This spring, the U.S. congress passed a continuing budget resolution which contained an amendment that limits the circumstances under which the National Science Foundation’s political science program can provide research funding. Under the new policy, the program cannot provide research funding unless the NSF director certifies that the research promotes national security or the economic interests of the United States.
In response to the new requirement, the NSF issued a notice outlining a modification to the review criteria used to evaluate proposals to the political science program. In addition to providing feedback on proposals’ intellectual merit and broader impacts, reviewers will now be asked to provide feedback on the extent to which the proposed research promotes the nation’s security or economic interests. The changes currently only apply to proposals for FY 2013, but extension of the new requirement is a possibility.