When it comes to the quality of research, does it matter who foots the research bill? A government task force linkurl:will gather;http://www.nsf.gov/nsb/meetings/2007/1207/agenda.pdf on Friday (December 7) to study whether a linkurl:2004 decision;http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/cspolicy1004.pdf to reduce universities' share of the cost of federally funded projects might have had some negative consequences. The current funding deal is that institutions have to chip in 1% of National Science Foundation-funded grants, in addition to whatever indirect costs the grant doesn't cover. It used to be that NSF could also require a greater percentage to be chipped in, depending on the project. But in 2004, the National Science Board, which advises the NSF, decided that the NSF could ask for no more than 1%, and therefore relieve institutions from paying additional shared costs. Seems like a sweet deal for universities, but might not be so great for researchers. "Recently there's been an interest in the issue...

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