Summary of FY2002 Budget Request to Congress - National Science Foundation


 The FY 2002 Budget Request for the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Activity is $863.58 million, an increase of $12.74 million, or 1.5 percent, over the FY 2001 Current Plan of $850.84 million.

(Millions of Dollars)

 FY 2000
FY 2001
FY 2002
Amount Percent
Astronomical Sciences 122.53 148.64 156.26 7.62 5.1%
Chemistry 138.63 153.52 153.46 -0.06 0.0%
Materials Research 190.54 209.75 205.42 -4.33 -2.1%
Mathematical Sciences 105.98 121.48 141.48 20.00 16.5%
Physics 168.30 187.53 183.57 -3.96 -2.1%
Multidisciplinary Activities 29.91 29.91 23.39 -6.52 -21.8%
Total, MPS $755.88 $850.84 $863.58 $12.75 1.5%

Totals may not add due to rounding.

The Mathematical and Physical Sciences Activity (MPS) supports a strong and diverse portfolio of research and education in astronomical sciences, chemistry, materials research, mathematical sciences and physics. The purpose of this work is threefold: to deepen our understanding of the physical universe; to use this understanding in service to society; and to prepare the next generation of scientists who are essential for continued progress. The mathematical and physical sciences underpin many other scientific endeavors and serve as the training ground for at least half of all doctoral scientists now employed in U.S. industry. The MPS Activity supports areas of inquiry that are critical for long-term U.S. economic strength and security, providing a substantial portion of federal funding for fundamental research at academic institutions in these areas, and in some subfields, provides for most of the federal investment.

The new opportunities are many. Research at the atomic level will result in a period of discovery that could be termed a "molecular revolution." The study of complex chemical and physical systems offers critical insights into climate change and other natural phenomena. Biological systems can be understood and controlled via powerful mathematical and physical techniques, such as the creation of algorithms critical for drug design and for the development of biopolymers, gels, and other biomolecular materials. Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics is leading to profound new understandings of the physics of the universe. New tools critical to scientific progress - from advanced magnets, to novel sensors, to quantum computers, to more powerful telescopes - are being developed and refined, and will make possible the understanding of physical phenomena at a much more profound level. Essential to achieving these goals is the development of new mathematical tools and algorithms for modeling and simulation of physical and biological phenomena.

MPS places a high priority on multidisciplinary work and on partnerships. The Multidisciplinary Activities Subactivity is designed to catalyze efforts in emerging areas of research and education at disciplinary boundaries. By fostering closer connections with other federal agencies, state governments, industry, and other countries, MPS investigators enhance the impact of their efforts and increase the return on NSF investments.

International partnerships are critical to progress, both intellectually and financially, especially in the areas of astronomy, physics, and materials research, all of which require the use of large facilities. An example is the strong international cooperation that the Astronomy Subactivity has generated in support of the Gemini Observatories. Another is the collaboration with the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science and with the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) that the Physics Subactivity has pursued toward the development of detectors for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

World leadership in science is a critical objective for the Foundation. Receipt of Nobel Prizes by MPS-supported physical scientists and Fields Medals by MPS-supported mathematical scientists is a strong indicator of the long-term importance of MPS research. Alan J. Heeger, Alan G. MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2000 for the discovery and development of conductive polymers. NSF has supported both Heeger and MacDiarmid since the 1970s, their collaboration was fostered by support from the NSF-funded Materials Research Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania. As a practical example of their work, conductive plastics are used in anti-static substances for photographic film, as shields against electromagnetic radiation, and for "smart" windows that can exclude sunlight. Zhores I. Alferov and Herbert Kroemer shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2000 with Jack Kilby. Alferov and Kroemer invented and developed fast opto-microelectronic components based on layered semiconductor structures, termed semiconductor heterostructures. Their work has laid the foundation of modern information technology, particularly through the development of fast transistors. Kroemer has been a key participant in the Science and Technology Center (STC) for Quantized Electronic Structures at the University of California, Santa Barbara established by NSF in 1989 as one of the first class of STCs.

