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NSF Congressional Highlight
President Signs H.R. 4664, NSF Reauthorization Act

December 19, 2002

White House

On Thursday, December 19, the President signed in to law H.R. 4664, a five-year reauthorization bill for the National Science Foundation. Although this act does not provide funds for NSF, it does provide the authority to obligate funds for specified activities. The act includes portions of legislation previously enacted by the House that authorize the Math and Science Partnership and the Science and Engineering and Technology Talent Expansion Act.

Some highlights of the Act:

  • Increases authorized funding for NSF from the current (FY02) level of $4.79 billion to $9.84 billion in FY 07. The last two years of the five-year authorization are contingent on NSF making satisfactory progress in meeting the goals of the President's Management Agenda.
  • In addition to setting funding levels for the appropriations categories (Research and Related Activities, Education and Human Resources, Major Research Equipment Facilities and Construction, Salaries and Expenses, and Inspector General), the bill includes a separate line item for the National Science Board and authorizes funding in priority areas of Information Technology, Nanoscale Science and Engineering, Math and Science Education Partnerships, STEM Talent Expansion Program, and the Robert Noyce Scholarships program (see attached table). The legislation also lists the following as priority areas: Plant Genome Research, Innovation Partnerships, Secondary School Systemic Initiative, EPSCoR, Astronomical Research and Instrumentation and implementing the goals of the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act.
  • The Math and Science Education Partnership is specifically authorized by law.
  • HR 4664 provides authority to establish Centers for Research on Mathematics and Science Learning and Education Improvement. Each center will focus on a different challenge faced by elementary and secondary Math and Science teachers.
  • Requires the creation of a prioritized list of Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) projects to be updated each time the NSB approves a new project to be funded by the MREFC account.
  • Authorizes the establishment of a new program to award grants to Hispanic-serving institutions, Alaska Native-serving institutions, Hawaiian Native-serving institutions and other institutions of higher education serving a substantial number of minority students to enhance the quality of STEM education, including funding for instrumentation.

The bill also includes Administrative Amendments:

  • Sets the NSB quorum for conducting its meetings as one half plus one of the number of confirmed members;
  • Subjects the NSB and all of its committees, subcommittees, and task forces to the open meeting and notice requirements of the Sunshine Act, and directs the Inspector General to report to Congress annually on NSB compliance with these requirements;
  • Provides for the protection of data collected by NSF from public disclosure and permits sharing of that data with qualified researchers for research and statistical purposes;
  • Provides for the NSB Chair to appoint up to five professional staff members;
  • Allows part-time students to be eligible for CSEMS scholarships.
  • Amends the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act Amendments to strengthen its applicability to persons with disabilities.

 

NSF Reauthorization Act of 2002
(in $ millions)

 

FY 03 Budget Request

FY 03 Auth

FY 04 Auth

FY 05 Auth

FY 06 Auth

FY 07 Auth

Research and Related Activities

$3783.21

$4155.69

$4799.82

$5543.79

--

--

divider line

Information Technology

678.00

704.00

774.00

--

--

--

divider line

Nanotechnology

221.25

301.00

350.00

--

--

--

divider line

Education and Human Resources

908.08

1006.25

1157.19

1330.77

--

--

divider line

Mathematics and Science Partnerships

200.00

200.00

300.00

400.00

 

 

divider line

Robert Noyce Scholarships

4.00

20.00

20.00

20.00

 

 

divider line

Technology Talent

2.0

25.00

30.00

35.00

 

 

divider line

Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction

126.28

172.05

211.18

258.88

--

--

divider line

Salaries and Expenses

210.16

191.20

210.32

231.38

--

--

divider line

National Science Board

--

3.50

3.85

4.25

--

--

divider line

Inspector General

8.06

7.70

8.47

9.32

--

--

divider line

TOTAL

5035.79

5536.39

6390.83

7378.34

8519.78

9839.26

An electronic version of the bill is available at: http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/congress/107/final_authorization_language.pdf

See also:

 

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