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 supports basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future. It is a primary driver of the U.S. economy, it enhances the nation’s security and advances knowledge to sustain global leadership. NSF has an annual budget of more than $7.5 billion (FY 2017) and is the funding source for approximately 24 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities.
The Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE), within the Directorate for Education and Human Resources at NSF, has as its mission to promote excellence in undergraduate STEM education for all students. It seeks to accomplish its mission by providing leadership, supporting curriculum development, preparing the workforce, and fostering connections. Its programs constitute a comprehensive approach to strengthening STEM education at two- and four-year colleges and universities by improving curricula, instruction, laboratories, infrastructure, assessment, diversity of students and faculty, and collaborations.