< Back to H.R. 4997 (111th Congress, 2009–2010)

Text of the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2010

This bill was introduced on April 13, 2010, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Apr 13, 2010 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

I

111th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4997

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

April 13, 2010

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Science and Technology

A BILL

To authorize appropriations for fiscal years 2011 through 2015 for the National Science Foundation, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title; table of contents

(a)

Short title

This Act may be cited as the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2010.

(b)

Table of contents

The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Title I—General Provisions

Sec. 101. Definitions.

Sec. 102. Authorization of appropriations.

Sec. 103. National Science Board administrative amendments.

Sec. 104. Broader impacts review criterion.

Title II—Research and Innovation

Sec. 201. Support for potentially transformative research.

Sec. 202. Facilitating interdisciplinary collaborations for national needs.

Sec. 203. National Science Foundation manufacturing research.

Sec. 204. Strengthening institutional research partnerships.

Sec. 205. National Science Board report on mid-scale instrumentation.

Sec. 206. Sense of Congress on overall support for research infrastructure at the Foundation.

Title III—STEM Education and Workforce Training

Sec. 301. Graduate student support.

Sec. 302. Postdoctoral fellowship in STEM education research.

Sec. 303. Robert Noyce teacher scholarship program.

Sec. 304. Institutions serving persons with disabilities.

Sec. 305. Institutional integration.

Sec. 306. Postdoctoral research fellowships.

Sec. 307. Broadening participation training and outreach.

I

General Provisions

101.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

Director

The term Director means the Director of the National Science Foundation established under section 2 of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 (42 U.S.C. 1861).

(2)

Foundation

The term Foundation means the National Science Foundation established under section 2 of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 (42 U.S.C. 1861).

(3)

Institution of higher education

The term institution of higher education has the meaning given such term in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)).

(4)

State

The term State means one of the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or any other territory or possession of the United States.

(5)

STEM

The term STEM means science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

(6)

United States

The term United States means the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and any other territory or possession of the United States.

102.

Authorization of appropriations

(a)

Fiscal year 2011

(1)

In general

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Foundation $8,219,670,000 for fiscal year 2011.

(2)

Specific allocations

Of the amount authorized under paragraph (1)—

(A)

$6,600,000,000 shall be made available for research and related activities;

(B)

$1,104,000,000 shall be made available for education and human resources;

(C)

$166,000,000 shall be made available for major research equipment and facilities construction;

(D)

$330,000,000 shall be made available for agency operations and award management;

(E)

$4,840,000 shall be made available for the Office of the National Science Board; and

(F)

$14,830,000 shall be made available for the Office of Inspector General.

(b)

Fiscal year 2012

(1)

In general

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Foundation $8,932,080,000 for fiscal year 2012.

(2)

Specific allocations

Of the amount authorized under paragraph (1)—

(A)

$7,128,000,000 shall be made available for research and related activities;

(B)

$1,192,320,000 shall be made available for education and human resources;

(C)

$235,000,000 shall be made available for major research equipment and facilities construction;

(D)

$356,400,000 shall be made available for agency operations and award management;

(E)

$5,010,000 shall be made available for the Office of the National Science Board; and

(F)

$15,350,000 shall be made available for the Office of Inspector General.

(c)

Fiscal year 2013

(1)

In general

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Foundation $9,555,160,000 for fiscal year 2013.

(2)

Specific allocations

Of the amount authorized under paragraph (1)—

(A)

$7,626,960,000 shall be made available for research and related activities;

(B)

$1,275,780,000 shall be made available for education and human resources;

(C)

$250,000,000 shall be made available for major research equipment and facilities construction;

(D)

$381,350,000 shall be made available for agency operations and award management;

(E)

$5,180,000 shall be made available for the Office of the National Science Board; and

(F)

$15,890,000 shall be made available for the Office of Inspector General.

(d)

Fiscal year 2014

(1)

In general

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Foundation $10,112,940,000 for fiscal year 2014.

