This article is published in the June 2017 issue.

The President’s FY2018 Budget Request for CISE

Budget coverOn May 23, 2017, President Trump delivered his Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Budget Request to Congress. The Request proposes $6.6 billion for NSF (a decrease of 11.1% from the actual FY 2016 NSF budget), including a proposal of $839 million for the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE; a decrease of 10.3% from the actual FY 2016 budget).  The President’s FY 2018 Budget Request for NSF can be found at <>.

The submission of the President’s Budget Request to Congress is just the beginning of the FY 2018 budget process.  As many of you know, the President proposes a budget, while Congress ultimately appropriates funds.  The next phase of the FY 2018 budget will include conversations with Congressional members as they push forward through subsequent phases of the budget process, ensuring that the many different public policy and competing resource demands are carefully considered and balanced.

The FY 2018 Budget Request for CISE is shaped by the belief that, despite constrained funding, it is critical that CISE sustain investments in fundamental research, education, and research infrastructure, including in cross-cutting activities led by CISE that support national priorities.  These principles are reflected in the budget request in the following ways:

Investments in CISE’s core research programs are maintained.  Core investments push forward the fundamental knowledge base of our discipline and build a foundation to support a thriving information technology innovation ecosystem. These investments also support the researchers who are at the heart of our community.

Commitments to national priorities continue.  CISE continues to lead programs that support national priorities, such as Critical Techniques, Technologies, and Methodologies for Advancing Foundations and Applications of Big Data Sciences and Engineering (BIGDATA); Computer Science for All (CSforAll); Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS); the National Robotics Initiative 2.0 (NRI):  Ubiquitous Collaborative Robots; the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI); Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR); and Smart & Connected Communities (S&CC).  Some emerging opportunities demand new investments, even in the face of constrained budgets.  For example, the FY 2018 Budget Request includes increases in support of CISE’s leadership of S&CC; NSCI; the Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR) Big Idea, including the Transdisciplinary Research in Principles of Data Science (TRIPODS); and CS+X, furthering undergraduate education at the intersection of computer science and other disciplines.

Investments across the breadth of the research cyberinfrastructure ecosystem continue.  The Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (OAC) continues its broad and critical investments in high-performance computing (e.g., Towards a New Leadership-Class Computing Facility), high-performance networking research infrastructure and security [e.g., through Campus Cyberinfrastructure (CC*) and Cybersecurity Innovation for Cyberinfrastructure (CICI)], software [e.g., through Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (SI2)], data [e.g., through Data Infrastructure Building Blocks (DIBBs)], and workforce [e.g., through Training-based Workforce Development for Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (CyberTraining) program].

Partnerships are enduring. CISE remains committed to building and nurturing partnerships with industry, with other agencies, and internationally to address research challenges, leverage resources and build capacity.

Some cross-cutting programs in research areas supported by other programs are reduced.  Cross-cutting programs often help to jumpstart research that eventually becomes part of core research or other programs.  For example, CISE’s focused investments in Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems (INFEWS) and Risk and Resilience (R&R) will be reduced; CISE will continue to support related research through investments in other areas including CPS and S&CC.

CISE will also continue to participate in seeding NSF’s “Big Ideas.” The CISE community has a crucial role in these bold, long-term research ideas that will advance the frontiers of science and engineering. In addition to our role in the HDR Big Idea, CISE research advances are also particularly vital to Work at the Human Technology Frontier (W-HTF); Quantum Leap; Navigating the New Arctic; Rules of Life; and Convergence. The CISE community will also have opportunities in other Big Ideas, including Mid-scale Research Infrastructure and NSF Inclusion across the Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES).

Investments in CISE research, education, and research infrastructure have returned exceptional dividends to our Nation – driving economic growth and competitiveness.  In constrained budget times like these, it’s crucial for us to come together as a community, continuing our mission and work.  Together, we can ensure that our work continues to profoundly impact the world in which we live.  We invite you to work with us to grow the knowledge base and the future generation to catalyze innovations that will further transform our society in the decades ahead.