The move to streamline the paperwork for federal grants is gaining steam. A new set of simplified rules has been in effect experimentally with Florida schools for three years, arid when designers of the streamlining project asked for volunteers to test the procedures nationwide, 50 institutions signed up. Meanwhile, the number of federal agencies participating has grown from five to eight, and NASA has been attending meetings on the system and may join soon. Currently taking part are: NIH, NSF, the Department of Agriculture, the Office of Naval Research, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Army Research Office.

The streamlined system is designed to reduce paperwork, eliminate time-consuming steps, and give the investigator more flexibility. For example a scientist who wants to transfer funds from one line-item in a budget to another usually needs approval from the grant-making agency, a...

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