Current Congressionally Authorized Activities*

Public Law
112-95 FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011
Review the enterprise architecture for the NextGen
Study the assumptions and methods used by the Federal Aviation Administration to estimate staffing needs for FAA systems specialists to ensure proper maintenance and certification of the national airspace system
Study the standards used by the FAA to estimate staffing needs for FAA air traffic controllers to ensure the safe operation of the national airspace system in the most cost-effective manner
Review the research plan developed by the FAA administrator on the methods and procedures to improve both confidence in and the timeliness of certification of new technologies for their introduction into the national airspace system
Conduct a study, under the Airport Cooperative Research Program, on airport sustainability practices
112-81 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012
Within four years of the enactment of the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011, and every four years thereafter, conduct a study of how the STTR program has stimulated technological innovation and technology transfer, estimate the number of jobs created by the SBIR and STTR programs, and make recommendations with respect to these issues
112-74 Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012
Evaluate the adequacy and validity of the Department of Homeland Security's revised site-specific biosafety and biosecurity mitigation risk assessment of the National Bio- and Agro-defense Facility (also see Public Law 112-10)
Conduct a study to identify the market barriers slowing the purchase of electric vehicles and hindering the deployment of supporting infrastructure
Study the lessons learned from the Fukushima nuclear disaster
Assess the data, analysis, and conclusions in the National Park Service's Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) concerning oyster operations at Point Reyes National Seashore to ensure there is a solid scientific foundation for the Final Environmental Impact Statement
Conduct up to three reviews of the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) assessments that the Environmental Protection Agency seeks to make final, including a study of the cancer and noncancer hazards from oral exposure to inorganic arsenic
Form a work group to review, evaluate, and identify issues related to the Cures Acceleration Network (CAN) authority and provide a report for the CAN Board to help it identify ways to accelerate and expand the number of cures
Evaluate the Clinical and Translational Science Awards program and recommend whether changes to the current mission are needed
Conduct a scientific peer review of the 12th Report on Carcinogens determinations related to formaldehyde and styrene
112-10 Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011
Evaluate the adequacy and validity of the Department of Homeland Security's revised site-specific biosafety and biosecurity mitigation risk assessment of the National Bio- and Agro-defense Facility (also see Public Law 112-74)
111-358 America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010
Conduct a study on the scientific work force in the areas of oceanic and atmospheric research and development
Conduct a study of all federal agencies that administer an Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) or a program similar to EPSCoR regarding its effectiveness
Initiate a study to evaluate, develop, or improve impact-on-society metrics
Within three years, evaluate the regional innovation program established by this Act
111-314 National and Commercial Space Programs
Periodically over the next decade, conduct independent assessments, also known as decadal surveys, taking stock of the status and opportunities for earth and space science discipline fields and aeronautics research and recommending priorities for research and programmatic areas
At five-year intervals, review and assess the performance of each division in the science directorate of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
111-275 Veterans' Benefits Act of 2010
Review the best treatments for chronic multisymptom illness in Persian Gulf War veterans and evaluate how such treatment approaches could best be disseminated throughout the Department of Veterans Affairs
111-267 National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010
Beginning in FY2012, conduct a review of the goals, core capabilities, and direction of human space flight, using the goals set forth in the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2005, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2008, the goals set forth in this Act, and those set forth in any existing statement of space policy issued by the president
111-212 Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2010
Conduct a study of the long-term ecosystem service impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil discharge
111-163 Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010
Conduct an expanded study on the health impact of Project Shipboard Hazard and Defense (Project SHAD)
111-148 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Study the ramifications of Medicare payment reductions for dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry on beneficiary access to bone mass density tests
Study the demonstration programs conducted under Sec. 5304 of this Act that shall provide analysis regarding access to dental health care in the United States
Review research on the selection of a set of key national indicators, determine how to implement and establish a key national indicator system, and report annually to the Commission on Key National Indicators any findings and recommendations
111-117 Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010
Study the long-term economic effects of the aging population in the United States
Conduct a study of the feasibility of commercially provided earth science data
Study the mental and behavioral health care needs of the American people and recommend policies for achieving a mental health work force to address those needs
111-88 Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010
Examine the use and storage of methyl isocyanate, including the feasibility of implementing alternatives and their costs, at the Bayer CropScience facility in Institute, West Virginia
111-85 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010
Conduct an analysis of energy use within the light-duty vehicle transportation sector and an integrated study of the technology and fuel options that could reduce petroleum consumption and greenhouse gas emissions
