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National Science Foundation

NSF 13-104

Dear Colleague Letter: Assessing the Impacts of Recent and On-going Changes in Federal Science Policy

Date: June 11, 2013

The core mission of the Science of Science and Innovation Policy Program (SciSIP) is to advance the scientific basis of science and innovation policies.  One important avenue for doing so is the scientific analysis of the implementation and impacts of changes in federal science policy.  A number of such changes have recently been announced or are currently being implemented.  For example, in February 2013, the Office of Management and Budget announced plans to implement a policy of public access to data and scientific publications produced with federal funding.1  Another recent initiative involves creation of a shared, voluntary researcher profile system to facilitate the preparation of research bio sketches.  The Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae (SciENcv) program is scheduled to begin a pilot project later this year.  These and other recent initiatives offer an important laboratory for assessing the impacts of federal policy on science and innovation.2

The purpose of this Dear Colleague Letter is to advise you about funding opportunities at the National Science Foundation for the research community to propose research projects or workshops that will gather data on the implementation and impacts of recent science policy initiatives including, but not limited to those noted earlier.  Especially encouraged are proposals that will:

  • Develop new, or improve existing, analytical frameworks for evaluating the impacts of federal science policy initiatives;
  • Explore different agencies’ approaches to the implementation of particular policies to examine how variations in approach affect the achievement of intended policy outcomes;
  • Collect case-study or quantitative data that facilitate identification of best practices in science and innovation policy implementation.

Investigators are encouraged to e-mail a SciSIP program officer to discuss prospective topics.  This is not a new program.  Investigators should follow the guidelines of the SciSIP program description (http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=501084) to ensure eligibility requirements are met.  Proposals are to be submitted to and evaluated by SciSIP, which has a September 9 deadline annually.  For projects that require time-sensitive data collection, investigators may also consider submitting proposals using the Rapid Response Research (RAPID) funding mechanism.  For full details of procedures for RAPID submissions, investigators should consult the relevant parts of the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) available at: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappguide/nsf13001/gpg_2.jsp#IID1 .


Dr. Myron Gutmann
Assistant Director, National Science Foundation
Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences


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