What we’re watching in 2014: Peer review legislation

The last year was a difficult one for the National Science Foundation and their merit-review process for awarding grants. In April, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chair of the U.S. House Science, Space and Technology committee held a hearing and sent a letter to acting NSF Director Cora Marrett questioning the validity of grants funded by…

From COMPETES to FIRST: What you need to know about the NSF reauthorization legislation

Most Congressional committees are supposed to draft bills that set policy priorities and funding recommendations for the agencies under their jurisdiction. The bill authorizing the policy priorities of the National Science Foundation—the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010—expires this year. The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Technology and the U.S. House Committee on…

The to-do list

The government shutdown lasted 16 days and has caused significant problems for federally funded researchers. How quickly the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and other funding agencies will be running at full strength. What actions will these agencies take to clear the backlog created by the shutdown? The NIH and NSF stated…

Summer legislation and the scientific community

Today, Congress returns from their Memorial Day holiday. Much of the political news in the coming months will focus on scandals rather than legislation. However, Congress will be in session for the next two months with a brief break for Independence Day, and they are sure to do some legislating, right? Here is a preview…

The National Science Foundation responds to request for peer review information

Peer review at the National Science Foundation has been the focus of recent inquiries from the U.S. House Science, Space and Technology committee. Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, had requested the notes of the peer reviewers and program officers pertaining to five grants awarded by the NSF. In a letter to NSF Acting Director Cora Marrett,…