Computing Community Consortium Blog

The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.

Agencies, National Science Board Seeking Input

July 9th, 2011 / in policy / by Erwin Gianchandani

Late last month, the White House announced a request for feedback on “Circular A-21” — a 7-year-old document that specifies key principles for determining costs applicable to grants, contracts, and other agreements between the Federal government and educational institutions. The goal is to identify a set of revisions that will revise and clarify the circular — and input from research faculty is strongly encouraged.

As Sally Rockey, Deputy Director for Extramural Research at NIH and co-chair of the A-21 Task Force, wrote (emphasis added):

This is your chance to have input on an important issue that greatly impacts the research community each and every day. Today, on behalf of the A-21 Task Force that reports to the Research Business Models Working Group, we released a request for information regarding revisions to the current OMB Circular A-21. This document, the Cost Principles for Educational Institutions, guides universities in determining what can and cannot be charged to federal grants and contracts. We are requesting information on opportunities for revisions that promise to reduce administrative burden or costs associated with compliance requirements of this circular and other requirements associated with federal support of research.


Representatives from multiple federal agencies, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy will review the potential revisions. Several suggested areas that have potential to reduce burden have been identified for consideration within the request for information. You can see the list in the notice. Improvements to additional areas will also be considered. We are interested in hearing about A-21 issues that impact institutions, but also are particularly interested in how A-21 impacts the conduct of research by the scientist in his or her lab.


If you would like to submit a potential revision or comment, please use this website. Responses will be accepted through July 28, 2011, and a summary of the responses will be available by September 2011…


If you have questions about this request for information, send us an e-mail.

Still Time to Comment on Draft NSF Review Criteria

Meanwhile, following an extensive review of the NSF’s merit review criteria (Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts), the National Science Board recently  proposed a revision, identifying a set of underlying principles upon which the criteria should be based, and clarifying their intent and how they should be used in the review process.

The NSB continues to collect comments on the draft revised criteria through next Thursday, July 14. Review the two draft revised criteria here, and send any comments you may have by e-mail to

(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)

Agencies, National Science Board Seeking Input

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