Congress has completed action on a bill that increases the
National Science Foundation's budget by 8.4% in FY 2002.
Congressional sources calculate that NSF's budget will rise by
$373 million to $4,789 million. The Administration requested
a 1.3% increase.
The FY 2002 budget for RESEARCH AND RELATED ACTIVITIES will
increase 7.4% or $248 million to $3,598.3 million. Within this
$300.0 million is provided for "polar research and operations
The Engineering budget will increase 8.5%, or $36.7 million to
The Geosciences budget will increase 8.7%, or $48.5 million, to
The Mathematical and Physical sciences budget will increase 8.4%,
or $71.4 million, to $922.2 million. This budget funds the
Physics, Astronomical Sciences, and Materials subactivities. The
conference report language states: "Of the appropriated amount,
$4,000,000 is provided for the Telescope Systems Instrumentation
Program (TSIP) and $5,000,000 has been provided for astronomical
sciences to augment individual investigator support. The conferees
expect NSF to continue its program of upgrading, on a priority
basis, its astronomical facilities and equipment, including the
Greenbank Observatory and Robert C. Byrd Telescope in West
Virginia, and the Very Large Array radio telescope in New Mexico.
The conferees have also placed a high priority on mathematics
research within the amounts provided for this activity."
Also within this section, the conference report language states
that U.S. Polar Research Programs will increase 9.0% or $18.9
million to $229.7 million. U.S. Antarctic Logistical Support
Activities will increase 9.3% or $5.8 million to $68.1 million.
The conference report also states that it "provides specific
increases of $25,000,000 for information technology research,
$25,000,000 for nanotechnology, and $12,500,000 for increased
energy and fuel costs in the polar and ocean sciences as well as
national facilities in physics and materials."
Regarding a contemplated underground physics laboratory in South
Dakota, the conferees state: "The conferees have not included
funds from within the NSF appropriation for maintaining the
integrity of the Homestake Mine site in Lead, South Dakota and
instead have provided funding from within the Community
Development Fund under title II of this Act. While the conferees
acknowledge the role NSF and the National Science Board will play
in determining whether the mine is a suitable facility for
proposed research, as well as whether such proposed research
should be a priority for the NSF, it is not appropriate for NSF to
maintain the mine until such determinations are made." In the
U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department section of the bill,
the conferees provide $10.0 million "for the State of South
to maintain the physical integrity of the Homestake Mine in
preparation for the potential development of a major research
facility on that site."
The FY 2002 budget for MAJOR RESEARCH EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES CONSTRUCTION,
a new budget category, is $138.8 million. The conferees included fairly
extensive language on large facility management and oversight. In addition,
they provided the
requested amounts for the Large Hadron Collider and the Network
for Earthquake Engineering Simulation. $35.0 million was provided
for "continued development, production, and instrumentation"
the High-Performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for
Environmental Research (HIAPER); NSF had not requested funding for
FY 2002. NSF requested $55.0 million for the Terascale Computing
Program; appropriators provided only $35.0 million. The
foundation requested $9.0 million through another budget for the
Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA); appropriators provided
$12.5 million for initial construction. Finally, the bill
includes $15.0 million for start-up costs for the IceCube Neutrino
The FY 2002 budget for EDUCATION AND HUMAN RESOURCES will increase
11.4% or $89.4 million to $875.0 million.
The Math and Science Partnership program to improve science and
math education will receive $160.0 million; NSF requested $200.0
million. The report states: "The Foundation is strongly urged
provide regular, detailed information to the Committees on
Appropriations regarding the planning and execution of this new
EPSCoR will receive $80.0 million, with an additional $30.0
million from the Research and Related Activities budget for
"research to be conducted at EPSCoR institutions."
Various amounts are specified for minority scholarship programs
and initiatives and for the Office of Innovation Partnerships.
The conference report states that it provides $5.0 million "for
new undergraduate workforce initiative, which is to include a new,
merit-based, competitive grants program for colleges and
universities for increasing the number of undergraduate degree
recipients in science and engineering, consistent with the
provisions of S. 1549." (Technology Talent Act of 2001)
In addition, it provides "$105,500,000, an increase of $10,000,000
above the budget request, has been provided to increase graduate level
stipends for the research and teaching fellowship programs and the trainee
program administered by the Foundation through its Graduate Education
subactivity. The conferees support increasing the graduate stipend leve
lto $21,500 during fiscal year 2002 if funding permits."
Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics