Research and Related Activities


The Research and Related Activities (R&RA) account supports activities that enable the U.S. to uphold world leadership in all aspects of science and engineering by maintaining the overall health of science and engineering across all disciplines, and providing leadership across the frontier of science and engineering research.R&RA provides support for research projects, research facilities, and education and training activities.Among the priorities for R&RA in FY 2000 are activities associated with the areas of Biocomplexity in the Environment (BE), Information Technology (IT) and Educating for the Future (EFF).In FY 2000, NSF will implement efforts to address long-standing concerns about grant sizes by increasing the average size and duration of awards across R&RA.FY 2000 funding for R&RA totals $3.0 billion, a 6.9 percent increase over FY 1999.Within R&RA:


         The Biological Sciences (BIO) Activity supports research ranging from the study of the structure and dynamics of biological molecules, such as proteins and nucleic acids, through cells, organs and organisms, to studies of populations and ecosystems.It encompasses processes that are internal to the organism as well as those that are external, and includes temporal frameworks ranging from measurements in real time through individual life spans, to the full scope of evolutionary time.The FY 2000 Request for BIO totals $408.62 million, a 4.5 percent increase over the FY 1999 Current Plan. Within BIO, support will be increased for research that will advance understanding of the structure, organization and function of plant genomes.


         The Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Activity supports research on the theory and foundations of computing, system software and computer system design, human-computer interaction, as well as prototyping, testing and development of cutting-edge computing and communications systems to address complex research problems.CISE also provides the advanced computing and networking capabilities needed by academic researchers for cutting-edge research in all science and engineering fields.The FY 2000 request for CISE totals $422.53 million, a 41.5 percent increase over the FY 1999 Current Plan, including $110.0 million as part of the Information Technology for the Twenty-first Century (IT2) initiative.Also in FY 2000, the Partnerships for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (PACI) program will focus on broadening and accelerating the capability of the research community to utilize this advanced technology to work on cutting edge research problems in all NSF disciplines.


        The Engineering (ENG) Activity seeks to enhance the quality of life and national prosperity by investing in research and education activities that spur new technological innovations and create new products and services and more productive enterprises.ENG also makes critical investments in facilities, networks, and people to assure diversity and quality in the nation's infrastructure for engineering education and research.The FY 2000 Request includes a 2.7 percent increase over the FY 1999 Current Plan, to a total of $378.53 million for ENG, and will support research in areas including engineering microsystems, scalable enterprise systems, biosystems at the nano-scale,and wireless technology and information networks.Funds are included to meet the mandated level for the Foundation-wide Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.


         The Geosciences (GEO) Activity supports research in the atmospheric, earth, and ocean sciences.Basic research in the geosciences advances our scientific knowledge of the Earth and advances our ability to predict natural phenomena of economic and human significance, such as climate changes, weather, earthquakes, fish-stock fluctuations, and disruptive events in the solar-terrestrial environment.The 2.6 percent increase, to $485.48 million in FY 2000, will support the operation and enhancement of national user facilities as well as fundamental research across the geosciences, including emphasis on the U.S. Weather Research Program and National Space Weather Program, the U.S. Global Change Research Program, and studies on coastal ocean processes and global ocean circulation.


         The Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) Activity supports research and education inastronomical sciences, chemistry, materials research, mathematical sciences and physics.Major equipment and instrumentation such as telescopes and particle accelerators are provided to support the needs of individual investigators.The FY 2000 Request of $753.97 million, a 2.7 percent increase over the FY 1999 Current Plan, will support fundamental research, state-of-the-art instrumentation and facilities, as well as education and training activities.


         The Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) Activity supports research to build fundamental scientific knowledge about human characteristics and behavior.SBE also supports the Foundationís international activities, providing U.S. scientists and engineers with access to centers of excellence in science and engineering research and education throughout the world.To improve understanding of the science and engineering enterprise, SBE provides informational tools for tracking the human and institutional resources that make up the nationís science and engineering infrastructure.The FY 2000 Request includes $143.01 million for SBE, a 4.2 percent increase over the FY 1999 Current Plan.