People are NSF's most important product. At NSF, placing research and learning hand-in-hand is our highest priority, and the people involved in our projects represent both the focus of our investments and the most important products of them. Across its programs, MPS provides support for approximately 20,000 people, including teachers, students, researchers, post-doctorates, and trainees. Support for programs specifically addressing NSF's strategic outcome of "People - developing a diverse, internationally competitive and globally-engaged workforce of scientists, engineers and well-prepared citizens" totals more than $97.55 million in FY 2002, an increase of 12 percent over FY 2001. Moreover, about 45 percent of the funding for research grants -- an amount approaching $260 million in FY 2002 -- provides support for researchers and students, including approximately 12,200 post-doctorates, trainees, and graduate and undergraduate students.

In FY 2002, MPS will support research and education efforts related to broad, Foundation-wide priority areas in Biocomplexity in the Environment, Information Technology Research, Nanoscale Science and Engineering, and Learning for the 21st Century.

Biocomplexity in the Environment (BE): MPS will support the Biocomplexity in the Environment (BE) priority area with $5.35 million in FY 2002. New activities in BE will begin to integrate the molecular level studies already under way with more global studies of geochemical and geophysical cycles in the environment. MPS will also support the development of new mathematical and statistical techniques for understanding extreme environmental events, for analyzing complex, multi-variable data, and for undertaking risk assessments. A critical feature of the MPS-supported research activities will be the training of the future workforce and the creation of an informed public in this area.

Information Technology Research (ITR): MPS contributes very heavily in all of its Subactivities to the national effort in large-scale computational science. This work has dramatically improved understanding of fundamental scientific phenomena in astronomy, chemistry, mathematics, materials research and physics. The computational sciences have also provided increasingly sophisticated techniques for gathering, manipulating, storing and analyzing experimental data. MPS-supported research may bring about entirely new ways of computing, for example, quantum computing, by which the rules of quantum mechanics may be exploited to expand our ability to store and process information. In addition, the mathematical sciences make essential contributions to fundamentals of computer science itself, as well as providing the calculational algorithms, imaging methods, and cryptographic techniques needed across an enormous spectrum of activity in science, engineering, national defense, and business.

MPS support for ITR will total $29.62 million in FY 2002. This investment will focus on specific thrusts that include:

  • Essential contributions to algorithm development, statistical analysis, optimization theory, network design, the physics of information, understanding the limits to computation, and the fundamentals of quantum and optical computing.

  • The development of ultra-miniature chemical switches, gates, new realizations of electronics and photonics, nano-devices, and totally new possibilities such as quantum, biological and optical computers.

  • Advanced computational methods resulting, for example, in the design of more effective drugs and specialized materials, or understanding the formation of galaxies.

These fundamental computational challenges in MPS have and will continue to push the state-of-the-art of software and hardware developments in many areas of information technology. Expanding these capabilities will require additional investment in: advanced computational hardware and software development; the ability to store, to transmit, and to analyze very large databases using new grid-based technologies; enabling remote access and control of experimental facilities such as accelerators, telescopes and large databases; the development of new imaging technologies; and educating the workforce using the power of the World Wide Web.

Nanoscale Science and Engineering: In FY 2002, the MPS request includes $88.08 million for nanoscale science and engineering, an increase of $5.0 million over the FY 2001 Current Plan.

MPS grantees have contributed significantly to many of the exciting advances made over the past year, which illustrate both the scientific fascination and the technological potential of nanoscale phenomena and structures. Examples include: researchers and students at Washington University have created nanometer-sized spheres containing a mobile core surrounded by a membrane-like shell; invention of a new polymeric electro-optic modulator that could increase the speed and capacity of fiber-optic communications by as much as tenfold by researchers at the University of Washington; and the Cornell University MRSEC investigators have demonstrated a new mechanism for controlling nano-scale magnetic domains that relies on the quantum-mechanical interaction between electron spins and the magnetic material.

In FY 2002, together with the Engineering Activity, MPS will initiate support for a Nanotechnology Experimentation and Testing Facility (NEXT). NEXT will provide a University-based infrastructure to move fundamental research in nanoscale science and engineering more effectively towards eventual application through synthesis and processing, characterization, imaging, modeling and simulation, and pre-competitive manufacturing. MPS will continue to play a major role in the NSF's contribution to the interagency National Nanotechnology Initiative in the following areas: Nanoscale Structures and Quantum Control; Multi-scale, Multi-phenomena Modeling and Simulation at the Nanoscale; Nanostructures in the Environment; Biosystems at the Nanoscale; and Device and System Architecture. An integral component of this priority area includes the preparation and training of the future workforce in this critical field.

