.8 million, up to five new STCs are expected to be funded in FY 2010, for a total of 17.
Stewardship. To manage the growing and increasingly complex workload being experienced throughout the Foundation, the Request includes an 8 percent increase for Agency Operations and Award Management.
Bement ended his remarks to the NSB by stating that the nation needs "research and education in every scientific field to resolve America's greatest challenges. With a steady eye on the frontier, NSF will continue to support basic research across all fields and education at all levels to ensure that America remains a global leader in science and technology."
About National Science Foundation
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) 2009, its budget is $9.5 billion, which includes $3.0 billion provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to over 1,900 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 44,400 competitive requests for funding, and makes over 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards over $400 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
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Dana W. Cruikshank
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