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Archived File. The file below has been archived for historical reference purposes only. The content and links are no longer maintained and may be outdated. See the OER Public Archive Home Page for more details about archived files. NSF Research and Education Funding Mechanisms.

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archived file

Archived File

The file below has been archived for historical reference purposes only. The content and links are no longer maintained and may be outdated. See the OER Public Archive Home Page for more details about archived files.

nsf research and education funding mechanisms
NSF Research and Education Funding Mechanisms

NSTC Research Business Models Subcommittee

December 9-10, 2003

Joseph Bordogna

NSF Deputy Director

discourse between the u s president and the director osrd 1944 1945
Discourse between the U.S. President and the Director, OSRD, 1944-1945

How do we increase this scientific capital?

First, we must have plenty of men and women trained in science… Second, we must strengthen the centers of basic research, which are principally the colleges, universities, and research institutes.

The most important ways in which the Government can promote industrial research are to increase the flow of new scientific knowledge through support of basic research, and to aid in the development of scientific talent.

Therefore I recommend that a new agency … It should recognize that freedom of inquiry must be preserved and should leave internal control of policy, personnel, and the method and scope of research to the institutions in which it is carried on.

national science foundation
National Science Foundation
  • Mission: Promote the progress of S&E for the national/public good.
  • Vision: Enable the Nation’s future through discovery, learning and innovation.
  • Modus Operandi: Support activities that create, integrate and transfer S&E knowledge.
nsf strategic goals
NSF Strategic Goals
  • People – A diverse, competitive, and globally-engaged U.S. workforce of scientists, engineers, technologists and well-prepared citizens
  • Ideas – Discovery across the frontier of science and engineering, connected to learning, innovation and service to society
  • Tools – Broadly accessible, state-of-the-art S&E facilities, tools and other infrastructure that enable discovery, learning and innovation
  • Organizational Excellence – An agile, innovative organization that fulfills its mission through leadership in state-of-the-art business practice
basic nsf business model
Basic NSF Business Model
  • NSF Core:the full spectrum of S&E fields that are essential to create, integrate and transfer S&E knowledge
  • Core Funding Mechanisms
    • Individual & Small Group Investigator Grants
    • Centers (e.g., STCs, ERCs, SLCs)
    • Priority Areas
  • NSF is Eclectic: It supports many different approaches to enrich the core.
core enabling issues
Core Enabling Issues
  • NSF average grant size & duration must be increased in order to be truly enabling.
  • Graduate stipends must be attractive to US citizens.
  • All excellent proposals should be funded to maximize serendipitous discovery.
  • Potential of underrepresented groups and institutions must be tapped.
  • Cutting-edge S&E tools should be ubiquitously accessible.
  • Innovation Fund should be re-started.
nsf integrative strategies
NSF Integrative Strategies
  • Invest in Intellectual Capital
  • Integrate Research and Education
  • Promote Partnerships
strategy invest in intellectual capital
STRATEGY: Invest in Intellectual Capital
  • Develop the S&E workforce.

Examples: fellowships, assistantships, traineeships, REU, student/teacher programs, international activities, MSP, 21st Century Workforce priority area, etc.

  • Capitalize on underrepresented groups/institutions.


  • Support activities that help define/develop new fields and novel approaches.

Examples: centers, SGER’s, Innovation Fund, next-generation tools R&D, community workshops, priority areas, etc.

strategy integrate research and education
STRATEGY: Integrate Research and Education
  • Builds on the role of the university and the professoriate.
  • Research grants should enable the professoriate to pursue this strategy.
  • Two hallmark programs that invest in this strategy:
    • CAREER seeks to strengthen professor’s integrative teaching-research role by supporting early career-development activities for new faculty members.
    • IGERT seeks to enable new paths in graduate education by providing boundary-crossing experiences to PhD candidates.
strategy promote partnerships
STRATEGY:Promote Partnerships

Range of Partners: Federal, State, and Local Government, Academe, Industry, Non-profit Institutions, Foreign Nations, …

Range of Mechanisms: MOU, Bilateral/Multilateral Agreements, Cooperative Agreements, Program Announcements/Solicitations

Range of Programs:

  • Centers: ERCs, STCs, SLCs, etc.
  • Special Grants: GOALI, SBIR/STTR
  • Comprehensive Partnerships Programs: MSP, PFI
  • Large Facility Projects: ALMA, LHC
  • Priority Areas: BE, HSD, ITR, MS, NSE, WF21