Learning for the 21st Century: MPS support will increase $1.0 million, for a total of $4.0 million in FY 2002 for this priority area. This includes continued support for the NSF-wide program for Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education; for the Interagency Education Research Initiative program, a collaborative program with the Department of Education and the National Institutes of Health; and the Digital Library program.


FY 2000
FY 2001
Current Plan
FY 2002
People 82.96 87.07 97.55 12.0%
Ideas 474.70 546.52 538.02 -1.6%
Tools 194.20 210.83 221.59 5.1%
Administration and Management 4.02 6.42 6.42 0.0%
Total, MPS $755.88 $850.84 $863.58 1.5%

MPS's support for ongoing and new activities contributes to NSF efforts to achieve its strategic goals, as well as to the administration and management activities necessary to achieve those goals. MPS's investment in NSF's strategic goals is as follows:

(Millions of Dollars)

   FY 2001
FY 2002
K-12 4.50 4.50 0.0%
Undergraduate 25.01 23.17 -7.4%
Graduate/Professional 56.36 67.98 20.6%
Other 1.20 1.90 58.3%
Total, MPS $87.07 $97.55 12.0%

Totals may not add due to rounding.


People are the most important and the most immediate result of the MPS investment in research and education. Through its support of education and training activities as well as its support of the research of individual investigators, groups, centers, and facilities, MPS enables the development of a diverse, internationally competitive and globally engaged workforce of scientists, engineers, and well prepared citizens. This workforce must be ready to shoulder the responsibility for bringing forth the ideas and discoveries that expand the frontiers of understanding, and for developing and using new tools that enable discovery and learning. To this end and to increase the understanding of the mathematical and physical sciences by the nation's citizens, MPS will increase its FY 2002 investment in People by $10.48 million, or 12 percent, to a total of $97.55 million. Funding identified in the following table includes only dedicated education and training activities supported by MPS alone and in partnership with other Activities, and excludes the much more extensive education and training activities supported by MPS through research awards and those taking place at centers and facilities.

(Millions of Dollars)

  FY 2001
FY 2002
K-12 4.5 4.5 0.00%
Undergraduate 25.01 23.17 -7.40%
Graduate/Professional 56.36 67.98 20.60%
Other 1.2 1.9 58.30%
Total, MPS $87.07 $97.55 12.00%

Totals may not add due to rounding.

MPS activities play a key role in integrating science and education at the graduate and undergraduate levels, and in helping people of all ages discover science and its processes. For example, over 200 REU Sites are supported by MPS that expose almost 2,000 undergraduate students each year to the excitement of discovery at the frontiers of mathematics and science. In addition to supporting REU sites, MPS sponsors many outreach programs at its centers and facilities that help bring the excitement of current scientific discovery to the public.

The FY 2002 increase for People includes:

  • At the undergraduate level, MPS will continue its support of the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) activity through funding of REU sites, and through REU supplements to individual investigator and group research grants. In partnership with the EHR Activity, the development of digital libraries with increased MPS-relevant content will be supported. Also in FY 2002, the Research Sites for Educators in Chemistry (RSEC) activity, which affords faculty from 2- and 4-year institutions opportunities to carry out cutting-edge research in collaboration with colleagues from research-intensive host institutions, will be expanded.

  • Cooperative interactions with MPS research sites, particularly Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) activities at REU sites, will afford K-12 teachers enriching experiences in discovery-based learning that will transfer to their classrooms. Web-based education activities will engage both K-12 teachers and students in the entire spectrum of MPS science. In cooperation with the Education and Human Resources (EHR) Activity, MPS will initiate assessment of its K-12 activities.

  • MPS investment at the graduate and professional level will increase by $11.62 million, to a total of $67.98 million. Included will be: support for Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program; CAREER; ADVANCE program; and the Vertical Integration of Research and Education in the Mathematical Sciences (VIGRE) program.

