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NSF Releases New Accountability and Transparency Practices
 
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December 2014


The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released new practices for enhancing transparency and accountability of NSF-funded grants.

According to new guidelines for program officers in the Proposal and Award Manual, a nontechnical project description must explain the project’s significance and importance. In addition, it must “serve as a public justification for NSF funding by articulating how the project serves the national interest, as stated by NSF’s mission: to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity and welfare; or to secure the national defense.” The titles and abstracts of NSF’s awards are made public on NSF.gov.

The new guidelines, which were released on December 3, also require providing regular updates on the agency’s transparency and accountability webpage.

“Good stewardship of public resources requires ongoing examination of our processes and continuous improvement,” said NSF Director France Córdova. “We will continue to convey the significance of our science and engineering research in supporting the national interest. To do this we must clearly communicate our funding rationale publicly.”

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chair of the House Science Committee, released a supportive statement on the changes. Smith’s committee has jurisdiction over NSF. 
 
 
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