Status Report

AIP FYI #103: House Appropriations Report Language on National Science Foundation

By SpaceRef Editor
July 31, 2003
Filed under , ,

The House Appropriations Committee has completed its work on the VA,
HUD, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Bill for FY 2004.
Accompanying this bill, which has been sent to the full House for
action following its return in September, is a report containing
the recommendations of the committee. See FYI #93 for additional
information on funding levels and percentage increases over the
current year. The following are selections from this report
(108-235) pertaining to the National Science Foundation:

“Established in 1950, the National Science Foundation’s primary
purpose was to develop a national policy on science, and support and
promote basic research and education in the sciences filling the
void left after World War II. The Committee is committed to keeping
the Foundation’s current activities true to the founding purpose of
supporting basic science.”

The report provides funding levels for various programs, first
warning that “no changes may be made to any account or program
element if it is construed to be policy or a change in policy. Any
activity or program cited in this report shall be construed as the
position of the Committee and should not be subject to reductions or
reprogramming without prior approval of the Committee.”


The report recommends the following FY 2004 directorate funding

Mathematical & Physical Sciences: Provided $1,107,745,000. Request
was $1,061,270,000.

Engineering: Provided $560,067,000. Request was $536,570,000.

Geosciences: Provided $718,045,000. Request was $687,929,000.

Polar Programs: Provided $355,000,000. Request was $329,930,000.

Under Research and Related Activities, the committee stated:

“Except as specifically noted herein, in allocating the increases
provided by the Committee, the Foundation should give the highest
priority to increasing research opportunities for investigator
initiated research in the core scientific disciplines. Should the
NSF find it necessary to pursue funds for ’emergency’ research needs
at any time during the fiscal year, the Committee will make every
effort to respond to appropriate reprogramming requests as quickly
as possible.

“Within the funds made available for the Mathematical and Physical
Sciences directorate, the Committee directs the NSF to use not less
than $8,000,000 million for planning and design activities for the
Rare Symmetry Violating Processes program in an effort to accelerate
the construction phase of this program.

“From within the Engineering, Mathematical and Physical Sciences,
and Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorates
and the National Nanotechnology Initiative, the Committee is
concerned that researchers are reaching the physical limits of
current complementary metal oxide semiconductor process technology
and that this will have significant implications for continued
productivity growth in the information economy. The Committee
encourages NSF to examine the challenges and timelines outlined in
the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors and, where
feasible, increase research support in this area accordingly.

“While the National Institutes of Health has principal
responsibility for research involving human health and disease, NSF
has historically played a critical role in funding long range basic
research and technology development which have been critical to
NIH’s more focused mission. NSF’s work on the basic chemical
processes which made possible the mapping of the human genome is
perhaps the best known example of this extraordinarily important
collaboration. The Committee believes that the future of scientific
advancement in both the physical sciences and the life sciences will
increasingly rely on such collaborations and urges the NSF to work
aggressively with NIH to determine how this research can be
strengthened. The Committee has recently asked the NIH to convene a
conference of all the stakeholder agencies within the Federal
government whose missions involve the conduct or support of research
at the scientific interface between the life sciences and the
physical sciences. NSF is encouraged to play a leading role in this
conference, which will hopefully occur during 2003. The Director
should be prepared to testify to the Committee at NSF’s
appropriations hearings on the 2005 budget on the results of this
conference as they relate to NSF and on any changes in resource
allocations or management systems within NSF which would strengthen
this critical area of research.”


The committee report made funding recommendations for several large
facilities of interest to the physics community:

Atacama Large Millimeter Array: Provided the request of $50,840,000.

EarthScope : Provided $43,530,000. Request was $45,000,000.

IceCube Neutrino Detector Observatory: Provided $42,000,000.

Request was $60,000,000.

George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation:
Provided the request of $8,000,000.

South Pole Station: Provided the request of $960,000.

Terascale Computing Systems: Provided $10,000,000. There was no
request for funding.

National Ecological Observatory Network: Provided the request of

Integrated Ocean Drilling Program: Provided $25,000,000. There was
no request for funding.

The committee report stated:

“In 2003, the Committee provided funds in addition to the budget
request in order to complete or accelerate construction of two NSF
projects: $25,360,000 for completion of the HIAPER project and
$24,700,000 to accelerate the IceCube Neutrino Detector Observatory.
Consequently, the Committee recommendation has taken the 2003
funding levels into consideration and adjustments were taken

“The Committee recommends $10,000,000 for the Terascale Computing
Systems and $960,000 for the South Pole Station in 2004, the final
year of funding for both of these projects.

“The Committee’s recommendation includes $12,000,000 for a
demonstration of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON)
project as requested in the budget submission. The Committee
cautions NSF that this funding is provided purely for two prototype
sites to determine the scientific requirements and optimum
configuration of the network. Further, before NSF deploys the two
prototype stations and formulates future budget requests for this
project, NSF must identify and quantify other Federal funding and
observatory networks in order to avoid redundancy of Federal
research dollars and reduce the overall cost of the NEON project.
The Committee directs NSF to provide a preliminary report to the
Committee no later than 18 months from the enactment of this
legislation and a final report no later than 24 months after
enactment. The Committee will not entertain further budget requests
for NEON until the final report is submitted to the Committees on

“The Committee recommends $25,000,000 to start the construction
phase of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) in 2004
instead of 2005.

“The Committee recommends funding for the preliminary planning and
design phase of the RSVP program under the ‘Research and related
activities’ account.”


The committee report offered relatively brief comments on some of
the foundation’s education programs, and made the following funding

Math and Science Partnerships: Provided $140,000.000. Request was

EPSCoR: Provided $90,000,000. Request was $75,000,000.

Elementary, Secondary and Informal Education: Provided
$204,450,000. Request was $194,450,000.

Undergraduate Education: Provided $146,440,000. Request was

Graduate Education: Provided the request of $156,880,000.

Human Resource Development: Provided $106,710,000. Request was

Research, Evaluation and Communication: Provided the request of

The report states: “The Committee recommends $140,000,000 for the
Math and Science Partnerships, while a decrease from the budget
request, the funding level represents a $12,500,000 increase over
the current year funding level.”

Richard M. Jones

Media and Government Relations Division

The American Institute of Physics

(301) 209-3094

SpaceRef staff editor.