  • Broadened training of graduate students in MPS disciplines will be continued, and support for the Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship and the MPS Distinguished International Postdoctoral Research Fellowship programs be will expanded.

  • MPS will continue the MPS Internships in Public Science Education (IPSE) program, begun in FY 2001. This program supports undergraduate and graduate students and K-12 teachers to partner with MPS research scientists and with professionals at science centers and museums on projects in public science education.

  • MPS will increase its support of public science education by $700,000, to a total of $1.90 million. Museum exhibits such as the Smithsonian Institution's upcoming permanent exhibit on astrophysics and cosmology, "Exploring the Universe," and science centers and visitors' centers at research facilities such as the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) are effective venues for engaging the public in the excitement of scientific discovery.


MPS supports research activities across a very broad spectrum - from studies of the origin of the universe to investigations of the inner structure of matter; from understanding the dynamic nature of chemical reactions in real time to the design, from fundamental principles, of materials with new properties; and from the proof of centuries-old mathematical theorems to the development of new statistical techniques to evaluate environmental data. Support for discovery across the frontier of science and engineering, connected to learning, innovation and service to society accounts for about two-thirds of the funding in the MPS Activity. Awards range from support of single investigators, to support for centers or groups of investigators, to funding for research at large, complex state-of-the art facilities.

Some of the most interesting current intellectual problems arise at the intersection of the mathematical, physical and biological sciences, in those areas in which research from each of the fields informs the other. MPS is joining with the Biological Sciences Activity (BIO) to establish mechanisms for responding to the new science emerging at this boundary. The two Activities will seek ways to jointly review and fund proposals in this environment.

Funding for Ideas will decrease in FY 2002 by $8.50 million, to a total of $538.02 million. Funds will be redirected through targeted reductions within existing research activities to support new research opportunities. Interdisciplinary research is becoming an increasingly important aspect of progress in all of the sciences. In FY 2002, funding will focus on the following areas characterizing a large portion of the MPS portfolio:

  • Mathematics: In FY 2002, the mathematical sciences will be a high priority within NSF and MPS. Interdisciplinary research activities in the mathematical sciences will be increased by $20.0 million. This emphasis on the mathematical sciences recognizes its increasingly critical role in advancing interdisciplinary science. In FY 2002, NSF will focus on the management of large data sets, the modeling of uncertainty, and the modeling and prediction of complex non-linear systems. Some examples of the latter include studies of brain function, communication networks, modern economic behaviors, and the prediction of weather and ocean circulation. Support for the following interdisciplinary investments is also provided: New Interdisciplinary Mathematical Sciences Institutes; Focused Research Groups; partnerships with other NSF Activities; and interagency partnerships with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

  • Origins of the Universe: The advances made by astronomers in understanding the universe as a whole as well as the objects within it, coupled with the advances made by physicists in understanding the deepest inner workings of matter, space and time, have brought us to a special moment in our journey to understand the universe and the physical laws that govern it. Examples of some of the most profound questions about the cosmos include: What is the nature of the dark matter that apparently holds galaxies and clusters of galaxies together yet gives off no light? What is the nature of the "dark energy", whose gravity is repulsive rather than attractive? How did the universe begin? Does life exist elsewhere in the universe? How did it develop on earth? These critical questions require many complementary contributions from astrophysics, particle physics, gravitational physics, astrochemistry and astrobiology, and the combined efforts of agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) in addition to NSF.

  • The Quantum Realm: The pace of discovery in the quantum realm is accelerating worldwide. This area of research covers diverse topics such as the fundamental makeup of matter, the nature of the chemical reactions, and the development of new materials. New phenomena are emerging as our probes are refined, and new areas of science are opening, some with enormous potential for practical application. For example, researchers are beginning to see ways of utilizing the quantum nature of elemental systems to create quantum computers able to tackle problems that are far beyond the scope of present day computers. Increasingly, scientists and engineers will view manipulation and control of the arrangement of individual atoms or molecules as a unifying theme, and functionality will become a predictable consequence of what they synthesize. Importantly, the excitement of this new science is capturing the imagination of the young people needed to build and sustain our scientific and technological future.

