their cost. The other complaint I have is that when project goes over budget, the usual move is to allow for overruns, to justify the money already spent. This is a dangerous cycle. With strict limits on budgets, and well-justified science goals, I have no fundamental problem with large programs; unfortunately, I do not often see that these simple criteria are met…. I see little calling in AMO for large-scale, advanced research instrumentation projects. Small-scale projects deliver the bulk of the cutting-edge research in my field.

In my field I think the instrumentation is better invested in individual investigator grants. The NSF budget for individual investigator grants and instrumentation is woefully inadequate. Major new instrumentation facilities should have a considerably lower priority than individual investigator grants.

Waste of money to support only a few in that range. In our field, we’ll never need instrumentation (computers) that costs more than $2M at a time. So, provide programs that’d fund different varieties of worthy proposals, not just those either very ‘large’ (astronomy) or very ‘small’ (cells) areas.


Figure D-2 outlines the types of ARIF or fields requiring ARIF that were mentioned in survey responses. Excerpts from the survey responses related to individual research fields or instruments follow.

Particle Physics

“Advanced research instrumentation is becoming ever more important to the US scientific community as science becomes increasingly specialized, and as new

FIGURE D-2 Examples of ARIF or fields requiring ARIF mentioned in the researcher survey.

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