On Saturday, the U.S. Senate passed the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act. This bill authorizes programs at the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Office of Science and Technology Policy. These programs include federal science, development and STEM programs. Below is a summary of sections of note:
Title I: Maximizing investments in basic research
Sec. 101. Reaffirms merit-based peer review.
Reaffirms that NSF’s merit-based review process for grant applications is the appropriate process to ensure funded projects are of national interest.
Sec. 102. Transparency and accountability.
Directs the NSF to periodically update on transparency and accountability of the merit review process. Requires that all projects reflect the NSF mission and are clearly written in a nontechnical manner to ensure the public notice of a grant award justifies the use of federal funds.
Sec. 114. Coordination of sustainable chemistry research and development.
States the importance of sustainable chemistry research and directs the NSF to continue the Sustainable Chemistry Basic Research program.
Sec. 115. Misrepresentation of research results.
Ensures that any NSF-funded research that is published in a peer-reviewed journal, made publicly available or included on a grant application is free of falsifications, fabrications and plagiarism.
Sec. 116. Research reproducibility and replication.
The National Research Council will assess research data reproducibility and make recommendations for improving transparency in scientific research.
Title II: Administrative burdens and regulatory reductions
Sec. 201. Academic research regulation working group.
Establishes an interagency working group at the Office of Management and Budget to explore uniform grant proposals and uniform financial disclosures, produce an investigator repository and review regulations on research progress reports.
Sec. 208. International Science and Technology Cooperation Act of 2016.
Identifies and coordinates international science and technology cooperation to strengthen the U.S. science and technology enterprise and support U.S. foreign-policy goals.
Title III: STEM education
Sec. 305. Grant programs to broaden participation in STEM.
The NSF will award grants, fund workshops, initiate mentoring programs, create internships and provide outreach to improve the participation in STEM by women and underrepresented minority groups.
Sec. 309. Improving undergraduate STEM experience.
Improve federal investments in undergraduate research opportunities to promote growth of the STEM workforce.
Now, the legislation has been sent to the House for consideration after the December recess.
For full text of The American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, click here.