  • Molecular Connections: Complemented by recent advances in physics and in mathematical and computational modeling, chemistry and materials science offer a powerful and varied arsenal for uncovering nature's secrets and creating future technologies critical to environmental, medical, and technological advances. Improved electronic and optical components, coatings, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals will continue to result from research in molecular science and engineering. Understanding phenomena at the molecular level is also critical to continued progress in genetics, neurobiology, ecosystem dynamics, climate studies, novel materials development, and smart manufacturing. For example, biological processes may suggest materials design strategies and fundamental research in areas such as complex fluids and soft condensed matter, and including materials for artificial organs and methods for drug and gene delivery. MPS will participate in and give high priority to the design, synthesis and characterization of the Foundation-wide priority area of nanoscale science and engineering.

In FY 2002, MPS will continue to implement efforts to address the Foundation-wide concern about grant sizes by increasing the average size of awards. MPS will also continue to encourage competitive research grants for investigators who are members of underrepresented groups.

MPS also supports a number of centers:

(Millions of Dollars)

  FY 2001
FY 2002
Science and Technology Centers1 5.19 7.32 41.0%
Materials Centers 57.56 54.25 -5.8%
Physics Frontiers Centers 5.00 10.50 110.0%
Mathematical Sciences Research Institutes 8.10 15.10 86.4%
Chemistry Centers 9.17 9.20 0.3%
Total, MPS $85.02 $96.37 13.3%

Totals may not add due to rounding.
1 FY 2001 is the final year of funding for the 1991 class of STCs. Funding in FY 2002 represents support for the cohort of STCs awarded in FY 2000.

Center-based research brings together scientists from diverse disciplines to work on complex problems, often in partnerships with other academic institutions, national laboratories, and industry. Centers are strongly committed to the integration of research and education, at levels from pre-college to postdoctoral, and they maintain sophisticated experimental facilities generally accessible to a broad range of users.

In FY 2002, MPS will support 2 Science and Technology Centers (STC), 29 Materials Science and Engineering Research Centers (MRSEC); 1 International Materials Institute; 12 Chemistry Centers; 4 Physics Frontier Centers (PFC); and 3 Mathematical Sciences Research Institutes (MSRI). In addition, several Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers (NS&E) to be established in FY 2001 will be supported in whole or in part by MPS.

MPS Centers integrate cutting-edge research with a broad spectrum of educational and outreach activities; they help to bring science and engineering to a wider audience and to foster international cooperation in research and education. For example, about 400 undergraduates participated in MRSEC-sponsored research during FY 2000; of these, about 150 were women and 100 were members of ethnic minorities underrepresented in science and engineering. To bring nanoscale science and engineering to pre-college students and the general public, the University of Wisconsin MRSEC has developed a web-based program "Exploring the Nanoworld" accompanied by hands-on demonstrations that illustrate nanoscale materials and characterization techniques.

In FY 2002, support for centers will include:

  • The 3 STCs supported by MPS are currently in the final year of a planned 2-year phase-out; MPS support for STCs will be reduced $5.19 million. Two additional STCs from the class of 2000 will be funded through MPS in FY 2002: The Center for Adaptive Optics (CfAO) at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the Center for Environmentally Responsible Solvents and Processes, involving the University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University, North Carolina A & T and the University of Texas at Austin. CfAO concentrates on astronomical and vision science applications of adaptive optics and reaches out to other adaptive optics communities to share technologies. The use of adaptive optics allows ground-based telescopes to see as clearly as if they were in space, and these techniques, when used to look at the retina of the human eye, dramatically sharpen images of the retina. The Center for Environmentally Responsible Solvents and Processes conducts research on the fundamental experimental and theoretical issues underlying the development of CO2 as an economically and environmentally viable solvent to replace aqueous and organic solvents in a large number of key processes in our Nation's manufacturing sector.

  • Up to three new Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSEC) and one International Materials Institute will be established through open competition for a total of $4.0 million. Phasing out existing Centers will generate these funds. The new Centers will undertake interdisciplinary materials research and education in critical areas such as nanoscale science and engineering, information technology research, and the interface between materials and biology. The Institute will foster interaction in materials research and education between U.S. and foreign investigators.

