(1)To carry out sections
1862d of this title, the Director shall establish and carry out a new Academic Research Facilities Modernization Program (hereafter in sections
1862d of this title referred to as the “Program”), under which awards are made to institutions of higher education, independent nonprofit research institutions, and research museums, and consortia thereof, for the repair, renovation, or, in exceptional cases, replacement of obsolete science and engineering facilities primarily devoted to research.
(2)Such awards shall, consistent with the functions of the Foundation set forth in section
1862 of this title and through established Foundation selection procedures, serve to—
(A)promote the modernization of graduate academic science and engineering research laboratories and related facilities so as to facilitate and support research in the scientific and engineering disciplines;
(B)assist those academic institutions that historically have received relatively little Federal research and development funds to improve their academic science and engineering infrastructures and broaden and strengthen the Nation’s science and engineering base; and
(C)promote the modernization of undergraduate academic science and engineering research laboratories and related facilities so as to facilitate and support research in the scientific and engineering disciplines.
(b) Improvement projects; maximum amounts
(1)The Program shall be carried out through projects which involve the repair, renovation, or, in exceptional cases, replacement of specific science and engineering facilities devoted primarily to research at eligible institutions, or consortia thereof, and for which funds are awarded in response to specific proposals submitted by such eligible institutions or consortia in accordance with procedures prescribed by the Director pursuant to section
1862c of this title.
(2)Awards made under the Program shall not exceed $7,000,000 to any institution or consortium over any period of 5 years for the repair, renovation, or, in exceptional cases, replacement of academic research facilities.
(3)The Director shall, in making awards under the Program, consider the extent to which that institution or consortium has received funds for the repair, renovation, construction, or replacement of academic facilities from any other Federal funding source within the 5-year period immediately preceding the application. The Director shall give priority to institutions or consortia that have not received such funds in the preceding 5 years.
(4)The Director shall, in awarding funds under sections
1862d of this title, consider the distribution of funds among institutions of different sizes and geographical locations.
(c) Criteria for award of funds
Criteria for the award of funds to any institution for a project under the Program shall include—
(1)the quality of the research and training to be carried out in the facility or facilities involved;
(2)the need for the proposed repair, renovation, or, in exceptional cases, replacement based on an analysis of the age and condition of existing research facilities and equipment;
(3)the congruence of the institution’s research and training activities with the future research needs of the Nation and the research mission of the Foundation;
(4)the contribution that the project will make toward meeting national, regional, and institutional research and related training needs;
(5)in the case of an institution that historically has received relatively little Federal research and development funding, the contribution the proposed project will make to improving the institution’s academic scientific and engineering infrastructure and broadening the Nation’s science and engineering base; and
(6)the impact of the award on the overall geographic distribution of awards made under the Program, with the objective of avoiding undue concentration of awards.
Section was enacted as part of the Academic Research Facilities Modernization Act of 1988, and also as part of the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 1988, and not as part of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 which comprises this chapter.
Pub. L. 107–368, § 13,Dec. 19, 2002, 116 Stat. 3055, required Director of the National Science Foundation to conduct a review and assessment of the major research instrumentation program and, not later than 1 year after Dec. 19, 2002, submit a report, including specified estimates, descriptions and analyses, of findings and recommendations to certain Congressional committees, and also required the Director to enter into an arrangement with the National Academy of Sciences to assess the need for an interagency program to establish and support fully equipped, state-of-the-art university-based centers for interdisciplinary research and advanced instrumentation development, and not later than 15 months after Dec. 19, 2002, to transmit to the committees the assessment conducted by the National Academy of Sciences together with the Foundation’s reaction to the assessment.
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