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National Science Foundation

Cost Sharing Dear Colleague Letter

NSF 08-67
September 4, 2008

Dear Colleagues:

The National Science Board (NSB) Task Force on Cost Sharing is currently engaged in an examination of the NSF cost sharing policy.  Prompted by a 2007 Congressional directive in the America COMPETES Act, the Board issued a report in February 2008 on the impacts of a 2004 change to NSF cost sharing policy that eliminated NSF program-specific mandatory cost sharing requirements.  This report contained several recommendations regarding mandatory cost sharing policy at NSF and is available electronically at. (http://www.nsf.gov/nsb/publications/2008/rprt_congress_cs_policy.pdf).

The NSB is continuing its study of this issue, and is now focusing on voluntary cost sharing, and the impact of both mandatory and voluntary cost sharing on broadening the participation of traditionally underrepresented groups and organizations in federally sponsored research.  The NSB intends to release a second, more comprehensive report on NSF cost sharing policy in early 2009. 

To engage the community, the NSB recently published a notice in the Federal Register soliciting public comment regarding the research communities’ experiences on use of cost sharing in NSF-funded activities (http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/E8-18023.htm).  The Board is particularly interested in receiving feedback on the following: (1) the relationship between cost sharing and NSF program goals; (2) the relationship between cost sharing and institutional competitiveness in NSF grant funding; (3) the role of cost sharing in the NSF merit review process; (4) the importance of types, sources, and timing of voluntary cost sharing; (5) effort associated with tracking and reporting cost-shared resources; (6) the relationship between cost sharing and institutional strategic investment; (7) options for ensuring equity in NSF grant funding when cost sharing is either required or volunteered; (8) research resources from state providers; and (9) research resources from industry providers.

Given the importance of this issue to the research enterprise, I strongly encourage you to provide a response to the Federal Register Notice, in order that all viewpoints may be considered in development of the second Cost Sharing Report.

Comments submitted in response to the Federal Register Notice should be addressed to Jennifer Richards, Executive Secretary, Task Force on Cost Sharing, National Science Board Office, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1220, Arlington, VA 22230; telephone (703) 292-7000; FAX (703) 292-9008; e-mail nsbcostsharing@nsf.gov.  All comments must be received by October 1, 2008. 

Arden L. Bement, Jr.

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