  • At least two additional Physics Frontier Centers (PFC) will be established in addition to the four started in FY 2001. Total support for PFCs will increase from $5.0 million to at least $10.5 million. These centers will serve as focal points to help catalyze new fields, with the resources and infrastructure to enable development of the new tools and techniques needed, and to facilitate exploration of new directions in a way that is not practical in individual investigator awards.

  • An increase of $7.0 million will establish up to 4 new interdisciplinary Mathematical Sciences Research Institutes (MSRI). The MSRIs address diverse challenges and opportunities facing the nation to which the mathematical sciences can contribute, and promote the integration of research and education.

  • An increase of $30,000 for approximately 12 Chemistry Centers in advanced molecular characterization. Chemistry Centers serve as national models and resources for excellence in collaborative environmental research and in dissemination of results for the solution or amelioration of environmental problems.


Tools have allowed a stunning view into nature that has captured the imagination of the world - from the far reaches of the universe and the beginnings of time to the fundamental makeup of matter and the workings of life. Investment in instrumentation has many other payoffs, with perhaps the most powerful relating to the training of the next generation of leaders in science. While instruments and their supporting infrastructure are becoming more costly and complex, the scientific problems of today involve phenomena at or just beyond the limits of current measurement capabilities. These phenomena can only be studied with new generations of powerful tools.

Continued advances and leadership in the physical sciences depend critically on the availability of state-of-the-art user facilities to enable research and education at the cutting edge of science for large communities of researchers and students. Investment in facilities necessarily requires support for ongoing operations, maintenance, and periodic upgrades to the core facility as well as to ancillary instrumentation that may be needed to provide continued forefront research opportunities to these users.

Research and development towards new capabilities at existing facilities and for new facilities to meet the needs of the MPS disciplines is carried out with support provided through core disciplinary research. Activities include: R&D towards next generation Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors; future accelerators at the energy frontier; enhanced neutron scattering capabilities at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS); high magnetic field capabilities at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL); and new capabilities at the national astronomy centers. In addition, MPS manages the U.S. Large Hadron Collider (LHC) detector construction project jointly with the Department of Energy. For additional information see the Major Research Equipment Account.

(Millions of Dollars)

  FY 2001 Estimate FY 2002 Estimate Percent Change
Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory 19.10 24.00 25.7%
Gemini Observatories 8.63 11.00 27.5%
Cornell Electron Storage Ring 19.50 19.50 0.0%
MSU National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory 10.78 12.85 19.2%
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory 20.00 23.50 17.5%
National Astronomy Centers 86.07 81.55 -5.3%
Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) 0.00 9.00 n/a
Other Facilities1 20.28 17.07 -15.8%
Research Resources2 26.47 23.12 -12.7%
Total Tools Support, MPS 210.83 221.59 5.1%

Totals may not add due to rounding.
1 Includes support for the Indiana University Cyclotron Facility, Wisconsin Synchrotron Radiation Center, Cornell High-Energy Synchrotron Source, NIST Neutron Scattering Facility, the National Nanofabrication Users Network, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the National High Field Mass Spectrometry Center and the Digital Library.
2 Includes instrumentation programs in Astronomy, Chemistry, Materials Research, Mathematics and Physics.

In FY 2002, support for Tools in MPS includes the following:

  • An increase of $4.90 million, to a total of $24.0 million, towards support of full operation of the two LIGO sites in Hanford, Washington and Livingston Parish, Louisiana. LIGO detector installation will be completed in FY 2001. The FY 2002 funds will provide for operations and research staff and for infrastructure as commissioning activities move into normal science running in FY 2002. Construction funding, provided through the Major Research Equipment account, was completed on time and on budget.

  • An increase of $2.37 million to a total of $11.0 million provides NSF's contribution for research at the Gemini Observatories to support research at the observatory sites as both telescopes come into full operation. The northern observatory on Mauna Kea began science operations in the summer of 2000. First light has been achieved at the southern site on Cerro Pachon in Chile. Science observations in Chile are scheduled to commence in August of 2001. Activities for Gemini in FY 2002 will also include development of advanced instrumentation and expansion of the public information and outreach effort to better serve all of the partner countries.

