“We feel our major needs are being met,” said National Science
Foundation Director Rita Colwell at Monday’s briefing on the
Bush Administration’s $4.47 billion NSF request for FY 2002.
Saying that it was to credit of the administration that it was
holding the line on discretionary spending, Colwell
characterized the foundation as being “fortunate” in this
budget cycle.

President Bush has requested a 1.3%, or $56 million increase
in the foundation’s budget for FY 2002. Research and Related
Activities funding would decline 0.5%, which Colwell said
would enable NSF to maintain its current level of support.
Education and Human Resources funding is the “Highlight” in
the request Colwell declared, which would increase 11.0%.
There would be no new starts under the foundation’s Major
Research Equipment activity.

The budget submission to Congress identifies several
Highlights and Priorities. The first is a $200 million Math
and Science Partnership Initiative. NSF will lead this
initiative that would, according to the budget document,
“provide funds for states and local school districts to join
with institutions of higher education, particularly with their
departments of mathematics, science, and engineering, to
strengthen K-12 math and science education.” NSF also
requests $8 million to increase from $18,000 to $20,500, for
academic year 2002-2003, the stipends for Graduate Research
Fellowships, the Graduate Teaching Fellowships in K-12
Education, and the Integrative Graduate Education and Research
Traineeship programs. NSF hopes this will attract more
students into graduate education in science and engineering.

Interdisciplinary Mathematics will be a “centerpiece” of NSF’s
core investments in FY 2002. “This emphasis on the
mathematical sciences recognizes its increasingly critical
role in advancing interdisciplinary science,” states the
budget document. This budget would increase by 16.5%. Four
interdependent priority areas are identified. Each will
receive funding increases to maintain the momentum of previous
foundation investments, Colwell said. One of these is
Nanoscale Science and Engineering, which would increase 16.1%.
Identified as an Additional FY 2002 Highlight is the support
NSF provides for the Large Hadron Collider, Network for
Earthquake Engineering Simulation, and the Terascale Computing

In responding to questions, Colwell said that the FY 2002
request “lays the foundation for sustained increases over the
long term.” She said that further work needs to be done in
Washington and across America to fully explain the importance
of the research supported by NSF. Colwell’s response to a
question about NIH’s 13.5% requested increase concentrated on
the foundation’s own initiatives. “I do think that future
looks bright,” she declared, calling on the scientific
community to work together to present what she called a
powerful message about the importance of scientific research.

Forthcoming FYIs will detail physics-related programs in the
FY 2002 NSF request.

CORRECTION TO FYI #42: The FY 2002 DOE Fusion Energy Sciences
request provides level funding.


Richard M .Jones

Public Information Division

The American Institute of Physics


(301) 209-3095