Science funding in the U.S. literature review

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This page is a literature review of the funding of science in the U.S.

Background[edit | edit source]

Specific facts:

  • Funding per year, over time

NSF, “NSF Funding History - Sides,” Budget Internet Information System. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 15-Aug-2013].

  • Funding by agency & discipline & state (includes success rates as %)

NSF, “NSF Funding Rate by State and Organization and Discipline.” [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 15-Aug-2013].

Hardware design funding[edit | edit source]

  • History
  • Methods
    • NSF funds major equipment [1]

R. Phelps and K. McCloud, “National Science Foundation - Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Webcast - Program Summary and 2013 Completition Overview,” 14-Dec-2012.


pg. 10 - outlines strategic goals. #2 - foster development of next generation instrumentation, resulting in more widespread use and open up new areas of research/research training. #3 integrate research w. education

pg. 11 - development effort is: (1)adding capabilities not available from vendors (2)requires design work and (3) a cross-functional team (4) work (5) over an extended period of time (6) may require component fabrication (7)may involve risk

pg. 15 - will not fund: general purpose lab equipment (i.e computers) or platforms (i.e vehicles), instruments used for science/engineering education, multiple instruments (unless they act as an integrated system)

Office of Integrative Activities, “Major Research Instrumentation Brochure.” National Science Foundation.

MRI Goals - catalyzing knowledge and discoveries, empowering the nations scientists & engineers, building capacity for a diverse workforce, develop next generation instrumentation, promote academic & private sector partnerships

The MRI program does not support requests for general purpose ancillary laboratory equipment or multiple instruments that serve to outfit a laboratory or research environment. The MRI program also does not support the acquisition or development of instrumentation used primarily for science and engineering education courses

    • Funding of development of scientific equipment through an SBIR program [2]
    • Specific calls -- e.g. engineering type work to design equipment like this: [3]

Bayh-Dole[edit | edit source]

  • Summary - initial law
  • any updates

Critical literature of Bayh-Dole[edit | edit source]

How does the NSF decide on what is funded?[edit | edit source]

Critical literature on the NSF[edit | edit source]

How does the NSF determine return on investment?[edit | edit source]

  • quantifiable metrics, what are their results

Science equipment spending[edit | edit source]

  • How big is the scientific equipment industry?
    • How profitable is it?
  • How much money do US scientists spend on equipment per year?
  • What are the big volume items - e.g. stuff that everyone of one type has in their lab?
  • What are the big $ total items (e.g. sure everyone has test-tubes but if every school needs an SEM...)