The National Science Foundation
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.”
With an annual budget of $7.3 billion (FY 2015), the NSF is 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, the NSF is the major source of federal backing. In the past few decades, NSF-funded researchers have won 214 Nobel Prizes as well as numerous other honors.