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STEM Policy

The Role of Law, Policy and Politics in Research Funding

Federal policy impacts science research in multiple ways and through multiple federal bodies.  Congress appropriates funds to federal agencies for research; those agencies create internal and external policies for awarding grants to researchers.  The Executive Office of the President appoints the heads of those agencies.  These and other offices create the policies that establish the amount of money available for research funding; research funding priorities; applicant eligibility; application and reporting processes; terms and conditions of award acceptance; and other researcher compliance activities.

Researchers and research institutions that receive federal grant money engage in a number of activities in order to comply with the laws and rules governing the terms and conditions of the award; to ensure integrity of research practice; and to maintain institutional eligibility to apply for and receive awards in the future. Financial oversight and accounting is a critical activity in award management on the recipient level.  Other large areas of compliance include:

  • Training and oversight in research ethics/misconduct reporting
  • Research animal care and use
  • Human subjects in research
  • Conflict of interest reporting
  • Public access to research findings
  • Safety (Chemical, biological, radiation, etc)


How is Research Funded?

Select Federal Grant-Making Agencies in the Sciences

What Research Is Being Funded?