The National Science Foundation (NSF) building in Alexandria, VA

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.

D. Sunshine Hillygus, a professor of Political Science at Duke University and director of the Duke Initiative on Survey Methodology, is researching voter perspectives to figure out why people vote the way they do through studying voter surveys. Through the American National Election Studies (ANES), Hillygus and other researchers from across the U.S. are working with Facebook to investigate voter behavior.

NSF Funding Overview:

FY 21 Expenditures:  $33.5 million

Selected Research Currently Supported by NSF at Duke University

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.

The Duke Lemur Center through its living laboratory advances science, scholarship, and biological conservation through interdisciplinary research on lemurs.  Established in 1966, the Duke Lemur Center is home to the largest population of captive lemurs in the world.  The National Science Foundation provides roughly 12 percent in funding support for DLC, most notably through the NSF Collections in Support of Biological Research Living Stocks program.

Associate professor Kenneth Brown, along with Professor Jungsang Kim, are leading a seven-university $15 million NSF-sponsored effort to build the world’s first quantum computer.

Duke researchers have received six RAPID awards to study various aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes funding to help adapt a low-cost diagnostic tool to test for COVID antigens, track and model infection rates, healthcare worker resilience during the pandemic and the development of an inhaled polymetric countermeasure to help reduce infection rate.

The National Science Foundation seeks to engage undergraduates in research through its Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program. Duke is home to several REU sites, including one under the direction of Professors Makeba Wilbourn, Sarah Gaither and Gregory Samanez-Larkin that provides underrepresented students research opportunities in diverse areas of psychology.

NSF and the Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network (RTTN)