Federal Funding Mechanisms in Support of University Research

Gao ID: 129326 March 12, 1986

Testimony was given concerning the use of federal funding mechanisms to support university research. GAO found that: (1) the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation provide over three-fourths of the total funds obligated for scientific research; (2) in fiscal year (FY) 1984, six federal agencies awarded 89 percent of their research funds through individual project awards, program project awards, and research center awards; (3) individual project awards accounted for 71 percent of the total support in FY 1984; (4) direct support for program projects and research centers is often multidisciplinary, longer in duration, and larger in dollar amounts than individual research projects; (5) direct support of scientific research has increased from 62 percent in FY 1963 to 87 percent in FY 1982; (6) many of the funding mechanisms used to support the research infrastructure, including major equipment and facilities, special training, and institutional support, have been discontinued over the same period; and (7) the type of funding mechanism has been less significant than the universities' commitment to improving the quality of research programs and their ability to obtain funds from a variety of sources.

The Justia Government Accountability Office site republishes public reports retrieved from the U.S. GAO These reports should not be considered official, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Justia.