(2)

Specific allocations

Of the amount authorized under paragraph (1)—

(A)

$8,084,580,000 shall be made available for research and related activities;

(B)

$1,352,330,000 shall be made available for education and human resources;

(C)

$250,000,000 shall be made available for major research equipment and facilities construction;

(D)

$404,230,000 shall be made available for agency operations and award management;

(E)

$5,370,000 shall be made available for the Office of the National Science Board; and

(F)

$16,440,000 shall be made available for the Office of Inspector General.

(e)

Fiscal year 2015

(1)

In general

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Foundation $10,704,180,000 for fiscal year 2015.

(2)

Specific allocations

Of the amount authorized under paragraph (1)—

(A)

$8,569,650,000 shall be made available for research and related activities;

(B)

$1,433,470,000 shall be made available for education and human resources;

(C)

$250,000,000 shall be made available for major research equipment and facilities construction;

(D)

$428,480,000 shall be made available for agency operations and award management;

(E)

$5,550,000 shall be made available for the Office of the National Science Board; and

(F)

$17,020,000 shall be made available for the Office of Inspector General.

103.

National Science Board administrative amendments

(a)

Staffing at the National Science Board

Section 4(g) of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 (42 U.S.C. 1863(g)) is amended by striking not more than 5.

(b)

Science and Engineering Indicators due date

Section 4(j)(1) of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 (42 U.S.C. 1863(j)(1)) is amended by striking January 15 and inserting May 31.

(c)

National Science Board Reports

Section 4(j)(2) of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 (42 U.S.C. 1863(j)(2)) is amended by inserting within the authority of the Foundation (or otherwise as requested by the Congress or the President) after individual policy matters.

(d)

Board Adherence to Sunshine Act

Section 15(a) of the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 1862n–5(a)) is amended—

(1)

by striking paragraph (3) and redesignating paragraphs (4) and (5) as paragraphs (3) and (4), respectively;

(2)

in paragraph (3), as so redesignated by paragraph (1) of this subsection—

(A)

by striking February 15 and inserting April 15; and

(B)

by striking audit required under paragraph (3) along with; and

(3)

in paragraph (4), as so redesignated by paragraph (1) of this subsection, by striking To facilitate the audit required under paragraph (3) of this subsection, the and inserting The.

104.

Broader impacts review criterion

(a)

Goals

The Foundation shall apply a Broader Impacts Review Criterion to achieve the following goals:

(1)

Increased economic competitiveness of the United States.

(2)

Development of a globally competitive STEM workforce.

(3)

Increased participation of women and underrepresented minorities in STEM.

(4)

Increased partnerships between academia and industry.

(5)

Improved K–12 STEM education and teacher development.

(6)

Improved undergraduate STEM education.

(7)

Increased public scientific literacy.

(8)

Increased national security.

(b)

Policy

Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Director shall develop and implement a policy for the Broader Impacts Review Criterion that—

(1)

provides for educating professional staff at the Foundation, merit review panels, and applicants for Foundation research grants on the policy developed under this subsection;

(2)

clarifies that the activities of grant recipients undertaken to satisfy the Broader Impacts Review Criterion shall—

(A)

to the extent practicable employ proven strategies and models and draw on existing programs and activities; and

(B)

when novel approaches are justified, build on the most current research results;

(3)

allows for some portion of funds allocated to broader impacts under a research grant to be used for assessment and evaluation of the broader impacts activity;

(4)

encourages institutions of higher education and other nonprofit organizations to develop and provide, either as individual institutions or in partnerships thereof, appropriate training and programs to assist Foundation-funded principal investigators at their institutions in achieving the goals of the Broader Impacts Review Criterion as described in subsection (a); and

(5)

requires principal investigators applying for Foundation research grants to provide evidence of institutional support for the portion of the investigator’s proposal designed to satisfy the Broader Impacts Review Criterion, including evidence of relevant training, programs, and other institutional resources available to the investigator from either their home institution or organization or another institution or organization with relevant expertise.

II

Research and Innovation

201.

