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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board on Physics and Astronomy
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

Committee on Setting Priorities for NSF-sponsored Large Research Facility Projects



Setting Priorities for Large Research Facility Projects Supported by the National Science Foundation

Released April 2004

In 1995, the National Science Foundation (NSF) created a special account to fund large (several tens of millions of dollars) research facilities. Over the years, these facilities have come to represent an increasingly prominent part of the nation?s R&D portfolio. Recently concern has intensified about the way NSF is selecting projects for this account. In 2003, six U.S. Senators including the chair and ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies Appropriations expressed these concerns in a letter to the NRC asking it to ?review the current prioritization process and report to us on how it can be improved.? This report presents a series of recommendations on how NSF can improve its priority setting process for large research facilities. While noting that NSF has improved this process, the report states that further strengthening is needed if NSF is to meet future demands for such projects.

Committee Members and NRC Staff

William Brinkman, Chair, Princeton University.
David H. Auston, Kavli Foundation
Persis Drell, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center
Alan Dressler, Observatories of the Carnegie Institution
William Friend, Bechtel Group (retired)
Bruce Hevly, University of Washington
Wesley T. Huntress, Carnegie Institution of Washington
Chris Llewellyn-Smith, University of Oxford
Lee Magid, University of Tennessee
Marc Y.E. Pelaez, Newport News Shipbuilding
Robert H. Rutford, University of Texas at Dallas
Joseph Taylor, Princeton University
Michael Telson, University of California
David Tilman, University of Minnesota

NRC Staff

Deborah D. Stine, Study Director, Assoc. Director, COSEPUP
Donald C. Shapero, Director, BPA
Timothy I. Meyer, Program Associate, BPA

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