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NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
Since 2001, the Administration:
• Funded 49,000 research grants in science and engineering at the National Science
Foundation through a competitive, merit-based process;
• Directly supported 58,000 graduate students and 24,500 undergraduate students in
science and engineering fields; and
• Completed funding for the construction of four major research facilities to support
particle physics, supercomputing, and research on earthquakes and the atmosphere.
The President’s Budget:
• Dramatically improves the National Science Foundation’s efforts to build and sustain
U.S. world leadership across many fields of science and engineering;
• As part of the President’s American Competitiveness Initiative, begins a 10-year
commitment to double funding for research that will provide breakthroughs in
information technology, nanotechnology, and other fields of science that will have
significant impacts scientifically and economically;
• Provides enhanced infrastructure and tools to strengthen research capabilities in
physics, astronomy, earthquakes, and the oceans;
• Strongly supports the United States’ role in the International Polar Year; and
• Attracts more of the most promising U.S. students into graduate level science and
engineering by funding over 4,500 new graduate fellowships.

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NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

FOCUSING ON THE NATION’S PRIORITIES
Doubling Research in the American Competitiveness Initiative
As part of the President’s American Competitiveness Initiative, the 2007 Budget provides
an increase of 7.9 percent for the National
Science Foundation (NSF), initiating a 10-year
commitment to double NSF’s investments in
science and engineering. NSF research builds
the foundations for innovative technologies
that drive economic growth and enhance
America’s quality of life. A broad portfolio
of research—from physics, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, and computer science,
to the geological, biological, behavioral, and
social sciences—will energize science broadly
and sustain the productivity of the Nation’s
science and engineering enterprise and keep
America at the forefront of world discovery
and innovation.
Past NSF research has
contributed to the development of the Internet
and Internet search engines, fiber-optics, color
plasma displays, magnetic resonance imaging,
and other advances that now help each of us in
our daily lives.

NSF’s investments in adaptive optics give solar astronomers the
sharpest insights yet into the magnetism that drives sunspots. This
composite photo from the National Solar Observatory shows an image
of a sunspot alongside an image of the earth, to convey scale. The
clarity of the image to the right is possible due to adaptive optics, while
normal ground-based telescope images would appear as shown on the
left.

Through the President’s 10-year Competitiveness Initiative, the Administration is
strategically targeting the investments of NSF
and other agencies in emerging fields of research that are particularly likely to impact broadly
across fields of science and engineering, stimulate innovation, enable a high-tech workforce, and
further strengthen the economy.
NSF is a leading agency in the National Nanotechnology Initiative, funding nanotechnology
investments at $373 million in 2007, an increase of 8.6 percent from 2006 and of nearly 150
percent since 2001. Nanotechnology research will continue to advance fundamental understanding
of materials at the subatomic, atomic, and molecular levels and will enable the development
of capabilities to design, manipulate, and construct revolutionary devices and materials with
unprecedented properties. A broad range of developing technologies is likely to emerge from this
field, including high-performance materials; more efficient manufacturing processes; increased
computer storage capacity; and biomedical applications ranging from efficient drug delivery systems
to cancer therapies. The 2007 Budget funds approximately 50 new nanotechnology interdisciplinary
research teams.
NSF is also a leading agency in Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD). The 2007 Budget provides $904 million of NITRD funding, an increase of 11.5
percent from 2006. This investment will support fundamental research in information, computer,
and communications sciences, laying the groundwork for next-generation technologies. NSF programs will also support access to cutting-edge computing and networking infrastructure essential
for America’s scientists, engineers, and students to remain at the forefront of discovery. Funding for

THE BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2007

275

both nanotechnology and information technology research supports education and training for the
next generation of researchers and the science, engineering, and technology workforce.
The 2007 Budget provides over $55 million for research and education activities during the first
year of the International Polar Year (IPY), 2007 to 2009. NSF will lead the U.S. research community
in working with scientists supported by other agencies and countries to advance our understanding
of the Earth’s poles. Major areas of research will include Arctic environmental change, the influence
of polar ice sheets on global phenomena, and organisms that live in the cold and dark. NSF’s IPY
research will include a focus on education and outreach to motivate future generations of scientists,
engineers, and educators.

