Setting Priorities for Large Research Facility Projects by Committee on Setting Priorities for NSF-Sponsored Large

By Committee on Setting Priorities for NSF-Sponsored Large Research Facility Projects, National Researc

In 1995, the nationwide technology beginning (NSF) created a unique account to fund huge (several hundreds of thousands of bucks) study amenities. through the years, those amenities have come to symbolize an more and more well known a part of the nation's R&D portfolio. lately crisis has intensified concerning the approach NSF is choosing tasks for this account. In 2003, six U.S. Senators together with the chair and rating member of the Senate Subcommittee on VA, HUD, and self sufficient enterprises Appropriations expressed those issues in a letter to the NRC asking it to study the present prioritization method and report back to us on the way it could be enhanced. This document provides a sequence of tips on how NSF can enhance its precedence surroundings technique for giant study amenities. whereas noting that NSF has enhanced this method, the record states that additional strengthening is required if NSF is to fulfill destiny calls for for such initiatives.

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1 In addition, NSF should fund efforts by research communities to set priorities among projects within particular fields and to discuss the need for large facilities versus other kinds of research support. Each conceptual plan or proposal that emerges from this step should include a projected timeline and budget estimate for implementation and operation. This development of project conceptual scope may require limited but specific funding. STEP 3: Develop and maintain a comprehensive long-term roadmap.

Does it broadly serve many disciplines? • How pressing is the need? Is there a window of opportunity? Are there interagency and international commitments that must be met? Those criteria are not assigned relative weights, because each project has its own unique attributes and circumstances. For example, timeliness may be crucial for one project and relatively unimportant for another. And the director must weigh the impact of a proposed facility on the balance between scientific fields, the importance of the project with respect to national priorities, and possible societal benefits.

Html 22 LARGE RESEARCH FACILITY PROJECTS • Within a field (as defined by NSF division) or interdisciplinary area: scientific and technical criteria, such as scientific breakthrough potential and technological readiness. • Across a set of related fields: agency strategic criteria, such as balance across fields and opportunities to serve researchers in several disciplines. • Across all fields: national criteria that assess relative need—such as which projects maintain US leadership in key scientific and engineering fields or enable the greatest numbers of researchers, educators, and students.

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