NSF's goals are pursued through the
investment priorities and strategies developed for the key program
functions, the merit review by peer evaluation of projects that
make up the portfolio of investments, and a process of performance
assessment that addresses the effectiveness of the implementation.
Though there is inevitably some overlap in scope, the key program
functions are distinguished from each other by the general nature
of the activities undertaken under each rubric. The functions
are interdependent for their joint success, and NSF's.
Research Project Support
Funding for Research Project Support
totals $1,872 million in FY 1998, an increase of 2.7 percent over
FY 1997. Research projects provide support for individuals and
small groups devoted both to disciplinary research in traditional
fields and to cross-disciplinary fields. Also included within
this function is support for centers, based on the premise that
some scientific questions and research problems can best be addressed
through the multidisciplinary, long-term, coordinated efforts
of many researchers. Support for centers totals $204 million in
Support for Research Facilities totals
$684 million in FY 1998, an increase of 3.5 percent over FY 1997.
NSF supports large, multi-user research facilities that are characteristically
complicated and expensive, requiring long-term commitments of
support. The principal focus is providing access to state-of-the-art
capabilities that might otherwise be unavailable to U.S. researchers.
Education and Training
Education and Training totals $669 million
in FY 1998, an increase of 3.5 percent over FY 1997. NSF's education
and training component supports activities from pre-kindergarten
through postdoctoral levels, including public science literacy,
aimed at enabling U.S. students to become scientifically literate
citizens and well-trained members of the nation's workforce.
Administration and Management
Administration and Management totals
$142 million in FY 1998. This provides the operating funds to
support NSF staff in efforts to achieve strategic goals by implementing
programs in all key program areas.
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