         Polar Programs, which include the U.S. Polar Research Programs and U.S. Antarctic Logistical Support Activities, support multi-disciplinary research in Arctic and Antarctic regions.The polar regions are geographic frontiers which provide premier natural laboratories.They play a critical role in world weather and climate and provide unique research opportunities ranging from studies of the earth, ice and oceans to research in atmospheric sciences and astronomy.In FY 2000, Polar Programs increases 2.3 percent, to $250.63 million over the FY 1999 Current Plan.Increases are provided for integrated interdisciplinary studies of the Arctic system as well as for research on Antarctic ice sheets and oceans.Increases also sustain the science facilities and operations that make Arctic and Antarctic research possible.Continued investment in South Pole Station infrastructure, and in upgrades for polar support aircraft, are addressed through the Major Research Equipment account.


         Integrative Activities (IA) supports emerging cross-disciplinary research efforts and major research instrumentation, and provides support for the Science and Technology Policy Institute.The FY 2000 Request of $161.23 million for IA, a decrease of $200,000 from the FY 1999 Current Plan, includes $50.0 million for a focused initiative on biocomplexity, and funding to support a new class of Science and Technology Centers.


Education and Human Resources


The FY 2000 Budget Request for Education and Human Resources (EHR) is $711.0 million, an increase of 3.2 percent, over the FY 1999 Current Plan. Within the FY 2000 Request, $678.0 million is included within the EHR Appropriation, and $33.0 million is from H-1B Nonimmigrant Petitioner Fees.EHRsupports a cohesive and comprehensive set of activities which encompass every level of education and every region of the country.EHR also plays a major role in the Foundationís long-standing commitment to developing our nationís human resources for the science and engineering workforce of the future.


In FY 2000, EHR will address emerging needs and opportunities in five priority areas: education research; building the K-12 workforce; systemic reform; diversity continuum; and educational technologies.Program highlights include:


         National Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology Education Digital Library initiative to increase the quality, quantity, and comprehensiveness of Internet-based K-16 science, mathematics, engineering and technology (SMET) educational resources.


         NSF Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education initiated in FY 1999, continues to support graduate and advanced undergraduate SMET majors as content resources for K-12 teachers.


In FY 2000, H-1B Nonimmigrant Petitioner fees for NSF are projected to be $33.0 million for the following activities: Computer Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Scholarships; Grants for Mathematics, Engineering, or Science Enrichment Courses; and Systemic Reform Activities.



Major Research Equipment


The FY 2000 Budget Request for Major Research Equipment (MRE) is $85.0 million, a decrease of $5.0 million from FY 1999.The MRE Account funds the construction and acquisition of major research facilities that provide unique capabilities at the cutting edge of science and engineering. Projects supported by this account are intended to expand the boundaries of technology and will offer significant new research opportunities, frequently in totally new directions, for the science and engineering community.Operations and maintenance costs of the facilities are provided through the Research and Related Activities (R&RA) account.


In FY 2000, funding for six projects is requested through the Major Research Equipment account: the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the Millimeter Array (MMA), the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), Terascale Computing Systems, Polar Support Aircraft Upgrades and the modernization of South Pole Station.



Salaries and Expenses


The FY 2000 Budget Request for Salaries and Expenses (S&E) is $149.0 million, an increase of 3.5 percent over the FY 1999 Current Plan. The Salaries and Expenses appropriation provides funds for staff salaries and benefits, and general operating expenses necessary to manage and administer the NSF.The requested level supports 1,150 full-time equivalents (FTEs), provides for current administrative services, and enhances the agencyís investment in information technology to increase productivity.



Office of Inspector General


The Office of Inspector General (OIG) was established to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in administering the Foundationís programs; to detect and prevent fraud, waste, or abuse within NSF or by individuals that request or receive NSF funding; and to identify and resolve cases of misconduct in science.The FY 2000 request for the OIG is $5.45 million, an increase of 4.8 percent, over the FY 1999 Current Plan.The requested level supports 46 FTEs.