A Senate spending panel wants the National Science Foundation (NSF) to triple its investment in training the next generation of cyber-security professionals. But pleading poverty, it's trimmed in half NSF's request to start building a National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON).
The commerce, justice, and science subcommittee that has jurisdiction over NSF released its report language today as its $60 billion spending bill was approved by the full Senate Appropriations Committee. NSF would receive all but $71 million of its $7.4 billion request—a 6.2% increase—for the 2001 fiscal year that begins on 1 October. Within NSF's two largest accounts, it sliced $51 million from a $6.02 billion request for research while preserving the $892 million for education. But the panel did some intriguing reshuffling within those parameters.
The biggest boost to NSF's request would be a tripling, to $45 million, of a $15 million scholarship program to train cyber-security professionals who work for the federal government. The panel said a 92% placement rate for graduates of the program, begun in 2001, warranted the large increase. The panel also specified that "not less than $20 million" of the increase be spent on those seeking graduate degrees in the field.