Subcommittee Reviews NSF Budget, Explores Ways to Improve Grant Approval Process

Apr 17, 2013

Washington, D.C. – The Subcommittees on Research today held a hearing to review the administration’s fiscal year 2014 budget request for the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Research Subcommittee Chairman Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.): “Our charge is to ensure the American taxpayer is getting value for their hard earned dollars that we spend on research through the NSF. Imagine the high-paying jobs that will result when today’s basic scientific discoveries turn into tomorrow’s marketable technologies. But for American science to succeed, we must make sure that the NSF remains focused on its scientific goals and missions.”

The NSF is the primary source of federal funding for non-medical basic research, funding a broad range of fields such as mathematics, computer science, and the social sciences. Fundamental investigations funded through NSF often serve as the foundation for progress in nationally significant areas such as national security, technology-driven economic growth, energy independence, health care, nanotechnology, and networking and information technology.

Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “The NSF has great potential to help American science flourish and thus contribute to our economy and the well-being of our country.  Our focus should be on how the federal government, including the NSF, can maximize the returns from taxpayer-funded research.”

Through over 11,700 competitive awards per year, NSF supports hundreds of thousands of scientists, engineers, educators and students.  NSF grants fund research proposals that have been judged to be the most promising through a merit-review process.  Members today asked how NSF’s merit-review process could be improved in order to ensure research initiatives benefit American taxpayers.

The FY14 budget request for NSF is $7.63 billion, an increase of 8.4 percent over the FY12 enacted level.

The following witnesses testified today:

The Honorable Cora Marrett, Acting Director, National Science Foundation
The Honorable Dan Arvizu, Chairman, National Science Board