BOX 3-1 Federal Agencies and Their Research Grants
activities: planning, opportunity communication, proposal review process, agency involvement during implementation, project and program evaluation, and dissemination of results. It is important to note that those research activities often overlap and have strong feedback mechanisms as they are carried out by agency program managers. Planning affects project review criteria, project and program evaluation feeds into planning, and so on. Table 3-1 summarizes the procedural aspects of the various research programs that are reviewed here in comparison with that of the STAR program. The committee did not address the issue of cost comparisons to operate the various federal research programs, as this was not part of their charge. Information in this chapter comes from individual discussions with and presentations by agency personnel and from publicly available documentation from the agencies.
NSF is the principal federal agency with a mission of promoting the progress of science in support of the national welfare and defense (Firth 2002). It is structured to reflect the scientific and engineering disciplines.