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National Science Foundation

National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics

Page Editor: Hannah Powers

Data About the NSA

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 is vital because we support basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future. This type of support:

  • Is a primary driver of the U.S. economy.
  • Enhances the nation’s security.
  • Advances knowledge to sustain global leadership.

Research Areas

NSF is divided into the following seven directorates that support science and engineering research and education: Biological Sciences, Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Engineering, Geosciences, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences, and Education and Human Resources. Each is headed by an assistant director and each is further subdivided into divisions like materials research, ocean sciences and behavioral and cognitive sciences. Within NSF’s Office of the Director, the Office of Integrative Activities also supports research and researchers. Other sections of NSF are devoted to financial management, award processing and monitoring, legal affairs, outreach and other functions.

Funding

NSF receives approximately 40,000 proposals each year for research, education and training projects, of which approximately 11,000 are funded. In addition, the Foundation receives several thousand applications for graduate and postdoctoral fellowships.

The agency operates no laboratories itself but does support National Research Centers, user facilities, certain oceanographic vessels and Antarctic research stations. The Foundation also supports cooperative research between universities and industry, US participation in international scientific and engineering efforts, and educational activities at every academic level.

Document Library

NSF encourages electronic dissemination of its documents. NSF’s publications list includes all publications and forms available in electronic format. You can also search for publications and forms by document type, NSF publication or form number, or keyword

News


Time Period

The National Science Foundation (NSF), established in 1950, which continues to be the only federal agency dedicated to the support of fundamental research and education in all scientific and engineering disciplines. They began their research in the 50s and continues to modern day science.


Geographical Areas

Science and engineering (S&E) employment in the United States is geographically concentrated in a small number of states and several major metropolitan areas within those states, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011 American Community Survey (ACS). The three most populous states—California, Texas, and New York—together accounted for more than one-fourth of all S&E employment in the United States. Several major metropolitan areas in those states, for example, areas around Santa Clara, Los Angeles, and San Diego, all in California, and areas around New York City and Houston, together accounted for approximately 1 in 10 S&E workers nationwide.


Collection

Who collected it: NSF leadership has two major components: a director who oversees NSF staff and management responsible for program creation and administration, merit review, planning, budget and day-to-day operations; and a 24-member National Science Board (NSB) of eminent individuals that meets six times a year to establish the overall policies of the foundation. The director and all Board members serve six year terms. Each of them, as well as the NSF deputy director, is appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. At present, NSF has a total workforce of about 2,100 at its Arlington, VA, headquarters, including approximately 1,400 career employees, 200 scientists from research institutions on temporary duty, 450 contract workers and the staff of the NSB office and the Office of the Inspector General.

How they collected it: NSF’s task of identifying and funding work at the frontiers of science and engineering is not a “top-down” process. NSF operates from the “bottom up,” keeping close track of research around the United States and the world, maintaining constant contact with the research community to identify ever-moving horizons of inquiry, monitoring which areas are most likely to result in spectacular progress and choosing the most promising people to conduct the research.

How they present it:  Biological Sciences, Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Engineering, Geosciences, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences, and Education and Human Resources.


How to

https://www.nsf.gov/

The National Science Foundation website is very easy to navigate with distinct subject areas and an additional search bar for any further information you are looking for. The website covers multiple fields of scientific studies and useful for multiple purposes of research.

“National Science Foundation – Where Discoveries Begin.” NSF – National Science Foundation. Web. 26 Jan. 2017.