CLARIFICATION OF RESULTS
For information regarding the project outcomes report, please refer to the following links:
- To examine the Project Outcomes Report requirement as specified in the National Science Foundation Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide, search for “Project Outcomes Report” under http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappguide/nsf10_1/nsf10_1.pdf . See especially II-8 through II-9. II-9 indicates (in bold) “Failure to provide these reports on a timely basis will delay NSF review and processing of pending proposals for all identified PIs and co-PIs on a given award.”
- To examine the Project Outcomes Report requirement as specified in the Research.gov fact sheet click on this pdf. Information on the Project Outcomes report also exists at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappguide/nsf10_1/aag_2.jsp. (To find the specific reference do a search for “Project Outcomes Report”.)
- To refer to NSF’s “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Project Outcomes Report for the General Public (POR) - updated January 2013” refer to http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/porfaqs.jsp.
- To read how MIT encourages its researchers to comply with the NSF requirement relating to Project Outcome Reports, refer to http://osp.mit.edu/about-osp/news/timely-submission-of-the-nsf-project-outcomes-report-is-the-gating-factor-in-review-o
To replicate the data presented here, please follow the steps specified below. NSF should be congratulated on making their funding information so transparent and accessible. It means anyone can replicate the data provided here and offers a model for others in the research community.
- Select the NSF data for the year desired. Go to: http://www.research.gov/research-portal/appmanager/base/desktop?_nfpb=true&_eventName=viewQuickSearchFormEvent_so_rsr. This is Research.gov’s Research and Spending Results. Select the year you wish to examine: FY2010, FY2011, FY2012, or FY2013.
- Download the data in the format you desire. The data used here were downloaded in the CSV format. Save the file.
- The downloaded file includes both NSF and NASA data. To limit the analysis to NSF data – the federal funder with the Project Outcomes requirement – sort the AGENCY column and delete all entries funded by NASA.
- To simplify the data presentation, a number of columns, not directly relevant, have been deleted. You can see which ones have been deleted by looking at the web page that displays the information and comparing it to your downloaded file.
- NSF regulations specify that the Project Outcomes Report must be submitted within 90 days of the expiration date of the NSF grant. The data submitted into Research.gov are updated daily. (see http://www.research.gov/research-portal/appmanager/base/desktop?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=research_node_display&_nodePath=/researchGov/Service/Desktop/ResearchSpendingAndResults.html). Since the data were downloaded during the morning of September 22, 2014 that means that last date that could safely be checked for compliance was 90 days earlier – or June 23, 2014 (. Any grant expiring after that date was not included. Excluded entries are listed under NOT REQUIRED TO SUBMIT A REPORT.
- The Project Outcomes Report requirement started on January 4, 2010. The Research.gov fact sheet relating to these reports reads: “The Project Outcomes Report for the General Public is: required for new awards made or existing awards that receive funding amendments on or after January 4, 2010” found here) . Thus all grants made before January 4, 2010 are also excluded from the data presented here and are listed under NOT REQUIRED TO SUBMIT A REPORT. There is a question as to what “grant made” refers to. It could refer to either “Award Date” or “Award Start Date.” Under Frequently Asked Questions, Research.gov specifies: “13. What is the difference between Award Date and Award Start Date? The Award Date is the date the award is issued while the Award Start Date is the effective date of the award.” I took this to indicate that “awards made” date is the “Award Date.” (see https://www.research.gov/common/robohelp/public/WebHelp/Frequently_Asked_Questions.htm#frequently_asked_questions_htm_f_2303 ).
- For NSF grants that fall between January 4, 2010 and June 21,2014 – the NSF grants examined in the data sets here – separating those who complied with the Project Outcomes Report requirement from those who did not is straightforward. You sort under the Project Outcomes Report column. With a few minor exceptions, all entries that are filled in, followed the requirement. All entries that are blank in this column did not.
To peruse the data, at the top of the page select from one of the three choices: Individuals who have (a) Submitted a Report, (b) Not Submitted a Report, or (c) Not Required to Submit a Report. Click on the year you wish to examine. If you desire to find a particular institution or individual, you should be use search.
Rather than present all the data across the page, the data are organized to highlight the institutions and individuals who have (or have not) complied with the Project Outcomes Report Requirement. Clicking on a particular entry, generates a drop down set of rows which provide additional data.
Dr. Rob Borofsky
Center for a Public Anthropology