Producing Tools for Science and Engineering
The 2007 Budget supports research tools critical to scientists and engineers, such as instruments,
equipment, facilities, databases, and large surveys. Development of state-of-the-art infrastructure
and facilities substantially enhances research efforts throughout a wide range of fields, including
astronomy, earthquake research, and environmental research.
Computing and advanced networking tools that broadly benefit the Nation’s entire science and
engineering community, collectively known as “cyberinfrastructure,” have become essential to advancing the frontiers of knowledge through science and engineering. The Budget provides $600
million for NSF’s targeted investments in these tools. While hardware performance has been growing exponentially—with storage capacity doubling every 12 months and network capability every
9 months—it has become clear that increasingly capable hardware is not the only requirement for
computation-enabled discovery. Sophisticated software, visualization tools, middleware (that is, software acting as intermediary between different application components) and scientific applications
created and used by interdisciplinary teams are critical to turning bytes and bits into scientific breakthroughs. It is the combined power of these capabilities that is necessary to advance the frontiers of
science and engineering, to make seemingly intractable problems solvable, and to pose profound new
scientific questions.

The Alaska Region Research Vessel, pictured here in an artist’s
rendition, is a new addition to the national academic research fleet
that will provide improved Arctic science capabilities for extended
periods of the year in the challenging icy waters of the Arctic.

The 2007 Budget proposes two new researchrelated construction starts: the Alaska Region
Research Vessel (ARRV) and the Ocean Observatories Initiative. ARRV is a ship that will
provide dramatically improved access to Alaskan
waters, enabling further research and exploration
throughout a greater period of the year.
As
scientists strive to understand a variety of complex
regional and global ecosystem and climate issues,
the need to conduct research at the ice edge and in
ice up to three feet thick has become increasingly
urgent. With an operating year of up to 300
days, this ship could accommodate upwards of
500 scientists and students at sea annually. The
Budget provides $56 million to initiate ARRV
construction.

Implementing the Ocean Observatories Initiative represents a bold step forward in advancing the Nation’s ability to study and understand
the world’s oceans. Consisting of a network of sensors, imaging systems, cable networks, and
buoys distributed among U.S. coastal and worldwide deep-sea sites, the observatories will improve

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NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

FOCUSING ON THE NATION’S PRIORITIES—Continued
scientific understanding of physical and biological features and processes in the oceans. These
observatories will be coordinated with the Government-wide Integrated Ocean Observing System
to provide a large group of researchers with fundamentally new tools for local, regional, and global
ocean science. The Budget provides $13.5 million to start construction toward this initiative.

Strengthening the U.S. Science and Engineering Workforce
The 2007 Budget will continue NSF’s efforts to expand scientific and numerical literacy and prepare U.S. students for the science and engineering workforce, with a focus on broadening participation
in those fields. NSF makes strategic investments in K–12, undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral education. The Budget funds graduate fellowships and traineeships for approximately 4,500
graduate students across the country. NSF funding for basic research at U.S. academic institutions
supports the education of future U.S. scientists and engineers.
Critical to the success of future generations of scientists and engineers is the education that the
Nation’s youngest students receive today. NSF is working to address the critical issue of improving
grade-school science education by increasing the funding for its core education programs, including rigorous education research and evaluation, by 3.6 percent, and making those programs more
focused, flexible, and effective.
NSF’s programs support participation in science and engineering by individuals and by institutions that serve significant numbers of students and communities, including women and minorities.
An increasing emphasis on educational programming and outreach by NSF-supported researchers
is expanding the resources available to the Nation’s K–12 and postsecondary institutions to develop
and strengthen programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

