FY 2016 Budget Request: National Science Foundation

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Publication date: 
3 February 2015
Number: 
12

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has requested $7,723.6 million, an increase of $379.3 million or 5.2 percent over the FY 2015 appropriation of $7,344.2 million.

NSF Director France Cordova reviewed the NSF’s FY 2016 budget request to Congress on February 2 at the Foundation’s headquarters.  She noted that of the 48,000 proposals received in FY 2014, 11,000 were funded.  “The large number of Nobel Prizes and other significant honors that have gone to NSF grantees demonstrates that our processes have been able to identify the best ideas and the most innovative thinkers, often years before they achieve broad recognition,” she stated as she highlighted the agency’s progress on the transparency and accountability initiative which is aimed at improving public understanding of funding decisions.    

The NSF’s budget request investment framework aligns with the agency’s Strategic Plan for FY 2014-2018, Investing in Science, Engineering, and Education for the Nation’s Future.  The three main goals of the plan are to “transform the frontiers of science and engineering, stimulate innovation and address societal needs, and excel as a federal science agency.”

The NSF priority areas in the FY 2016 budget request include:

  • Understanding the Brain is a $144 million investment that is a component of the President’s BRAIN Initiative.
  • Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems is a $75 million investment aimed at increasing understanding of the effects of growing populations on food, energy and water resources.
  • Risk and Resilience is a $58 million investment in research focused on developing resilient response systems for manmade and natural disasters.
  • NSF Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners that have been Underrepresented for Diversity in Engineering and Science (INCLUDES) is a $15 million initiative to develop scalable concepts for collaboration efforts to address diversity in these fields.   

National Science Foundation
The FY 2015 appropriation was $7,344.2 million
The FY 2016 request is $7,723.6 million, an increase of $379.3 million or 5.2 percent

Within the budget are the following programs:

Research and Related Activities
The FY 2015 appropriation was $5,933.7 million
The FY 2016 request is $6,186.3 million, an increase of $252.7 million or 4.3 percent

Within Research and Related Activities are the following programs:

Math and Physical Sciences Directorate
The FY 2015 appropriation was $1,336.7 million
The FY 2016 request is $1,366.2 million, an increase of $29.5 million or 2.2 percent

Astronomical Sciences Division
The FY 2015 appropriation was $244.2 million
The FY 2016 request is $246.6 million, an increase of $2.4 million or 1.0 percent  

Materials Research Division
The FY 2015 appropriation was $307.0 million
The FY 2016 request is $315.8 million, an increase of 8.8 million or 2.9 percent

Mathematical Sciences Division
The FY 2015 appropriation was $231.7 million
The FY 2016 request is $235.5 million, an increase of $3.7 million or 1.6 percent

Physics Division
The FY 2015 appropriation was $275.0 million
The FY 2016 request is $277.4 million, an increase of $2.4 million or 0.9 percent

Geosciences Directorate
The FY 2015 appropriation was $1,304.4 million
The FY 2016 request is $1,365.4 million, an increase of $61.0 million or 4.7 percent

Education and Human Resources
The FY 2015 appropriation was $866.0 million
The FY 2016 request is $962.6 million, an increase of $96.6 million or 11.2 percent

Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction
The FY 2015 appropriation was $200.8 million
The FY 2016 request is $200.3 million, a decrease of $0.5 million or 0.2 percent

Agency Operations and Award Management
The FY 2015 appropriation was $325.0 million
The FY 2016 request is 354.8 million, an increase of $29.8 million or 9.2 percent

The NSF also provides funding for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.  An overview of the President’s budget request for STEM education will appear in a future FYI.