Support for potentially transformative research

(a)

Policy

The Director shall establish a policy that requires the Foundation to use at least 5 percent of its research budget to fund basic, high-risk, high-reward research proposals. Support for facilities and infrastructure, including preconstruction design and operations and maintenance of major research facilities, shall not be counted as part of the research budget for the purposes of this section.

(b)

Implementation

In implementing such policy, the Foundation may—

(1)

develop solicitations specifically for high-risk, high-reward research;

(2)

establish review panels for the primary purpose of selecting high-risk, high-reward proposals or modify instructions to standard review panels to require identification of high-risk, high-reward proposals; and

(3)

support workshops and participate in conferences with the primary purpose of identifying new opportunities for high-risk, high-reward research, especially at interdisciplinary interfaces.

(c)

Definition

For purposes of this section, the term high-risk, high-reward research means research driven by ideas that have the potential to radically change our understanding of an important existing scientific or engineering concept, or leading to the creation of a new paradigm or field of science or engineering, and that is characterized by its challenge to current understanding or its pathway to new frontiers.

202.

Facilitating interdisciplinary collaborations for national needs

(a)

In general

The Director shall award competitive, merit-based awards in amounts not to exceed $5,000,000 over a period of up to 5 years to interdisciplinary research collaborations that are likely to assist in addressing critical challenges to national security, competitiveness, and societal well-being and that—

(1)

involve at least 2 co-equal principal investigators at the same or different institutions;

(2)

draw upon well-integrated, diverse teams of investigators, including students or postdoctoral researchers, from one or more disciplines; and

(3)

foster creativity and pursue high-risk, high-reward research.

(b)

Priority

In selecting grant recipients under this section, the Director shall give priority to applicants that propose to use advances in cyberinfrastructure and simulation-based science engineering.

203.

National Science Foundation manufacturing research

The Director shall carry out a program to award merit-reviewed, competitive grants to institutions of higher education to support fundamental research leading to transformative advances in manufacturing technologies, processes, and enterprises that will support United States manufacturing through improved performance, productivity, sustainability, and competitiveness. Research areas may include—

(1)

nanomanufacturing;

(2)

manufacturing and construction machines and equipment, including robotics, automation, and other intelligent systems;

(3)

manufacturing enterprise systems;

(4)

advanced sensing and control techniques;

(5)

materials processing; and

(6)

information technologies for manufacturing, including predictive and real-time models and simulations, and virtual manufacturing.

204.

Strengthening institutional research partnerships

(a)

In general

For any Foundation research grant, in an amount greater than $2,000,000, to be carried out through a partnership that includes one or more minority-serving institutions or predominantly undergraduate institutions and one or more institutions described in subsection (b), the Director shall award funds directly, according to the budget justification described in the grant proposal, to at least two of the institutions of higher education in the partnership, including at least one minority-serving institution or one predominantly undergraduate institution, to ensure a strong and equitable partnership.

(b)

Institutions

The institutions referred to in subsection (a) are institutions of higher education that are among the 100 institutions receiving, over the 3-year period immediately preceding the awarding of grants, the highest amount of research funding from the Foundation.

205.

National Science Board report on mid-scale instrumentation

(a)

Mid-Scale research instrumentation needs

The National Science Board shall evaluate the needs, across all disciplines supported by the Foundation, for mid-scale research instrumentation that falls between the instruments funded by the Major Research Instrumentation program and the very large projects funded by the Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction program.

(b)

Report on mid-Scale research instrumentation program

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the National Science Board shall submit to Congress a report on mid-scale research instrumentation at the Foundation. At a minimum, this report shall include—

(1)

the findings from the Board’s evaluation of instrumentation needs required under subsection (a), including a description of differences across disciplines and Foundation research directorates;

(2)

a recommendation or recommendations regarding how the Foundation should set priorities for mid-scale instrumentation across disciplines and Foundation research directorates;

(3)

a recommendation or recommendations regarding the appropriateness of expanding existing programs, including the Major Research Instrumentation program or the Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction program, to support more instrumentation at the mid-scale;

(4)

a recommendation or recommendations regarding the need for and appropriateness of a new, Foundation-wide program or initiative in support of mid-scale instrumentation, including any recommendations regarding the administration of and budget for such a program or initiative and the appropriate scope of instruments to be funded under such a program or initiative; and

(5)

any recommendation or recommendations regarding other options for supporting mid-scale research instrumentation at the Foundation.

