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Sowing the Seeds Through Science and Engineering Research Act

Introduced in the House, January 10, 2007;
Reported (as amended) by the Committee February 28, 2007 

Passed by the House, April 24, 2007

View a list of organizations endorsing this legislation

Bill Summary

H.R. 363 implements recommendations related to strengthening long-term basic research contained in the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. It supports outstanding researchers in the early stages of their careers through grants at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy (DOE) of $80,000 per year for 5 years; establishes a floor of 1.5% of research funding appropriated for NSF for an existing program supporting graduate students in multidisciplinary fields of national importance; establishes a presidential innovation award to stimulate scientific and engineering advances in the national interest; establishes a national coordination office to identify and prioritize research infrastructure needs at universities and national laboratories and to help guide the investments of new infrastructure funds authorized for NSF and DOE; authorizes NSF to support research on innovation; directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to report on efforts to recruit and retain early-career scientists and engineers; and expresses the sense of Congress that a balanced science program at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) contributes significantly to innovation and competitiveness.

 

Section-by-Section

Section 1

is the short title of the bill.

Section 2

authorizes NSF to carry out a grant program for awards to scientists and engineers at the early stage of their careers in academia or in nonprofit research organizations.  The NSF’s existing Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program may be designated as the mechanism for awarding these grants.  The awards will go to outstanding researchers at the beginning of their careers and are intended for individuals from a variety of types of institutions, including minority serving institutions.  The grants provide 5 years of research funding support at a minimum of $80,000 per year per award.

NSF is required to designate at least 3.5% of funds appropriated for Research and Related Activities to the grant program for each of FY 2008 through FY 2012.

Section 3

authorizes DOE to carry out a grant program for awards to scientists and engineers at the early stage of their careers in academia or in nonprofit research organizations to conduct research in fields relevant to the mission of DOE.  The awards will go to outstanding researchers at the beginning of their careers and are intended for individuals from a variety of types of institutions, including minority serving institutions.  The grants provide 5 years of research funding support at a minimum of $80,000 per year per award, and priority shall go to proposals involving collaborations with researchers at DOE national laboratories.

Authorizes to DOE $25 million for each year for FY 2008 through FY 2012.

Section 4

directs NSF to allocate at least 1.5% of the amounts appropriated for Research and Related Activities to the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program, which provides support for graduate students in fields relevant to national needs.  It requires NSF to coordinate with other agencies to expand the interdisciplinary nature of the IGERT program and authorizes NSF to accept funds from other agencies to carry out the program.

Section 5

establishes the Presidential Innovation Award presented periodically, on the basis of recommendations from the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, to citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. who develop unique scientific or engineering ideas judged to stimulate scientific and engineering advances in the national interest, to illustrate the linkage between science and engineering and national needs, and to provide an example to excite the interest of students in science or engineering professions.

Section 6

establishes a National Coordination Office for Research Infrastructure under the Office of Science and Technology Policy to identify and prioritize deficiencies in research facilities and instrumentation in academic institutions and national laboratories and to make recommendations for use of funding authorized. The Office is directed to report to Congress annually at the time of the administration’s budget proposal.

Section 7

authorizes NSF, in carrying out its research programs on science policy and the science of learning, to support research on the process of innovation and the teaching of inventiveness.

Section 8

directs NIST to transmit to the House Committee on Science and Technology and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, not later than 3 months following enactment of the bill, a report on efforts to recruit and retain early-career scientists and engineers at NIST.

Section 9

expresses the sense of Congress that a balanced and robust program in science, aeronautics, exploration, and human space flight at NASA contributes significantly to national innovation and competitiveness.  It also directs the NASA administrator to participate fully in interagency efforts to promote innovation and economic competitiveness through scientific research and development.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

110th Congress