Last week, Republican senators launched an investigation into the National Science Foundation, raising concerns about the agency’s budget process and how it reviews and awards grants.
Senators Richard Burr of North Carolina, Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky sent letter on Friday to NSF requesting information related to the agency’s budget plan, grants and awards. They expressed concern that the NSF, which received $8.8 billion in federal funding for fiscal year 2022 and is expected to receive billions more in this year’s appropriations process, is wasting money by funding “research of questionable value.”
“While not all of these studies are a clear waste of taxpayer dollars, many of them still raise serious concerns about the importance of your agency’s mission,” the senators said.
In the letter, they asked the NSF to provide information on what the review standards are for the grants and how they determine the value of the research it conducts. They also asked the agency how it identifies potential conflicts of interest in its work.