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Nsf, Nih to Measure Federal Science Funding Impact

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The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation have launched Science and Technology for America's Reinvestment: Measuring the EffecT of Research on Innovation, Competitiveness and Science (STAR METRICS), an initiative to measure the impact of federal investment in the sciences.

STAR METRICS is a multi-agency venture aimed at monitoring how research and development grants affect employment, knowledge generation, and health outcomes. The program will gather data from research institutions that volunteer to participate and the federal agencies that fund them. The first phase of STAR METRICS will use university administrative records to determine the employment impact of federal science spending. The second phase will measure the impact of science investment in four areas—economic growth, workforce outcomes, scientific knowledge, and social outcomes.

"In the short term, we'll know the impact on jobs," says NIH director Francis Collins. "In the long term, we'll be able to measure patents, publications, citations, and business startups."

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