Text: H.R.5357 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (05/11/2006)


109th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 5357

To authorize the National Science Foundation and the research, development, demonstration, and commercial application programs of the Department of Energy to provide grants to early career researchers to conduct high-risk, high-return research in areas relevant to industry.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
May 11, 2006

Mr. McCaul of Texas (for himself, Mr. Boehlert, Mr. Smith of Texas, Mr. Calvert, Mr. Ehlers, Mrs. Biggert, Mr. Inglis of South Carolina, and Mr. Schwarz of Michigan) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Science


A BILL

To authorize the National Science Foundation and the research, development, demonstration, and commercial application programs of the Department of Energy to provide grants to early career researchers to conduct high-risk, high-return research in areas relevant to industry.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Research for Competitiveness Act”.

SEC. 2. National Science Foundation industrially-relevant research awards.

(a) In general.—The Director of the National Science Foundation shall carry out a program to award competitive grants to scientists and engineers at the early stage of their careers at institutions of higher education and research institutions to conduct high-risk, high-return research in areas relevant to industry.

(b) Size and duration of award.—The duration of awards under this section shall be 5 years, and the amount per year shall be $50,000. Additionally, if an award recipient receives funding from United States industry for work in the area described in the recipient’s application for the award, then up to an additional $50,000 may be provided each year as a one-to-one match to such industry funding.

(c) Eligibility.—Award recipients shall be individuals who are employed in a tenure-track position as an assistant professor or equivalent title, or who hold an equivalent position, at—

(1) an institution of higher education in the United States; or

(2) an organization in the United States that is a nonprofit, nondegree-granting research organization such as a museum, observatory, or research laboratory.

(d) Application and selection process.—

(1) INITIAL APPLICATION.—Applicants for awards under this section shall submit to the Director—

(A) a curriculum vitae or resume, including a list of publications and a description of any activities demonstrating leadership or educational activities;

(B) a description of research areas of interest;

(C) letters of recommendation; and

(D) any other materials the Director requires.

(2) FURTHER CONSIDERATION AND SELECTION.—The Director shall convene review panels to make recommendations, based on application materials received under paragraph (1), of which candidates are qualified to be finalists for the award. Based on these recommendations, the Director shall select finalists, who shall then be interviewed by panels of experts who shall make recommendations to the Director on the recipients of the awards. The Director shall make awards based on these recommendations.

(e) Composition of review panels.—The panels reviewing applications and interviewing finalists as described in subsection (d) shall include representatives from a range of industries.

(f) Criteria for awards.—In establishing criteria for evaluation of applications for grants under this section, the Director shall include—

(1) the potential of the applicant for leadership at the frontiers of knowledge;

(2) the potential innovative or transformative nature of research in the areas of interest described in the application;

(3) the creativity demonstrated in the applicant’s past research activities; and

(4) the potential relevance to industry of research in the areas of interest described in the application.

(g) Authorization of appropriations.—There are authorized to be appropriated to the Director of the National Science Foundation to carry out this section—

(1) $3,000,000 for fiscal year 2007;

(2) $6,000,000 for fiscal year 2008;

(3) $9,000,000 for fiscal year 2009;

(4) $12,000,000 for fiscal year 2010; and

(5) $15,000,000 for fiscal year 2011.

SEC. 3. Department of Energy industrially-relevant research awards.

(a) In general.—The Under Secretary for Science of the Department of Energy shall carry out a program to award competitive grants to scientists and engineers at the early stage of their careers at institutions of higher education and research institutions to conduct high-risk, high-return research in areas relevant to energy production, storage, and use.

(b) Participation of Department of Energy organizations.—The research, development, demonstration, and commercial application programs of the Office of Science, the Office of Nuclear Energy Research and Development, the Office of Fossil Energy, and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewables may participate in the program established under subsection (a).

(c) Size and duration of award.—The duration of awards under this section shall be up to 5 years, and the amount per year shall be $50,000. Additionally, if an award recipient receives funding from United States industry for work in the area described in the recipient’s application for the award, then up to an additional $50,000 may be provided each year as a one-to-one match to such industry funding.

(d) Eligibility.—Award recipients shall be individuals who are employed in a tenure-track position as an assistant professor or equivalent title, or who hold an equivalent position, at—

(1) an institution of higher education in the United States; or

(2) an organization in the United States that is a nonprofit, nondegree-granting research organization such as a museum, observatory, or research laboratory.

(e) Application and selection process.—

(1) INITIAL APPLICATION.—Applicants for awards under this section shall submit to the Under Secretary—

(A) a curriculum vitae or resume, including a list of publications and a description of any activities demonstrating leadership or educational activities;

(B) a description of research areas of interest;

(C) letters of recommendation; and

(D) any other materials the Under Secretary requires.

(2) FURTHER CONSIDERATION AND SELECTION.—The Under Secretary shall convene review panels to make recommendations, based on application materials received under paragraph (1), of which candidates are qualified to be finalists for the award. Based on these recommendations, the Under Secretary shall select finalists, who shall then be interviewed by panels of experts who shall make recommendations to the Under Secretary on the recipients of the awards. The Under Secretary shall make awards based on these recommendations.

(f) Composition of review panels.—The panels reviewing applications and interviewing finalists as described in subsection (e) shall include representatives from a range of industries.

(g) Criteria for awards.—In establishing criteria for evaluation of applications for the grants awarded under section (a), the Under Secretary shall include—

(1) the potential for leadership at the frontiers of knowledge by the applicant;

(2) the potential innovative or transformative nature of research in the areas of interest described in the application;

(3) the creativity demonstrated in the applicant’s past research activities; and

(4) the potential relevance to industry of research in the areas of interest described in the application.

(h) Collaboration with national laboratories.—In awarding grants under this section, the Under Secretary may give priority to applications in which the proposed work includes collaboration with the Department of Energy National Laboratories.

(i) Authorization of appropriations.—There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Energy to carry out this section—

(1) $2,000,000 for fiscal year 2007;

(2) $4,000,000 for fiscal year 2008;

(3) $6,000,000 for fiscal year 2009;

(4) $8,000,000 for fiscal year 2010; and

(5) $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2011.

SEC. 4. Definition.

In this Act, the term “institution of higher education” has the meaning given such term in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)).