The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense..." NSF is vital because we support basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future. This type of support:
Is a primary driver of the U.S. economy.
Enhances the nation's security.
Advances knowledge to sustain global leadership.
With an annual budget of $8.3 billion (FY 2020), we are the funding source for approximately 24 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America's colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing.