The National Science Foundation (NSF) was created by the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended (P.L.81-507). The NSF has the broad mission of supporting science and engineering in general and funding basic research across many disciplines. The agency provides support for investigator-initiated, merit-reviewed, competitively selected awards, state-of-the-art tools, and instrumentation and facilities. The majority of the research supported by the NSF is conducted at U.S. colleges and universities. The Administration's FY2013 budget request for NSF is $7,373.1 million, 4.8% above the FY2012 estimated level of $7,033.1 million.
The majority of the research supported by the NSF is conducted at U.S. colleges and universities. Approximately 82.7% ($3,094.8 million) of NSF's FY2006 $3,740.6 million research and development (R&D) budget was awarded to U.S. colleges and universities. On September 30, 2008, the President signed into law the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009 (P.L. 110-329, H.R. 2638). The act includes, among other things, three of the 12 regular appropriations acts for FY2009. The Continuing Appropriations Act funds the NSF until passage of the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Appropriations bill or until March 6, 2009, whichever occurs first. P.L. 110-329 funds the NSF at the FY2008 level.