Stimulus 2009 National Science Foundation Appropriations
(05-19-09)

Science received significant one-time appropriations in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA; H.R. 1; Public Law 111-5). Science agencies are now starting to release their reports and plans for the stimulus spending. All agencies that receive one-time funds are required to submit a plan with spending specifics to Congress within 60 days of enactment. In addition all agencies will be tracking the stimulus spending in separate accounts and providing updates on the uses of the stimulus spending. The Administration is also tracking stimulus spending for all federal programs at their recovery.gov website.

Geoscience-related programs covered by the NSF stimulus funding include the Geosciences Directorate, Office of Polar Programs, Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction, and Education and Human Resources. Below are updates of stimulus spending plans, provided as the agencies release information and use the funds.

Stimulus 2009 NSF Appropriations Process

Account

FY09 Current
($million)

2009 ARRA
($million)

President's FY10 Request
($million)
Congressional Action
($million)
National Science Foundation (total)
6,490.4
3,000
7,045
Research & Related Activities
5,183.1
2,500
5,733.2
Geosciences Directorate
807.13
347
909.0
Atmoshperic and Geospace Sciences
244.6
68.2
269.16
Earth Sciences
171.0
85.22
186.85
Ocean Sciences
330.36
114.0
359.07
Integrative & Collaborative Education & Research
61.17
79.58
93.92
-- Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology
12
2.33
12.36
-- EarthScope operations
24.31
4
25.05
-- Academic Research Fleet
98.68
18
87.58
-- Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP)
43.41
25
43.41
Climate Research*
0
0
197.26
Climate Change Science Program*
219.57
95.46
299.91
Office of Polar Programs
470.67
174
516
Major Research Equipment & Facilities
152.01
400
117.29
--Alaska Region Research Vessel (ARRV)
0
148.07
0
--Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI)
0
106
14.28
Education & Human Resources
845.26
100
857.76
-- Math and Science Partnerships
61
25
58.22

*Funds are drawn from multiple directorates and do not represent new or additional funding, but transfers for other directorates. For Climate Research, $46 million would come from the Geosciences Directorate.

Stimulus 2009 Updates

Update on Details of Stimulus Spending for NSF (5-19-09)
NSF has posted the details of how the agency plans to spend the ARRA funds, along with the President's proposed budget for FY10. The table above lists the funding levels for programs of interest to the geosciences community. For more information about the NSF budget proposal, please visit the NSF FY10 budget web site.

Update on Overall Stimulus Spending for NSF (2-17-09)
National Science Foundation (NSF): $3 billion

NSF – NSF will receive $2.5 billion for Research and Related Activities, $400 million for Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction and $100 million for Education and Human Resources. Within the research funds, $300 million are solely for major instrumentation and $200 million is for academic facilities modernization. Within the education funding, $60 million is for the Noyce Scholarships, $25 million is for the Math and Science Partnerships and $15 million is for Professional Science Master’s Program. NSF Director Arden Bement has indicated the research funds would go to grant proposals that have already been reviewed, received a highly qualified rating and are ready to go.

Geosciences at NSF

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…" NSF serves as the funding source for about 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities. Key programs of interest to the Earth sciences include NSF's Geosciences Directorate within the Research and Related Activities and Math and Science Partnerships program within the Education and Human Resources.

NSF fulfills its mission chiefly by issuing limited-term grants -- currently about 10,000 new awards per year, with an average duration of three years -- to fund specific research proposals that have been judged the most promising by a rigorous and objective merit-review system. Most of these awards go to individuals or small groups of investigators. Others provide funding for research centers, instruments and facilities that allow scientists, engineers and students to work at the frontiers of knowledge. NSF's goal is to support the people, ideas and tools that together make discovery possible.

Equipment that is needed by scientists and engineers but is often too expensive for any individual or group to afford is also funded by NSF. Examples of such major research equipment include EarthScope, giant optical and radio telescopes, Antarctic research sites, high-end computer facilities and ultra-high-speed connections, ships for ocean research, sensitive detectors of very subtle physical phenomena, and gravitational wave observatories.

Another essential element in NSF's mission is support for science and engineering education, from pre-school through graduate school and beyond. The educational programs supported by the Education and Human Resources division is integrated with basic research to help ensure that there will always be plenty of skilled people available to work in new and emerging scientific, engineering and technological fields, and plenty of capable teachers to educate the next generation

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Sources: NSF Budget Information website

Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI Government Affairs Program at govt@agiweb.org.

Prepared by Linda Rowan, AGI Government Affairs Staff.

Last Update May 22, 2009