National Science Foundation Director Arden Bement described the FY
2006 budget request as follows: "For FY 2006, the National Science
Foundation is requesting $5.605 billion. That's $132 million, or 2.4
percent, more than in FY 2005. This modest increase allows us to assume
new responsibilities, meet our ongoing commitments, and employ more
staff with little room for growth in research and education programs.
This means we'll all have to keep working to leverage resources and
work more productively."
NSF was one of the few S&T agencies that would see a budget increase
in FY 2006 under the request that the Bush Administration submitted
this week. Following in the wake of Congress' decision to cut NSF's
budget this year, the Administration's request would restore some, but
not all of the agency's budget to its former level. The numbers spell
this out: in FY 2004 the NSF budget was $5,652.0 million. The current
budget is $5,472.8 million. The request for next year is $5,605.00 million.
These numbers are not adjusted for inflation.
The $132 million increase includes the transfer of $48 million from
the Coast Guard to the foundation for operation and maintenance costs
associated with three polar icebreakers used in Antarctic and Arctic
research. Allowing for this transfer results in a requested increase
of $84.0 million for NSF.
Under the request, the NSF Research and Related Activities budget would
increase by 2.7% or $113 million, from $4,220.6 million to $4,333.5
million. The Administration requested a cut of 12.4% or $104.4 million
in the budget for Education and Human Resources, from $841.4 million
to $737.0 million. The request for Major Research Equipment and Facilities
Construction rose significantly: by 44.0% or $73.4 million, from $173.7
million to $250.0 million.
Requests for budgets tracked by FYI follow, with selections from the
NSF budget document. Readers interested in the specifics of the Administration's
request should consult http://www.nsf.gov/about/budget/fy2006/toc.htm
. The NSF request for Education and Human Resources will be reviewed
in a forthcoming FYI that will include the Department of Education's
math and science education programs.
MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES DIRECTORATE: The Administration
recommended an overall increase of 1.5% or $16.4 million from $1,069.9
million to $1,086.2 million. Within this directorate:
The PHYSICS Division's budget would increase 2.3% or $5.2 million from
$224.9 million to $230.1 million. The budget document states: "Increased
support for core research and education programs with emphasis on physics
of the universe and theoretical physics, including additional support
for new applicants to the program. Increased funding for operations
of the Large Hadron Collider balanced by a decrease for the Cornell
Electron Storage Ring and a decrease reflecting completion of concept
and design funding for the Rare Symmetry Violating Processes (RSVP)
The ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCES Division's budget would increase 1.8% or
$3.5 million from $195.1 million to $198.6 million. The budget document
states: "Increased support for research and instrumentation
development related to the physics of the universe and cyberinfrastructure,
as well as Gemini operations and instrumentation development. Decreases
for other areas of research and instrumentation program."
The MATERIALS RESEARCH Division's budget would increase 2.2% or $5.2
million from $240.5 million to $245.7 million. The budget document states:
"Increased support for research and education and center activities
related to nanoscale science and engineering balanced by decreasing
support for older facilities and small-scale instrumentation."
GEOSCIENCES DIRECTORATE: The Administration recommended an overall
increase of 2.2% or $14.9 million from $694.2 million to $709.1 million.
Within this directorate:
The ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES Division's budget would increase 2.7% or $6.4
million from $233.4 million to $239.8 million. The budget document states:
"Increased support will target the following areas: the operation
of the High-performance Instrumented Platform for Environmental Research
(HIAPER), which begins full operation in FY 2006; the operation of the
Advanced Modular Incoherent Scatter Radar (AMISR); and improved cyberinfrastructure
and numerical models which will allow new discoveries, greater access
to atmospheric data, and improved understanding of the atmospheric environment."
The EARTH SCIENCES Division's budget would increase 3.4% or $5.1 million
from $149.0 million to $154.1 million. The budget document states: "Increased
support focuses on operational and scientific support of the EarthScope
facility, which is being constructed through the MREFC Account, and
improving the cyberinfrastructure available to earth scientists."
The OCEAN SCIENCES Division's budget would increase 1.1% or $3.5 million
from $311.8 million to $315.2 million. The budget document states: "Areas
receiving increased funding support include developmental activities
related to the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI), operation of the
academic research fleet, and development of advanced ocean research
ENGINEERING DIRECTORATE: The Administration recommended an overall
increase of 3.5% or $19.4 million from $561.3 million to $580.7 million.
The BIOENGINEERING AND ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS Division's budget would
increase 5.1% or $2.5 million from $48.2 million to $50.7 million.
The CHEMICAL AND TRANSPORT SYSTEMS Division's budget would increase
4.9% or $3.2 million from $65.8 million to $69.0 million.
The CIVIL AND MECHANICAL SYSTEMS Division's budget would increase 2.7%
or $2.2 million from $82.0 million to $84.2 million.
The DESIGN AND MANUFACTURING INNOVATION SYSTEMS Division's budget would
increase 5.6% or $3.6 million from $63.9 million to $67.4 million.
The ELECTRICAL AND COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM Division's budget would increase
3.8% or $2.7 million from $71.6 million to $74.4 million.
The ENGINEERING EDUCATION AND CENTERS's budget would increase 2.1%
or $2.7 million from $127.1 million to $129.7 million.
The OFFICE OF INDUSTRIAL INNOVATION's budget would increase 2.5% or
$2.6 million from $102.8 million to $105.3 million.
OFFICE OF POLAR PROGRAMS: The Administration recommended an
increase of 12.4% or $42.6 million, from $344.4 million to $386.9 million.
Within this account, the U.S. POLAR RESEARCH PROGRAMS' budget would
increase 15.4% or $42.6 million, from $276.8 million to $319.4 million.
The U.S. ANTARCTIC LOGISTICAL SUPPORT's budget would be unchanged at
$67.5 million. It is important to note that $48 million is being provided
so that "NSF will assume the responsibility, from the U.S. Coast
Guard, for funding the costs of icebreakers that support scientific
research in polar regions."
MAJOR RESEARCH EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES CONSTRUCTION: The Administration
requested an increase of 44.0% or $76.4 million, from $173.7 million
to $250.0 million. The budget document states:
"NSF believes that the highest priority within the MREFC Account
must be the current projects. To that end, highest priority in FY 2006
is to continue to request funding for the Atacama Large Millimeter Array
($49.24 million); EarthScope ($50.62 million); the IceCube Neutrino
Observatory ($50.45 million); the Scientific Ocean Drilling Vessel ($57.92
million); and Rare Symmetry Violating Processes ($41.78 million).
"NSF is requesting no new starts in FY 2006.
"Two new starts are requested in FY 2007, and one new start
is requested in FY 2008. In priority order, these are: Ocean Observatories
in FY 2007; the Alaska Region Research Vessel in FY 2007; and Advanced
LIGO in FY 2008."