42 U.S. Code § 1862s. Reaffirmation of merit-based peer review

(a) Sense of CongressIt is the sense of Congress that—
(1)
sustained, predictable Federal funding of basic research is essential to United States leadership in science and technology;
(2)
the Foundation’s intellectual merit and broader impacts criteria are appropriate for evaluating grant proposals, as concluded by the 2011 National Science Board Task Force on Merit Review;
(3) evaluating proposals on the basis of the Foundation’s intellectual merit and broader impacts criteria should be used to assure that the Foundation’s activities are in the national interest as these reviews can affirm that—
(A)
the proposals funded by the Foundation are of high quality and advance scientific knowledge; and
(B)
the Foundation’sgrants address societal needs through basic research findings or through related activities; and
(4)
as evidenced by the Foundation’scontributions to scientific advancement, economic growth, human health, and national security, its peer review and merit review processes have identified and funded scientifically and societally relevant basic research and should be preserved.
(b) Merit review criteria

The Foundation shall maintain the intellectual merit and broader impacts criteria, among other specific criteria as appropriate, as the basis for evaluating grant proposals in the merit review process.

(c) Updates

If after January 6, 2017, a change is made to the merit-review process, the Director shall submit a report to the appropriate committees of Congress not later than 30 days after the date of the change.

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, and not as part of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 which comprises this chapter.

Definitions

Pub. L. 114–329, § 2, Jan. 6, 2017, 130 Stat. 2970, provided that:

“In this Act [see Short Title of 2017 Amendment note set out under section 1861 of this title and Tables], unless expressly provided otherwise:
“(1)Appropriate committees of .—
The term ‘appropriate committees of Congress’ means the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives.
“(2)Federal science agency.—
The term ‘Federal science agency’ has the meaning given the term in section 103 of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (42 U.S.C. 6623).
“(3)Foundation.—
The term ‘Foundation’ means the National Science Foundation.
“(4)Institution of higher education.—
The term ‘institution of higher education’ has the meaning given the term in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)).
“(5)NIST.—
The term ‘NIST’ means the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
“(6)STEM.—
The term ‘STEM’ has the meaning given the term in section 2 of the American [sic] COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 [Pub. L. 111–358] (42 U.S.C. 6621 note).
“(7)STEM education.—
The term ‘STEM education’ has the meaning given the term in section 2 of the STEM Education Act of 2015 [Pub. L. 114–59] (42 U.S.C. 6621 note).”