Doing Business With The National Science Foundation

Doing Business With The NSF<@VM>Vital Statistics<@VM>Things to Note<@VM>Number Crunching<@VM>IT Research Priorities<@VM>Work force priorities<@VM>Biocomplexity priorities

Linda Massaro

Linda Massaro, chief information officer; director of office of information and resource management

Took the job: October 1996

Web site:

Hometown: Portsmouth, Va.

Home now: Arlington, Va.

Family: Single

Hobbies: Running, playing with the computer

Currently reading: "Science, Money and Politics: Political Triumph and Ethical Erosion," by Daniel Greenberg

Alma mater: Bachelor of science degree in physics and mathematics from the University of Richmond; master of science degree in engineering management from George Washington University. Also a graduate of the National Defense University.

Massaro's office provides the National Science Foundation with information systems, human resource management and general administrative and logistic support functions.

What do you look for in companies that do business with NSF?

A great deal of [this office's work] is contracting for program management. This office contracts for much of the support services, including development work. We look for people that do good work at a very reasonable price.

What gets your attention with a contractor?

If you have a contractor that is providing a support service, and its customers call you to tell you what great service they got, that is nice to hear.

What are your biggest contractor gripes?

When you have two [contractors] and something goes wrong, and they point the finger at each other.

What business do you have on your plate at the moment?

We are in the process of finishing up the eGrants process, and we've completed all the external pieces that allow people to submit electronically. We're looking for a seamless, internal grants processing suite of programs.National Science Foundation

4201 Wilson Blvd.

Arlington, Va. 22230

(703) 292-5111

Founded: 1950

Director: Rita Colwell

Employees: 1,204

What it does: NSF is an independent federal agency. It promotes progress in science and engineering research and education. It awards grants and fellowships for study at all education levels, and sponsors exchanges with other nations for the advancement of science. It has 11 program areas, including computer and information sciences.

Major subagencies: The National Science Board governs the NSF. It has 24 part-time members and a director. Each is appointed by the president and approved by the Senate. It also acts as the national science policy adviser to the president and Congress. The board meets five times a year. NSF has a proposed 5 percent boost in its 2003 funding, reflecting its trend of steady cash growth. In its 2003 budget explanation, the White House noted that lawmakers wondered if NSF has enough resources "to manage its growing portfolio and conduct adequate oversight of its awards." Ninety-five percent of NSF's budget goes to researchers and educators. The funding increase is intended to expand award oversight through various means, including information technology.

The budget includes $97 million in H-1B visa programs.

NSF accounts for about 4 percent of the total federal budget for research and development, yet about one-fourth of all federal support for basic research at academic institutions.

NSF's Web site makes so much sense. It is packed with information that is easy to find. This is important for an agency whose business is giving out money. In a few quick, logical steps, you can find "NSF Contracting Opportunities." Go to "About NSF," get the pull-down menu and go to "General Info." Under "Funding," you will find everything you need to know about getting grants from NSF.

 $4.4 billion$4.6 billion$5 billion

NSF 2003 budget request
Research$3.6B$3.8B5.1 percent
Education/HR$875M$908M3.8 percent
Equipment construction$139M$126M-9 percent
Salaries expenses$176M$210M19.1 percent
Inspector general$7M$8M14.5 percent
Total$4.8B$5B5 percent
*planned   **requested

NSF priority areas
Nanoscale science and engineering$199M$221M11 percent
IT research$278M$286M3 percent
Mathematical sciences$30M$60M100 percent
Biocomplexity$58M$79M36 percent
Learning for 21st century work force$145M$185M27 percent
*planned **requested
Source: NSF
Large-scale networking

High-end computation

Building safer, more reliable information and communications systems

Integrating cutting-edge IT research into the classroom

Creation of digital library collections? Funding three to four new Science of Learning Centers

? Gain a better understanding of:

    How we learn

    How we remember

    How to best use IT to promote learning
Two new emphasis areas in 2003

Microbial genome sequencing

Ecology of infectious diseases

Research on the interplay of physical, human and other biological systems

Emphasis on new molecular, bioinformation and computational technologies and methods

Source: NSF

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