This bill would direct the National Science Foundation (NSF) to award funding for basic research and education in the sciences under a new research grant or cooperative agreement only if it has been justified in writing.
The NSF would be responsible for affirming in writing that the grant or agreement promotes the progress of science in the U.S. NSF would also affirm that the project is worthy of federal funding, and meets certain other criteria. In addition to promoting science in the U.S., grants could only go to initiatives that further the national interest, specifically if it promotes:
Increased economic competitiveness in the U.S.;
The general health and welfare of the American public;
Development of an American STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) workforce that is globally competitive;
Increased public scientific literacy and engagement with science and technology in the U.S.;
Increased partnerships between academia and industry in the U.S.;
National defense efforts.
The NSF’s determination would be made after a research grant or cooperative agreement proposal has satisfied the NSF’s reviews for Merit and Broader Impacts.