206.

Sense of Congress on overall support for research infrastructure at the Foundation

It is the sense of Congress that the Foundation should strive to keep the percentage of the Foundation budget devoted to research infrastructure in the range of 24 to 27 percent, as recommended in the 2003 National Science Board report entitled Science and Engineering Infrastructure for the 21st Century.

III

STEM Education and Workforce Training

301.

Graduate student support

(a)

Finding

The Congress finds that—

(1)

the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship program is an important program for training the next generation of scientists and engineers in team-based interdisciplinary research and problem solving, and for providing them with the many additional skills, such as communication skills, needed to thrive in diverse STEM careers; and

(2)

the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship program is no less valuable to the preparation and support of graduate students than the Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship program.

(b)

Equal treatment of IGERT and GRF

Beginning in fiscal year 2011, the Director shall increase or, if necessary, decrease funding for the Foundation’s Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship program (or any program by which it is replaced) at least at the same rate as it increases or decreases funding for the Graduate Research Fellowship program.

(c)

Support for graduate student research from the research account

For each of the fiscal years 2011 through 2015, at least 50 percent of the total Foundation funds allocated to the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship program and the Graduate Research Fellowship program shall come from funds appropriated for Research and Related Activities.

(d)

Cost of education allowance for GRF program

Section 10 of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 (42 U.S.C. 1869) is amended—

(1)

by inserting (a) before The Foundation is authorized; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(b)

The Director shall establish for each year the amount to be awarded for scholarships and fellowships under this section for that year. Each such scholarship and fellowship shall include a cost of education allowance of at least the lesser of $12,000 or the cost of education at the institution in which the scholarship or fellowship recipient is matriculated, subject to any restrictions on the use of cost of education allowance as determined by the Director.

.

302.

Postdoctoral fellowship in STEM education research

(a)

In general

The Director shall establish postdoctoral fellowships in STEM education research to provide recent doctoral degree graduates in STEM fields with the necessary skills to assume leadership roles in STEM education research, program development, and evaluation in our Nation’s diverse educational institutions.

(b)

Awards

(1)

Duration

Fellowships may be awarded under this section for a period of up to 24 months in duration, renewable for an additional 12 months. The Director shall establish criteria for eligibility for renewal of the fellowship.

(2)

Stipend

The Director shall determine the amount of the award for a fellowship, which shall include a stipend and a research allowance, and may include an educational allowance.

(3)

Location

A fellowship shall be awarded for research at any institution of higher education that offers degrees in fields supported by the Foundation, or at any institution or organization that the Director determines is eligible for education research grants from the Foundation.

(4)

Number of awards

The Director may award up to 20 new fellowships per year.

(c)

Research

Fellowships under this section shall be awarded for research on STEM education at any educational level, including grades K–12, undergraduate, graduate, and general public education, in both formal and informal settings. Research topics may include—

(1)

learning processes;

(2)

knowledge transfer, including curriculum development;

(3)

uses of technology as teaching and learning tools;

(4)

integrating STEM fields; and

(5)

student assessment and program evaluation.

(d)

Eligibility

To be eligible for a fellowship under this section, an individual must—

(1)

be a United States citizen or national, or an alien lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence, at the time of application; and

(2)

have received a doctoral degree in one of the STEM fields supported by the Foundation within 3 years prior to the fellowship application deadline.

303.

