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AAMC Supports NSF Merit Review

May 24, 2013—The AAMC joined 109 national organizations and institutions in a May 20 letter  expressing concerns “about recent Congressional actions that call into question the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) merit review process for awarding research grants.”

“It is imperative that NSF’s system of support for basic research be based upon excellence, competitive scientific merit, and peer-review,” the letter emphasizes, adding, “While Congress does play an important role in oversight of federally funded research, it should avoid legislative attempts that could undermine a decades-long system of success and ultimately impede discovery and innovation.”

Organized by the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF), the letter notes that NSF’s merit review process “has a proven track record in supporting outstanding, fundamental research across all disciplines of science and engineering. Indeed, NSF’s expert merit review process is a model for identifying research projects that are worthy of taxpayer-funded support and have the best opportunity to advance science and innovation.”

The letter warns, “If the criterion for awarding grants shifts away from scientific merit as the primary goal, the quality of research proposals will suffer, as will the science and engineering that is ultimately funded. This would have negative impacts on our nation’s entire research and innovation enterprise.”

The letter was sent to members of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and to members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.


Dave Moore
Senior Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-828-0559


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
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Telephone: 202-903-0806