House bill would require NSF research grants to provide national interest justification

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July 30, 2015

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) introduced the Scientific Research in the National Interest Act (H.R.3293) on July 30. The bill would require all National Science Foundation (NSF) grants to provide a non-technical explanation of the purpose of their research and explain how it serves the national interest. This language is similar to a provision in the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1806) that passed the House in May. The provision may be excluded from H.R. 1806 if and when the bill goes to conference with a Senate version of the COMPETES reauthorization bill.

The bill’s requirements have already been met by a new NSF policy that requires a statement of national interest and non-technical explanation of projects. The bill has received support from Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) and Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), both Ranking Members of House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittees, along with many other Republican co-sponsors.

Sources: E&E News,