Basic Assistance Grant

Charge I Initiatives I Documents I Committee Members

Charge of the Committee

To evaluate grant award mechanisms that can be used to provide funding and develop a new award mechanism based on program as opposed to project model to be tested by participating FDP members.


Justification for the Need of a Basic Assistance Grant Task Force

Essentially all current Federal mechanisms to support basic research are project oriented. Investigators are required to submit separated applications, proposing discreet specific aims (non-overlapping with existing support), to win funding that must be separately accounted-for. This often leads to conflicts for these investigators who operate their program as a single unit in pursuit of scientific interests, but are expected to administer this program as individual units of funding.

Proposed Areas of Study and Emphasis...

  1. Expand the NIH Modular Application process both within NIH (higher dollar thresholds and more award types - perhaps program projects) and to other agencies (initial target is NSF).
  2. Explore further the notion of project relatedness - at both the postaward and preaward levels - consider the possibility that relatedness can be considered a positive aspect (i.e., a strength) of an application and not necessarily a negative (e.g. overlap) issue.
  3. Define the elements of a basic assistance award mechanism. Examples might include: core support for the research team; continuity of support; permitting certain types of administrative expenses (i.e., A-21 sensitive) for multiple project investigators; permit higher degree of scientific freedom.


Results from Institutional Budget Requirements Survey
Minutes from the 1/12 meeting of the basic assistance grant task group (PDF)
Summary of the BAG meeting (PDF)
Letter to NSF regarding proposed demonstration – September 19, 2005 (PDF)
The Basic Assistance Grant – the Federal Research Chair- Draft of 12/08/03 (PDF)

Meeting Minutes

May 2006 (PDF)
January 2006 (PDF)
September 2005 (PDF)
May 2005 (PDF) and Budget Streamlining: Objectives and Options (PDF)
January 2005 (PDF)
September 2004 (PDF)
May 2004 (PDF)
January 2004 (PDF)






Tom Weber (Co-chair)


National Science Foundation

Katalin Csiszar (Co-Chair)


University of Hawaii

Jim Tracy (Co-Chair)


University of Wisconsin-Madison

Susan Ross (Facilitator)


Northwestern University

Jim Randolph (Facilitator)


University of Michigan