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2009 Looking Sweet for the National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation would get a 6.7% increase, to $6.49 billion. Although that's half of its overall requested boost for this year, it comes on top of a $3 billion bolus of stimulus money that NSF hopes to spend as quickly as possible. The agency's six research directorates would grow by $362 million over current levels, to $5.18 billion, compared to the $772 million increase that NSF had sought. Its education directorate would jump by $58 million, to $845 million; that's $55 million more than NSF had requested in 2009.

For the second year in a row, Congress singled out the Robert Noyce Scholarship program, which aims to turn undergraduates into science and math teachers. After adding $40 million at the last minute to the program's FY2008 budget of $11 million, it repeated the favor this year, adding $43 million. A program to help researchers in states that struggle to win NSF grants would grow by $20 million, to $133 million. Congress also ordered NSF to fund a $10 million climate change education program and $3 million mathematics research institute.

(Several figures in this item have been corrected)