February 03, 2009

NSB Requests Comments on NSF Cost-Sharing Policy

The National Science Board (NSB) intends to revise cost-sharing policies at the National Science Foundation and is requesting public comment on the new proposed policies by February 16, 2009.

In the draft report, Investing in the Future: NSF Cost Sharing Policies for a Robust Federal Research Enterprise, NSB is recommending:
(1) to allow, but narrowly circumscribe, the application of mandatory cost-sharing requirements in NSF programs in which such cost sharing is foundational to achieving programmatic goals, and

(2) to prohibit voluntary committed cost sharing in NSF proposals and thus eliminate post-award tracking and reporting requirements.

These recommendations are intended to improve consistency and clarity of NSF cost-sharing practices and policy and to maximize the effectiveness of institutional dollars invested in research. The Board firmly believes that prohibiting voluntary committed cost sharing, and permitting mandatory cost-sharing requirements only in limited and appropriate circumstances, will not reduce institutional commitment and financial contributions to NSF-sponsored projects or negatively impact institutional stewardship of Federal resources. Instead, it likely will enhance the ability of institutions to strategically and flexibly plan, invest in, and conduct research projects and programs and promote equity among grantee institutions in NSF funding competitions.