National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is the U.S. government agency responsible for promoting science and engineering through research programs and education projects. NSF provides support for all fields of fundamental science and engineering and is tasked with keeping the United States at the leading edge of discovery in areas from astronomy to geology to zoology.

Funding Overview:

Research Awards FY16: $36,279176


Select Projects:

Project: Human-Computer Interactions - Drones
Researcher: Missy Cummings, Associate Professor, Duke University Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, the Duke Institute of Brain Sciences, and the Duke Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
Funding Source: Department of Defense
Site: Humans and Autonomy Lab
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Vincent Conitzer

Project: Game Theory
Researcher: Vincent Conitzer, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Economics
Vincent Conitzer's Website

Duke Professor Vincent Conitzer has received a CAREER award – a program that includes NSF’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research – for his scholarship on issues in the intersection of computer science and economics. Conitzer and his students will study computational aspects of game theory, in particular when one of the players has a commitment advantage.  Some of this research can be used to directly apply game theory to domains such as airport security.

Mark Wiesner

Project: Environmental Nanotechnology and Its Implications
Researcher: Mark Wiesner, James L. Meriam Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Site: Wiesner Research Group and Center for the Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology

Duke University is home to the NSF-EPA sponsored Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology.  CEINT explores the effects of nanomaterials on the environment and develops risk assessment models to provide guidance in assessing existing and future concerns surrounding the environmental implications of nanomaterials. Dr. Mark Wiesner is the director of CEINT and is leading research into the relationship between a vast array of nanomaterials and their potential environmental exposure, biological effects, and ecological consequences.

Judith Kelley

Project: International Election Monitoring
Researcher: Judith Kelley, Kevin D. Gorter Associate Professor of Public Policy and Associate Professor of Political Science
Site: Project on International Election Monitoring
Read More: International Election Monitoring: Why it Works and When it Fails

Sanford School of Public Policy Professor Judith Kelley spent six years pursuing answers to questions about foreign election monitors, questions like, why do some countries invite election monitoring organizations, when candidates clearly intend to cheat? Are foreign election monitors accurate and objective? Most important, do they improve the quality of elections?  Kelley’s work culminated in the publication of her book, Monitoring Democracy: When International Election Observation Works, and Why It Often Fails (Princeton University Press, March 2012).

Research Centers:

Duke University is also home to several NSF-funded research centers. These centers support innovative research and education projects that feature interdisciplinary partnerships among academic institutions, national laboratories, industrial organizations, and/or other public/private entities.

Research Center:
The Triangle Materials Research Science and Engineering Center

The Triangle Materials Research Science and Engineering Center is an NSF-funded national resource for soft matter science and engineering research and education.  It seeks to push the frontiers of materials research by exploring, harnessing and exploiting the dynamic properties and processes related to multicomponent particulate and macromolecular assemblies.

Research Center:
National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent)

The National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) supports cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary research in evolutionary biology.  The Center promotes the synthesis of information, concepts and knowledge to address significant, emerging or novel questions in evolutionary science and its application.

Research Center:

TechXcite, a national engineering after-school program sponsored by the National Science Foundation, is a partnership between the Duke University Pratt School of Engineering, National and North Carolina 4-H, and the National Science and Technology Education Partnership.  The TechXcite curriculum offers vibrant exploration of engineering, mathematics, science and technology and is centered on seven themes:  biomedical engineering and technology, wireless communication, solar energy, transportation, architecture, digital imaging, and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)/Global Positioning Systems (GPS).