our major needs are being met," said National Science Foundation Director
Rita Colwell at Monday's briefing on the Bush Administration's $4.47 billion
NSF request for FY 2002. Saying that it was to credit of the administration
that it was holding the line on discretionary spending, Colwell characterized
the foundation as being "fortunate" in this budget cycle.
has requested a 1.3%, or $56 million increase in the foundation's budget
for FY 2002. Research and Related Activities funding would decline 0.5%,
which Colwell said would enable NSF to maintain its current level of
support. Education and Human Resources funding is the "Highlight" in
the request Colwell declared, which would increase 11.0%. There would
be no new starts under the foundation's Major Research Equipment activity.
The budget submission
to Congress identifies several Highlights and Priorities. The first
is a $200 million Math and Science Partnership Initiative. NSF will
lead this initiative that would, according to the budget document, "provide
funds for states and local school districts to join with institutions
of higher education, particularly with their departments of mathematics,
science, and engineering, to strengthen K-12 math and science education."
NSF also requests $8 million to increase from $18,000 to $20,500, for
academic year 2002-2003, the stipends for Graduate Research Fellowships,
the Graduate Teaching Fellowships in K-12 Education, and the Integrative
Graduate Education and Research Traineeship programs. NSF hopes this
will attract more students into graduate education in science and engineering.
Mathematics will be a "centerpiece" of NSF's core investments in FY
2002. "This emphasis on the mathematical sciences recognizes its increasingly
critical role in advancing interdisciplinary science," states the budget
document. This budget would increase by 16.5%. Four interdependent priority
areas are identified. Each will receive funding increases to maintain
the momentum of previous foundation investments, Colwell said. One of
these is Nanoscale Science and Engineering, which would increase 16.1%.
Identified as an Additional FY 2002 Highlight is the support NSF provides
for the Large Hadron Collider, Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation,
and the Terascale Computing System.
to questions, Colwell said that the FY 2002 request "lays the foundation
for sustained increases over the long term." She said that further work
needs to be done in Washington and across America to fully explain the
importance of the research supported by NSF. Colwell's response to a
question about NIH's 13.5% requested increase concentrated on the foundation's
own initiatives. "I do think that future looks bright," she declared,
calling on the scientific community to work together to present what
she called a powerful message about the importance of scientific research.
will detail physics-related programs in the FY 2002 NSF request.