  • Funding is maintained at $19.50 million for the Cornell Electron Storage Ring (CESR). This includes support for effective operations of the facility, including its strong accelerator physics program, following completion of the CESR upgrade.

  • An increase of $2.07 million, to a total of $12.85 million, for Michigan State University's National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL). This increase reflects completion of construction of the radioactive ion beam upgrade project and a transition to full operations of this unique facility.

  • An increase of $3.50 million for operation of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL) for a total of $23.50 million. The NHMFL is operated by Florida State University, the University of Florida, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and is funded in partnership by NSF, DOE, and the State of Florida. The NHMFL provides world leadership in high magnetic field capability. This increment will strengthen support for user programs and facilities at the NHMFL, enabling the NHMFL to properly maintain and upgrade a unique set of continuous and pulsed-field magnets.

  • National Astronomy Centers: Funding for the operation of the three national astronomy centers is at a level of $81.55 million and provides continued support for enhanced levels of maintenance and facilities upgrades. These centers provide observing capability in the radio and optical/infrared regions of the spectrum for all scientists on the basis of scientific merit. The National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) maintains observing capabilities at optical/infrared wavelengths in both the northern and southern hemispheres. The Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) and the Very Large Array (VLA) of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) provide very high resolution radio images of celestial objects. NRAO's recently dedicated Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, a 100-meter diameter radio telescope of unparalled sensitivity, now complements these instruments. The recently upgraded 1000-meter radio telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, part of the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center (NAIC), is in full operation.

  • Funding for Phase I of the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) project, provided through the Major Research Equipment Account from FY 1998 through FY 2001, was completed in FY 2001. In FY 2002, MPS will maintain the established infrastructure at a level of $9.0 million for this project while consideration of the Phase II construction project continues. ALMA is an international project being undertaken in partnership with the European, Canadian and possibly Japanese communities. A correlated array of 64 12-meter diameter antennas, ALMA would be the world's most sensitive, high resolution millimeter wavelength telescope. The proposal to fund ALMA within the Research and Related Activities account is tentative pending the review of facilities management issues and the development of a plan to enhance the Foundation's management of large facilities. It may be determined that it is more appropriate to fund ALMA from within the Major Research Equipment account.

  • An increment of $1.00 million supports enhanced capabilities at the Center for High Resolution Neutron Scattering at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and at the Synchrotron Radiation Center at the University of Wisconsin.

  • A decrease of $4.0 million to a total of $2.5 million for support of the Indiana University Cyclotron Facility (IUCF) research and operations. The laboratory is operating under an agreement whereby its Cooler facility will complete a set of critical experiments in the study of few-nucleon systems, and then be phased out as other important science opportunities have arisen. Partial support for operations in FY 2002 will allow for orderly completion of the priority physics programs at IUCF, with full closure in FY 2003.

  • A decrease of $3.35 million for Research Resources, for a total of $23.12 million. Support includes shared instrumentation for university departments, new instrumentation development, and facility-related instrument development and operation.

Number of People Supported in MPS Activities

FY 2000
FY 2001
FY 2002
Senior Researchers 5,587 6,000 6,000
Other Professionals 976 1,000 1,000
Post-Doctorates 2,008 2,200 2,200
Graduate Students 5,903 6,500 6,500
Undergraduate Students 3,250 3,500 3,500
K-12 Students 628 690 690
K-12 Teachers 299 330 330
Total Number of People 18,651 20,220 20,220

Totals may not add due to rounding.

MPS Funding Profile

FY 2000 Actual FY 2001 Estimate FY 2002 Estimate
Number of Requests for Funding  8,688 9,400 10,000
Dollars Requested (in thousands)  $3,895,091 $4,200,000 $4,500,000
Total Number of Awards  4,597 4,900 4,900
Statistics for Competitive Awards    
2,036 2,200 2,200
  Funding Rate
39% 40% 38%
  Median Annualized Award Size
$76,808 $80,000 $82,000
 Average Annualized Award Size
$109,217 $115,000 $116,000
Average Award Duration, in
3.0 3.0 3.0

Statistics for award size and duration are for Research Grants only.

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