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NSF Creation and Mission
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent agency of the U.S. Government, established by the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended, and related legislation, 42 U.S.C. 1861 et seq., and was given additional authority by the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act (42 U.S.C. 1885), and Title I of the Education for Economic Security Act (20 U.S.C. 3911 to 3922).

NSF Factsheet
Congress established the National Science Foundation (NSF) with the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity and welfare; and to secure the national defense." With an annual budget of about $5.58 billion (fiscal year 2004), NSF funds the people, ideas and tools to boost U.S. leadership in all aspects of science, mathematics and engineering research and education. In contrast, other federal agencies support research focused on specific missions, such as health, energy or defense.

GPRA Strategic Plan, FY 2003-2008
NSF investments – in people, in their ideas, and in the tools they use - will catalyze the strong progress in science and engineering needed to establish world leadership and secure the Nation’s security, prosperity, and well-being.

FY 2005 Budget Summary
Knowledge and innovation are powerful forces for progress in the lives of people and nations. The leadership of the United States and its unsurpassed standard of living rest on the solid foundation of achievement in science and engineering. Investments in fundamental research and education have supported decades of U.S. global leadership in discovery, learning and innovation. The National Science Foundation requests $5.745 billion in FY 2005 to ensure that U.S. science and engineering capabilities and skills remain world class. These investments will enhance discovery and accelerate the country to greater economic and social prosperity.


National Science Foundation
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