Federal Research:

Two Political Science Grants Awarded by the National Science Foundation

RCED-98-91R: Published: Mar 16, 1998. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 1998.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on a National Science Foundation (NSF) study of why individuals choose not to run in congressional elections (the Candidate Emergence Study), focusing on whether: (1) two grants that NSF awarded for the study were within its mission; and (2) the awards complied with NSF's grant procedures.

GAO noted that: (1) the two grants awarded for the study, which were funded under NSF's Political Science Program, are within NSF's mission; (2) NSF's authorizing legislation directs it to, among other things, initiate and support basic scientific research and programs, including the social sciences, of which political science is a subfield; (3) NSF's Political Science Program, created in 1965, supports basic research on political behavior, processes, and institutions; (4) two grant proposals were submitted, reviewed, and processed according to NSF's grant policies and procedures; (5) prior to approval, the grant proposals were subjected to external peer reviews as required by NSF's guidance; and (6) the external reviews provide NSF officials with advisory information on the merit of the proposals and ensure reasonable competition in the award process.

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