The National Science Foundation (MSF) was established in 1950 as an Independent Agency of the Federal Government with the broad mission to promote and advance scientific progress in the U.S. This is accomplished primarily by supporting research and education in all disciplines of the natural and social sciences, mathematics, and engineering. Support is provided principally in the form of grants awarded on a competitive basis under a rigorous peer review process; NSF does not conduct research itself. In 1992, NSF defined a project eligible for support as bioengineering research as one “...with diagnosis or treatment-related goals, that applies engineering principles to problems in biology and medicine while advancing engineering knowledge is eligible for support. Bioengineering research to aid persons with disabilities is also eligible”.1 Bioengineering at NSF has two defined programs: 1 - “Biochemical Engineering”, and 2 - a two-component activity “Biomedical Engineering” (BME) and “Research to Aid Persons with Disabilities” (RAPD). Undergraduate and Graduate Design Projects is part of the RAPD component of the program.

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