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277

RESTRAINING SPENDING AND MANAGING FOR RESULTS
NSF continues to demonstrate flexibility and responsiveness in managing its programs. This
is evidenced in the Effective ratings across all the Program Assessment Rating Tool assessments
for NSF’s programs, as well as in the leadership NSF has provided in E-Government and other
President’s Management Agenda activities.
NSF uses a competitive awards process to ensure the quality of individual grant recipients, as well
as periodic external expert review of its programs that approve those grants. This process is an efficient and effective way of funding the most promising proposals. The 2007 Budget supports enhancing the tools NSF uses to solicit, process, and review its proposals and monitor its awards. FastLane,
NSF’s Internet-based grants processing system, enables NSF to electronically process virtually all
of the proposals the Agency receives each year. Over 250,000 scientists, engineers, educators, and
research administrators use this system to submit and review proposals and report project results.
NSF’s web-based system to process proposals electronically is the cornerstone of NSF’s efforts to
modernization its information technology (IT) systems, leveraging innovative technology to re-engineer and optimize business processes. This system, called eJacket, provides NSF staff with a single,
web-based application designed to process proposals electronically from submission through decision.
eJacket is a key electronic work horse, supporting the processing of 41,700 proposals in 2005.
NSF will be providing IT services for other research-focused grant making agencies in light of the
goals established by the Office of Management and Budget for the emerging Government-wide Grants
Management Line of Business. As a designated Consortia Provider Candidate for that initiative, NSF
will leverage its extensive capability and experience base to provide grants management-related information technology services for other Government agencies. In 2007, NSF will begin developing
the infrastructure and capabilities necessary to cross-service other grant making agencies.

Update on the President’s Management Agenda
The table below provides an update on NSF’s implementation of the President’s Management
Agenda as of December 31, 2005.

Human Capital

Competitive
Sourcing

Financial
Performance

E-Government

Budget and
Performance
Integration

Status
Progress
NSF made great strides this year in improving its management of human capital, documenting its accountability
system, and updating its Senior Executive Services performance policy and appraisal system. The Agency
receives virtually all of its research proposals electronically and has a comprehensive plan for continued
improvement of its information technology security program. It is an active partner in several interagency E-Gov
initiatives, and was recently designated as a Consortia Provider Candidate for the Grants Management Line of
Business. NSF prepared its 2005 audited financial statements on time and earned an unqualified opinion in its
2005 audits. NSF can report the full cost of achieving its performance goals. NSF completed a streamlined
competition for administrative and technical support for award oversight and monitoring.

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NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

RESTRAINING SPENDING AND MANAGING FOR RESULTS—Continued
Initiative

Status

Progress

Eliminating Improper Payments
Arrows indicate change in status rating since the prior evaluation as of September 30, 2005. Double up arrows
indicate that the status rating was upgraded from red to green.
NSF produced a new Improper Payments plan and successfully executed it. A review found NSF’s improper
payments rate to be only a few hundredths of one percent.

National Science Foundation
(In millions of dollars)
Estimate

2005
Actual

2006

2007

Spending
Discretionary Budget Authority:
Research and Related Activities .....................................................................
Education and Human Resources .................................................................
Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction ........................
Salaries and Expenses.......................................................................................
Office of the National Science Board ............................................................
Office of the Inspector General .......................................................................
Total, Discretionary budget authority .................................................................

4,230
841
174
223
4
10
5,482

4,331
797
191
247
4
11
5,581

4,666
816
240
282
4
12
6,020

Total, Discretionary outlays ...................................................................................

5,372

5,623

5,726

Mandatory Outlays:
H–1B Fee Programs ............................................................................................
All other ....................................................................................................................
Total, Mandatory outlays ........................................................................................

44
19
63

76
61
137

87
25
112

Total, Outlays ..............................................................................................................

5,435

5,760

5,838


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