Summary: S.2817 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate without amendment, 1st committee reporting (10/16/2002)

National Science Foundation Doubling Act - (Sec. 4) Specifies goals under National Science Foundation policy objectives of: (1) strengthening the Nation's lead in science and technology; (2) increasing overall workforce skills; and (3) strengthening innovation.

(Sec. 5) Authorizes appropriations to the National Science Foundation (NSF), increasing each year for FY 2003 ($5.5 billion) through 2007 ($9.8 billion), with specific allocations for: (1) research and related activities; (2) education and human resources; (3) major research equipment and facilities construction; (4) salaries and expenses; and (5) the Office of Inspector General.

(Sec. 6) Requires the NSF Director (Director) to continue the following initiatives: (1) an information technology research program in areas related to cybersecurity, terascale computing systems, software, networking, scalability, communications, and data management; (2) a nanoscale science and engineering research and education program; (3) a plant genome research program; (4) a science and technology innovation partnerships program; (5) a mathematics and science education partnership program (establishes specified competitive grant and formula grant programs); (6) a program of multi-year awards to enable institutions of higher education to provide future math and science teachers with scholarships, stipends, and training toward teacher certification or alternative certification; (7) a multi-year, competitive grant program to increase the number of associate's or bachelor's degree students in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology; (8) a competitive grant program for State or local educational agencies that supports the planning and implementation of agency-wide secondary school reform initiatives designed to promote scientific and technological literacy; (9) the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research; and (10) a comprehensive program designed to advance the goals of the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act.

(Sec. 7) Requires the Director to award competitive grants for: (1) research in cognitive science, education, and related fields associated with the science of learning and teaching mathematics and science; and (2) applying research results to improve teaching and student achievement levels in low-performing elementary and secondary schools. Requires at least one grant to include a comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness of current mathematics and science teaching practices. Requires the Director to: (1) apply the results to developing educational practice models and assess their success; and (2) coordinate with the Secretary of Education in devising an agenda for carrying out such research and disseminating the results and guidance to elementary and secondary school teachers.

(Sec. 8) Requires the Director to determine whether any existing NSF programs duplicate programs authorized under this Act, to terminate or merge any existing duplicative program, and not to establish any new duplicative program. Requires the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy to review NSF education programs to ensure compliance with such provisions and report to specified congressional committees.

(Sec. 9) Requires the: (1) Director to assess and report to specified congressional committees on the major research instrumentation program; and (2) Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy to assess the need for, develop, and report to such committees on an interagency program to establish university-based centers for interdisciplinary research and advanced instrumentation development.

(Sec. 10) Requires the Director to: (1) develop, submit to the National Science Board for approval, and report to Congress on a list indicating the relative priority for funding under the major research equipment and facilities construction account of each project the Board has approved for inclusion in a future budget request; and (2) include in the NSF annual budget request to Congress a plan for the proposed construction of, and repair and upgrades to, national research facilities, including full life-cycle cost information. Prohibits the management of any national research facility project by an NSF temporary appointee. Requires the Board to: (1) explicitly approve any project before funds may be obligated; and (2) report to specified congressional committees on any delegation of authority related to funding for any project.

(Sec. 11) Authorizes NSF to designate persons authorized to have access to identifiable information for statistical and research purposes only. Subjects violators of NSF confidentiality provisions to a $10,000 fine and five years imprisonment.

(Sec. 14) Requires the Director to transmit to specified congressional committees a report describing the impact that increasing the average grant size and duration would have on minority serving institutions and on institutions located in States where NSF's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research is carrying out activities.

Provides for the Chair of the Board to report to such committees on proposed procedures under which it could conduct its meetings so as to ensure greater public access to its deliberations.

(Sec. 15) Requires the Director to annually evaluate a random sample of grants, contracts, or other awards made pursuant to this Act and provide for disseminating the results to the public.

(Sec. 16) Instructs the Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering to include as part of the first biennial report on its activities transmitted to Congress after the date of the enactment of this Act: (1) a summary of its findings over the previous ten years; (2) a description of past and present NSF policies and activities to encourage full participation of women, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities in science, mathematics, and engineering fields; and (3) an assessment of trends of participation and of the success of NSF policies and activities, along with proposals for new strategies or the broadening of existing successful strategies, toward facilitating the goals of the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act.