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FYI Number 23: February 9, 2006

Administration Requests 7.9% Increase for NSF

"This is a great day for NSF, and that means it's a great day for the nation. There has been a lot of rhetoric about doubling the NSF budget, but now the Administration is behind it. The FY 2007 Budget Request is the first installment. We are grateful to the Administration for its recognition and leadership."- NSF Director Arden Bement

So began Monday's budget briefing by National Science Director Arden Bement. Under the Administration's FY 2007 budget request, funding for NSF would increase 7.9% or $439.0 million, from $5,581.2 million this year to $6,020.2 million.

There is a considerable range in the request. Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction funding would see an increase of 26.0% or $49.6 million to $240.5 million. The budget for Research and Related Activities would increase 7.7% or $334.5 million to $4,666.0 million. Education and Human Resources spending would see a 2.5% or $19.5 million increase to $816.2 million.

If Congress agrees with the request, researchers would see gains in a number of areas. The foundation's funding rate would increase from 20% to 21%, growing from 6,190 grants to a projected 6,760 research grants. Annual award size would increase; the average duration of research grants would remain unchanged at 3.0 years. Another projection shows the total number of people involved in NSF activities, ranging from K-12 students and teachers to senior researchers would increase from an estimated 171,080 to 177,485.

The National Science Foundation's entire FY 2007 Budget Request to Congress is available at http://www.nsf.gov/about/budget/fy2007/toc.jsp; see the Directorate Summaries as listed in the Table of Contents for specific language (document page numbers for the Directorates within the Summaries are noted.) The Education and Human Resources Division budget will be summarized in a forthcoming FYI.

MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES: Up 6.0% or $64.9 million from $1,085.5 million to $1,150.3 million. The budget document states: "Emphasis is on strengthening investments across the MPS portfolio. Themes to be emphasized include: Physics of the Universe, Fundamental Mathematical and Statistical Science, Physical Sciences at the Nanoscale, Cyberinfrastructure and the Cyberscience it Enables, and the Molecular Basis of Life Processes. Includes a $15 million investment to reinforce NSF support for university-based research in elementary particle physics." Within this budget are the following divisions:

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCES: Up 7.7% or $15.5 million, from $199.7 million to $215.1 million. (page 139)
MATERIALS RESEARCH: Up 6.0% or $14.5 million from $242.9 million to $257.5 million. (page 143)
PHYSICS: Up 6.6% or $15.4 million from $233.1 million to $248.5 million. (Page 147)

GEOSCIENCES: Up 6.0% of $42.0 million from $702.8 million to $744.9 million. The budget document states: "Increases funding for preparation of the Ocean Observatories Initiative, supports two Science and Technology Centers initiated in FY 2006 -- the Center for Atmospheric Process Modeling and the Center for Coastal Margin Observation / Prediction. Increased funding will enable 65 new research grants while maintaining award size and duration of existing grants. Support for cyberinfrastructure initiatives increases." Within this budget are the following divisions:

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES: Up 5.0% or $10.8 million from $216.1 million to $226.9 million. (page 113)
EARTH SCIENCES: Up 8.7% or $12.2 million from $140.1 million to $152.3 million. (page 115)
INNOVATIVE & COLLABORATIVE EDUCATION AND RESEARCH: Up 0.3% or $0.2 million from $58.4 million to $58.6 million. (page 117)
OCEAN SCIENCES: Up 6.5% or $18.9 million from $288.3 million to $307.1 million. (page 119)

ENGINEERING: Up 8.2% or $47.6 million from $580.9 million to $628.6 million. The budget document states: "Increases funding for added support of disciplinary and interdisciplinary research projects; strengthens investment in Industry and University Cooperative Research Centers; and provides new funding for Emerging Frontiers in Engineering Research and Education. Within the increase is $20.0 million to support sensor research that is relevant to the detection of explosive devices and related threats." Within this budget are the following divisions:

CHEMICAL, BIOENGINEERING, ENVIRONMENTAL AND TRANSPORT SYSTEMS: Up. 1.3% or $1.6 million from $122.9 million to $124.4 million. (page 91)
CIVIL, MECHANICAL AND MANUFACTURING INNOVATION: Up 3.7% or $5.4 million from $146.8 million to $152.2 million. (page 93)
ELECTRICAL, COMMUNICATIONS AND CYBER SYSTEMS: Up 4.7% or $3.6 million from $77.3 million to $80.9 million. (page 95)
INDUSTRIAL INNOVATION AND PARTNERSHIPS: Up 8.6% or $9.5 million from $110.6 million to $120.1 million. (page 97)
ENGINEERING EDUCATION AND CENTERS: Up 2.1% or $2.5 million from $123.4 million to $126.0 million. (page 99)
EMERGING FRONTIERS IN RESEARCH AND INNOVATION: New budget line of $25.0 million. (page 101)

OFFICE OF POLAR PROGRAMS: Up 12.5% or $48.8 million, from $389.3 million to $438.1 million. The budget document states: "Support increases for research, especially for International Polar Year (IPY) activities focusing on Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH), Polar Ice Sheet Dynamics and Stability, and Life in the Cold and Dark. Provides support for a new Science and Technology Center -- the Center for the Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets. Support for facilities and infrastructure increases, principally to support IPY activities and to explore Antarctic resupply options. Funding for polar icebreaking declines slightly." Within this budget are:

U.S. POLAR RESEARCH PROGRAMS: Up 14.8% or $47.9 million, from $322.7 million to $370.6 million. (page 203)
U.S. ANTARCTIC LOGISTICAL SUPPORT: Up 1.3% or $0.86 million, from $66.7 million to $67.5 million. (page 205)

Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
fyi@aip.org
301-209-3095

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