NSF : Top five factors about the chief funding US agency
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an American government agency that funds research in all the non-medical areas of science and engineering. Established as an independent federal agency in 1950, the NSF receives 40,000 research proposals from agencies, universities and individuals, out of which it funds 11,000 proposals every year. It has an annual budge of US $ 7 billion. There are five amazing things about NSF, which must encourage students studying in the US:
1. Has funded Nobel Prize laureates
It is notable that NSF has supported at least 212 Nobel laureates directly or indirectly over the years. For instance, the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded jointly to James E. Rothman of Yale University, Randy W. Schekman of the University of California, Berkeley, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Thomas C. Südhof of Stanford University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Rothman and Schekman have received NSF support.
2. US universities get NSF grants all the time
During the financial year 2012, as many as 41 US universities received NSF grants to its departments, professors and research fellows. The Foundation also supports cooperative research between universities and industry, US participation in international scientific and engineering efforts, and educational activities at every academic level. University of Illionois, Urbana Champaign received $218,699; Washington University got $114,784 and Cornell University New York received $113,422 in the same year. This opens up ample opportunities for students to become part of ground-breaking research.
3. Funds a wide range of research areas
NSF funds a wide range of research in areas such as Biological Sciences; Computer and Information Science and Engineering; Education and Human Resources; Engineering; Environmental Research; Geo Sciences; Mathematical and physical sciences; Social, behavioral and Economic Sciences. NSF's contributions reflect its focus on fundamental research. NSF's share of federal funding for basic academic research in physical sciences (including physics and chemistry) is 40 percent, non-health-related biology is 66 percent and social sciences is 52 percent.
4. Indians receive NSF grants
Since NSF consciously awards grants as part of Graduate Research Fellowship and Small Business Innovative Research Programs, many Indian professors teaching at US universities and Indian students get a chance to not only win the grant but also work as research fellows and get experience. Instances- Jaydev Desai and his colleagues from the University of Maryland, Baltimore have won a new $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue developing a small robot that could one day aid neurosurgeons in removing difficult-to-reach brain tumors.An associate professor at UtahState University KoushikChakraborty, recently received $370,000 NSF grant for Employing Design Automation to Build Foundations for Holistic Multicore Design.
5. It’s a fair agency encouraging research
NSF maintains a high level of transparency when it comes to applying for research grants. It is always on the look-out for the most promising and socially constructive research proposals and is very particular about selection on the basis of the merit of the research idea. As a result, often non-Americans like Chinese, Indians, Japanese professors and students get a fair chance of winning grants.