FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

NSF, Other Science Agencies Describe Intentions for Stimulus Funding

Richard M. Jones
Number 32 - March 19, 2009  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

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The National Science Foundation has released a three-page document providing an overview of how it will utilize the $3.0 billion it received in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Under this legislation, the funding is distributed as follows:

Research and Related Activities: $2.5 billion
Education and Human Resources: $100 million
Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction: $400 million

As previously reviewed in FYI #16 the Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying the bill included the following language specifying how this funding is to be applied within each of the three budget categories:

Research and Related Activities:

“For research and related activities, the conference agreement provides a total of $2,500,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2010. Within this amount, $300,000,000 shall be available solely for the major research instrumentation program and $200,000,000 shall be available for activities authorized by title II of Public Law 100-570 for academic facilities modernization. In allocating the resources provided under this heading, the conferees direct that NSF support all research divisions and support advancements in supercomputing technology.”

Education and Human Resources:

“The conference agreement includes $100,000,000 for education and human resources, to remain available until September 30, 2010. These funds shall be allocated as follows:
Robert Noyce Scholarship Program: $60,000,000
Math and Science Partnerships: $25,000,000
Professional Science Master's Programs: $15,000,000"

“Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction:

“The conference agreement includes $400,000,000 for major research equipment and facilities construction, to remain available until September 30, 2010.”

$2.0 million was also provided to the NSF Office of Inspector General.

National Science Foundation Director Arden Bement has just released "Important Notice to Presidents of Universities and Colleges and Heads of Other National Science Foundation Awardee Organizations" providing further details about how the foundation will use this funding. Director Bement explains:

“NSF currently has many highly rated proposals that it has not been able to fund. For this reason, NSF is planning to use the majority of the $2 billion available in Research and Related Activities for proposals that are already in house and will be reviewed and/or awarded prior to September 30, 2009.

“The Foundation also expects to expeditiously award funds as specified in the Recovery Act for: the Math and Science Partnership program (funded at $25 million); the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program (funded at $60 million); the Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction Account (funded at $400 million); the Academic Research Infrastructure (ARI) program (funded at $200 million); and the Science Masters program, (funded at $15 million). Solicitations for these latter two programs will be posted this spring.

NSF will post a solicitation this spring for the Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) in order to make a sufficient number of awards to utilize the $300 million provided in the legislation. The Foundation currently anticipates that no other solicitations will be posted that are solely in response to the Recovery Act.”

The notice has additional important information under “Funding Prioritization.” The notice can be read in full here.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has developed a website with similar information here. Other departments and agencies receiving stimulus funding provide similar information, some of which is still under development, and which can be viewed here under “Agency Progress and Resources.”

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