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National Science Foundation (NSF) Awards

  • Number of records: 453,687
  • Years covered: 1952-2010


The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds research and education in science and engineering. It does this through grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements to more than 2,000 colleges, universities, and other research and/or education institutions in all parts of the United States. NSF accounts for about 20 percent of federal support to academic institutions for basic research.

Each year, NSF receives approximately 30,000 new or renewal support proposals for research, graduate and postdoctoral fellowships, and math/science/engineering education projects and it makes approximately 9,000 new awards. These typically go to universities, colleges, academic consortia, nonprofit institutions, and small businesses.

NSF organizations comprise:

  • Office of the Director
  • National Science Board
  • Office of the Inspector General
  • Directorate for Biological Sciences
  • Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering
  • Directorate for Education & Human Resources
  • Directorate for Engineering
  • Directorate for Geosciences
  • Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences
  • Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences
  • Office of Budget, Finance, and Award Management
  • Office of Information & Resource Management


The current SDB NSF data was requested via FOIR from NSF. It includes active, expired, and historical awards for 1952 to April 2010. You also can search the awards via the NSF Award Search. A procedure for automatic retrieval of new award information was put in place at this time. Through the NSF interface, results may be downloaded in sets of 1000 records, in Excel, XML or CSV format. Full records go back as far as 1950s. Less complete records from 1952-1975, which are deemed 'historical', are also available through this search mechanism.

Data Fields

The SDB NSF data dictionary is here. It will change in the SDB Release v0.9 to capture grants/publications linkage information.


The SDB NSF database is current through April 2010. SDB search results differ slightly from those obtained using NSF award search interface due to partial coverage of 2010 data and different database schema and search algorithm. Award_Effect_Date is used as publication year.


We would like to thank Hui Wang at NSF for compiling the data dump in April 2010.


NSF Budget Internet Information System provides general statistics of NSF funding.

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