Today, instrumentation plays a critical role in scientific and engineering research and exploration. We would like to get your help in gaining a better understanding of the issues related to instrumentation and your thoughts on federal policies. This survey is part of a study being conducted by the National Academies Committee on Advanced Research Instrumentation in response to Section 13(b) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Authorization Act of 2002. The Instrumentation Committee is under the aegis of the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (COSEPUP). COSEPUP, chaired by Dr. Maxine Singer, is the only joint committee of the three honorific academies: the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. Its overall charge is to address cross-cutting issues in science and technology policy that affect the health of the national research enterprise.

The study is examining federal programs and policies related to advanced research instrumentation used for interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and disciplinary research. If needed, the Committee will propose policies to make the most effective use of federal agency resources to fund such instruments. Advanced research instrumentation, for the purposes of this survey, is defined as instrumentation that is not categorized by NSF as Major Research Instrumentation ($100,000 to $2 million in capital cost) or as Major Research Equipment (more than several tens of millions of dollars), but instead falls in between these two designations. The scope of this study includes cyberinfrastructure.

To respond to its charge from Congress and NSF, the Committee is interested hearing your thoughts on issues related to instrumentation in the fields represented by your society as well as your opinions concerning current and possible future federal programs and policies for advanced research instrumentation.

We hope you will be willing to participate in this important information-gathering effort. We recognize that answering all the questions in this survey may be challenging. We only ask that you do the best you can in providing the information requested. If another person at your society is better suited to answer this survey, please forward it to them, but please let us know to whom you sent it. We also encourage you to send the attached researcher survey to any members of your society who may have additional thoughts. Their comments may be sent either to you for compilation or directly to instrumentation@nas.edu.

We would appreciate receiving your response by Monday, April 11, 2005. Please return the completed survey via e-mail as an attachment to instrumentation@nas.edu or by fax to 202-334-1667. If you have any questions, please contact the study director, Dr. Deborah Stine, at dstine@nas.edu or 202-334-3239.

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