NSF requests $4.47 billion for fiscal 2002

April 09, 2001

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced today a $4.47 billion budget request for fiscal 2002 - $56 million (1.3 percent) over 2001. The request highlights a math and science education partnership, interdisciplinary mathematics research and increased financial support for graduate students. It also provides increased funding for four multidisciplinary priority areas: biocomplexity in the environment, nanoscale science and engineering, information technology research, and learning for the 21st century.

"People are the focus and most important product of our investments," said NSF Director Rita Colwell. "In the budget is a billion dollars next year for programs focused directly on people. NSF's role in the President's new Math and Science Partnerships initiative will help both K-12 students and their teachers reach higher performance standards."

The fiscal 2002 request focuses $20 million on interdisciplinary mathematics to accelerate the expansion of mathematics into the other disciplines, including biological and social sciences, and to support fundamental research in mathematics and statistics. The investment recognizes mathematics as both a powerful tool for insight and a common language for science and engineering.

The request also seeks a stipend increase for graduate students, from $18,000 to $20,500 - a move that Colwell called "critical."

Within the priority areas, NSF plans a 16 percent increase for nanoscale science and engineering research, continuing its lead role in the multi-agency effort; a 5.9 percent increase for biocomplexity in the environment; a 5 percent increase for information technology research; and a 3.3 percent increase for learning for the 21st century.

The agency will continue research in plant genomics at a level of $65 million in 2002. This research will support a longterm goal of understanding plant structure, organization and function, leading to important developments in agriculture, the environment, energy and health.

NSF will also provide more than $25.6 million to initiate a new group of science and technology centers across a broad range of disciplines.

In addition, NSF requests approximately $170 million in 2002 for salaries and expenses -- an increase of nearly 6 percent over 2001 -- to respond to mounting pressures on staffing and resource management. A five-year workforce plan due for completion later this year will spell out future workforce needs of the agency.

National Science Foundation

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