National Science Foundation: Major Research Equipment and Facility Construction [Updated March 15, 2007] [open pdf - 72KB]
From the Summary: "The Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) account of the National Science Foundation (NSF) supports the acquisition and construction of major research facilities and equipment that are to extend the boundaries of science, engineering, and technology. The facilities include supercomputer centers, earth simulators, astronomical observatories, and the South Pole Station. Currently, the NSF provides approximately $1 billion annually in support of facilities and other infrastructure projects. The funding for individual facilities ranges from several tens of millions to hundreds of millions of dollars. While the NSF does not directly design or operate research facilities, it does have final responsibility for oversight and management. Recently, questions have been raised by many in the scientific community concerning the adequacy of the planning and management of NSF facilities. In addition, there has been considerable debate related to the backlog of approved but unfunded projects, and the criteria used to select projects for MREFC support. This report will be updated periodically."
CRS Report for Congress, RS21267