Robert Noyce teacher scholarship program

(a)

Section 10 amendments

Section 10 of the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 1862n–1) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (c)(4), by striking Service required under this paragraph shall be performed in a high-need local educational agency.; and

(2)

in subsection (c), by adding at the end a new paragraph as follows:

(5)

Exception

The period of service obligation under paragraph (4) shall be reduced by 1 year for scholarship recipients whose service is performed in a high-need local educational agency. The Director shall establish and maintain a central clearinghouse of information on teaching opportunities available in high-need local educational agencies throughout the United States, which shall be made available to individuals having a service obligation under this section.

.

(b)

Section 10A amendments

Section 10A of the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 1862n–1a) is amended in subsection (h)(1) by striking 50 and inserting 30.

304.

Institutions serving persons with disabilities

For the purposes of the activities and programs supported by the Foundation, institutions of higher education chartered to serve large numbers of students with disabilities, including Gallaudet University, Landmark College, and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, shall be designated as minority-serving institutions.

305.

Institutional integration

(a)

Innovation through institutional integration

The Director shall award grants for the institutional integration of projects funded by the Foundation with a focus on education or broadening participation in STEM by underrepresented groups for the purpose of increasing collaboration and coordination across funded projects and institutions and expanding the impact of such projects within and among institutions of higher education in an innovative and sustainable manner.

(b)

Program activities

The program under this section shall support integrative activities that involve the strategic and innovative combination of Foundation-funded projects and that provide for—

(1)

additional opportunities to increase the recruitment, retention, and degree attainment of underrepresented groups in STEM disciplines;

(2)

the inclusion of programming, practices, and policies that encourage the integration of education and research;

(3)

seamless transitions from one educational level to another; and

(4)

other activities that expand and deepen the impact of Foundation-funded projects with a focus on education or broadening participation in STEM by underrepresented groups and enhance their sustainability.

(c)

Review criteria

In selecting recipients of grants under this section, the Director shall consider at a minimum—

(1)

the extent to which the proposed project addresses the goals of project and program integration and adds value to the existing funded projects;

(2)

the extent to which there is a proven record of success for the existing projects on which the proposed integration project is based; and

(3)

the extent to which the proposed project addresses the modification of programming, practices, and policies necessary to achieve the purpose described in subsection (a).

(d)

Priority

In selecting recipients of grants under this section, the Director shall give priority to proposals for which a senior institutional administrator, including a dean or other administrator of equal or higher rank, serves as the principal investigator.

306.

Postdoctoral research fellowships

(a)

In general

The Director shall establish a Foundation-wide postdoctoral research fellowship program, to award competitive, merit-based postdoctoral research fellowships in any field of research supported by the Foundation.

(b)

Duration and amount

Fellowships may be awarded under this section for a period of up to 3 years in duration. The Director shall determine the amount of the award for a fellowship, which shall include a stipend and a research allowance, and may include an educational allowance.

(c)

Eligibility

To be eligible to receive a fellowship under this section, an individual—

(1)

must be a United States citizen or national, or an alien lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence, at the time of application;

(2)

must have received a doctoral degree in any field of research supported by the Foundation within 3 years prior to the fellowship application deadline, or will complete a doctoral degree no more than 1 year after the application deadline; and

(3)

may not have previously received funding as the principal investigator of a research grant from the Foundation, unless such funding was received as a graduate student.

(d)

Priority

In evaluating applications for fellowships under this section, the Director shall give priority to applications that include—

(1)

proposals for interdisciplinary research; or

(2)

proposals for high-risk, high-reward research.

(e)

Additional considerations

In evaluating applications for fellowships under this section, the Director shall give consideration to the goal of promoting the participation of individuals identified in section 33 or 34 of the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act (42 U.S.C. 1885a or 1885b).

(f)

Nonsubstitution

The fellowship program authorized under this section is not intended to replace or reduce support for postdoctoral research through existing programs at the Foundation.

307.

Broadening participation training and outreach

The Director shall provide education and training—

(1)

to Foundation staff and grant proposal review panels on effective mechanisms and tools for broadening participation in STEM by underrepresented groups, including reviewer selection and mitigation of implicit bias in the review process; and

(2)

to Foundation staff on related outreach approaches.