U.S. National Science Foundation


The National Science Foundation (NSF) is a United States government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. Its medical counterpart is the National Institutes of Health. With an annual budget of about US$7.0 billion (fiscal year 2012), the NSF funds approximately 20% of all federally supported basic research conducted by the United States’ colleges and universities.In some fields, such as mathematics, computer science, economics and the social sciences, the NSF is the major source of federal backing.

The NSF’s director, deputy director, and the 24 members of the National Science Board (NSB)are appointed by the President of the United States, and confirmed by the United States Senate. The director and deputy director are responsible for administration, planning, budgeting and day-to-day operations of the foundation, while the NSB meets six times a year to establish its overall policies.

U.S. National Institutes of Health


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is a biomedical research facility primarily located in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. An agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, it is the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and health-related research. The NIH both conducts its own scientific research through its Intramural Research Program (IRP) and provides major biomedical research funding to non-NIH research facilities through its Extramural Research Program. With 1,200 principal investigators and more than 4,000 postdoctoral fellows in basic, translational, and clinical research, the IRP is the largest biomedical research institution on Earth, while, as of 2003, the extramural arm provided 28% of biomedical research funding spent annually in the US, or about US$26.4 billion.

The NIH comprises 27 separate institutes and centers that conduct research in different disciplines of biomedical science. The IRP is responsible for many scientific accomplishments, including the discovery of fluoride to prevent tooth decay, the use of lithium to manage bipolar disorder, and the creation of vaccines against hepatitis, Haemophilus influenzae (HIB) and human papillomavirus.

U.S. Department of Defense


The Department of Defense (Defense Department, USDOD, DOD, DoD or the Pentagon) is the executive department of the government of the United States charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government concerned directly with national security and the United States Armed Forces. The Department is also the largest employer in the world,with more than 2.13 million active duty soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, and civilian workers, and over 1.1 million National Guardsmen and members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Reserves. The grand total is just over 3.2 million servicemen, servicewomen, and civilians.

The Department – headed by the Secretary of Defense – has three subordinate military departments: the U.S. Department of the Army, the U.S. Department of the Navy, and the U.S. Department of the Air Force which oversee the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and the U.S. Air Force. In addition, four national intelligence services are subordinate to DOD – the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Other Defense Agencies include Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), and the Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA), all of which are under the command of the Secretary of Defense. DOD’s military operations are managed by nine regional or functional Unified Combatant Commands. DOD also operates several joint services schools, including the National Defense University (NDU) and the National War College (NWC).

The Department is allocated the highest level of budgetary resources among all Federal agencies, and this amounts to more than one-half of the annual Federal discretionary budget.

U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation’s civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 with a distinctly civilian (rather than military) orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science. The National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed on July 29, 1958, disestablishing NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency became operational on October 1, 1958.

Since that time, most U.S. space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo moon-landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, the Space Launch System and Commercial Crew vehicles. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program (LSP) which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches.

NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System, advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate’s Heliophysics Research Program, exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic missions such as New Horizons,and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories and associated programs. NASA shares data with various national and international organizations such as from the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite

U.S. Department of Education


The United States Department of Education (ED or DoED), also referred to as the ED for (the) Education Department, is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government. Recreated by the Department of Education Organization Act (Public Law 96-88) and signed into law by President Jimmy Carter on October 17, 1979, it began operating on May 4, 1980.

The Department of Education Organization Act divided the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare into the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services. The Department of Education is administered by the United States Secretary of Education. It is by far the smallest Cabinet-level department, with about 5,000 employees.


U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology

NIST logo.svg

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), known between 1901 and 1988 as the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), is a measurement standards laboratory, also known as a National Metrological Institute (NMI), which is a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce. The institute’s official mission is to: Promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.

NIST had an operating budget for fiscal year 2007 (October 1, 2006-September 30, 2007) of about $843.3 million. NIST’s 2009 budget was $992 million, and it also received $610 million as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. NIST employs about 2,900 scientists, engineers, technicians, and support and administrative personnel. About 1,800 NIST associates (guest researchers and engineers from American companies and foreign countries) complement the staff. In addition, NIST partners with 1,400 manufacturing specialists and staff at nearly 350 affiliated centers around the country. NIST publishes the Handbook 44 that provides the “Specifications, tolerances, and other technical requirements for weighing and measuring devices”.


U.S. Department of Energy


The United States Department of Energy (DOE) is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government concerned with the United States’ policies regarding energy and safety in handling nuclear material. Its responsibilities include the nation’s nuclear weapons program, nuclear reactor production for the United States Navy, energy conservation, energy-related research, radioactive waste disposal, and domestic energy production. It also directs research in genomics; the Human Genome Project originated in a DOE initiative. DOE sponsors more research in the physical sciences than any other U.S. federal agency, the majority of which is conducted through its system of National Laboratories.

The agency is administered by the United States Secretary of Energy, and its headquarters are located in southwest Washington, D.C., on Independence Avenue in the James V. Forrestal Building, named for James Forrestal, as well as in Germantown, Maryland.

U.S. Department of Commerce

US-DeptOfCommerce-Seal.svgThe United States Department of Commerce (DOC) is the Cabinet department of the United States government concerned with promoting economic growth. The mission of the department is to “promote job creation and improved living standards for all Americans by creating an infrastructure that promotes economic growth, technological competitiveness, and sustainable development”. Among its tasks are gathering economic and demographic data for business and government decision-making, issuing patents and trademarks, and helping to set industrial standards. The Department of Commerce headquarters is the Herbert C. Hoover Building in Washington, D.C.

National Institute of Justice

National Institute of Justice logo.pngThe National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the research, development and evaluation agency of the United States Department of Justice. NIJ, along with the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), and other program offices, comprise the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) branch of the Department of Justice.

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