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Funding and Support Descriptions

Where It Comes From

FY 2015 Appropriations by Account ($7,344 million)

  • 81% - Research and Related Activities (R&RA), $5,934 million
  • 12% - Education and Human Resources (EHR), $866 million
  • 4% - Agency Operations and Award Management (AOAM), $325 million
  • 3% - Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC), $201 million
  • <1% - Office of Inspector General (OIG), $14 million
  • <1% - National Science Board (NSB), $ 4 million

Where It Goes - Institutions Funded by NSF

FY 2015 Obligations for Research and Education Programs ($7,073 million)

  • 78% - Colleges, Universities and Academic Consortia, $5,501 million
  • 14% - Private Industry (includes small businesses), $959 million
  • 3% - Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, $216 million
  • 6% - Other (includes federal, state and local governments; nonprofit organizations; and international organizations), $397 million

How It Gets There - NSF Award Mechanisms

FY 2015 Obligations for Research and Education Programs ($7,073 million)

  • 74% - Grants, $5,253 million
  • 21% - Cooperative Agreements, $1,475 million
  • 5% - Contracts, $345 million

How It Is Spent

Number of NSF Competitive Proposals, New Awards, and Funding Rates

FY 2011 FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014 FY 2015
Competitive Proposals 51,577 48,623 49,014 48,074 49,635
New Awards 11,207 11,534 10,844 10,981 12,106
Funding Rate (%) 22% 24% 22% 23% 24%

NSF Support of Academic Basic Research in Selected Fields (as a percentage of total federal support)

  • 82% - Computer Science
  • 68% - Biology
  • 67% - Social Sciences
  • 61% - Mathematics
  • 59% - Environmental Sciences
  • 41% - Engineering
  • 40% - Physical Sciences
  • 24% - All Science and Engineering Fields

Note: Biology includes Biological Sciences and Environmental Biology; excludes National Institutes of Health;