Conduct a study to address the national security and extended deterrence value of the B61 bomb for both strategic and tactical purposes in light of nuclear terrorism risks and military threats
111-84 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010
Review and assess the substance use disorders programs for members of the Armed Forces
Study the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder
Conduct a review of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories
111-11 Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009
Review the strategic plan for federal research and monitoring on ocean acidification developed by the Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology of the National Science and Technology Council
111-8 Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009
Conduct an inventory of the energy development potential on all lands currently managed by the Department of Energy
Study the position of the United States in flexible electronics, its applications, and the steps that must be undertaken for a national initiative
Conduct a third-party review of the federal nanotechnology research program
110-422 National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2008
Conduct a study to determine the most appropriate governance structure for U.S. earth observations programs
Study the impacts of space weather on the current and future United States aviation industry, and in particular examine the risks for Over-The-Pole (OTP) and Ultra-Long-Range (ULR) operations
On a periodic basis, perform independent assessments -- also known as decadal surveys -- to take stock of the status and opportunities for the fields of earth and space science and aeronautics and to recommend priorities for research and programmatic areas over the next decade
110-389 Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 2008
Before March 31, 2012, report to Congress assessing the feasibility and advisability of conducting additional research after Sept. 30, 2012, on the assets transferred to the Institute of Medicine's Medical Follow-Up Agency from the Air Force Health Study (see Public Law 109-364 for background on this request)
110-343 Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008
Review the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to identify the types of and specific tax provisions that have the largest effects on carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions and to estimate the magnitude of those effects
110-315 Higher Education Opportunity Act
Evaluate the quality of distance education programs, as compared to campus-based education programs, at institutions of higher education
Identify any race, ethnicity, or gender bias in the content and construction of standardized tests that are used for admission to institutions of higher education
Study the quality of teacher education programs to determine if teachers are adequately prepared to meet the needs of students with reading and language processing disabilities, including dyslexia
Identify constraints encountered by schools of nursing in admitting and graduating the number of registered nurses necessary to ensure patient safety and meet the need for quality assurance in the provision of health care; and develop recommendations to alleviate these constraints
110-293 Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008
Provide the global AIDS coordinator with a design and budget plan for the evaluation and collection of baseline and subsequent data
110-181 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008
Study the physical and mental health and other readjustment needs of members and former members of the Armed Forces deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom and their families
110-161 Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008
Conduct a study relating to the investment of intangible assets
Conduct a study on methods for collecting data regarding the status of the U.S. economy and determine whether the current data results in an overstatement of economic growth, domestic manufacturing output, and productivity
Establish an independent project review of NASA's major programs
Support the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis' Global Energy Assessment
Recommend innovative approaches to educate and train scientists and users of Earth observations and applications and to assist in training students
110-140 Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007
Evaluate vehicle fuel economy standards, updating the initial report every five years through 2025
Assess the impact of the requirements described in Section 211(o) of the Clean Air Act on each industry relating to the production of feed grains, livestock, food, forest products, and energy
Produce both an initial review and an updated report on the status of advanced solid state lighting research, development, demonstration, and commercialization
Five years after enactment of this Act, assess the Department of Energy's performance in carrying out Section 641, titled the "United States Energy Storage Competitiveness Act of 2007"
Review and provide oversight for the Carbon Capture and Sequestration Research, Development, and Demonstration Programs under Section 963 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and as amended by Sections 702 and 703 of this Act
Conduct a study that defines an interdisciplinary program on the undergraduate and graduate levels in geology, engineering, hydrology, environmental science, and related disciplines that will support the nation's capability to capture and sequester carbon dioxide from anthropogenic sources, and develop guidelines for proposals from colleges and universities with substantial capabilities in the required disciplines
110-114 Water Resources Development Act of 2007
Conduct a peer review for those project studies subject to a review as described in subsection (a), Section 2034, of this Act, which may include the economic and environmental assumptions and projections, project evaluation data, economic, environmental, and engineering analyses, formulation of alternative plans, methods for integrating risk and uncertainty, models used in evaluation of economic or environmental impacts of proposed projects, and any biological opinions of the project study
110-69 America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science (America COMPETES) Act
Conduct a study to identify and review methods to mitigate new forms of risk for businesses, beyond conventional operational and financial risk, that affect the ability to innovate
Study how the federal government should support, through research, education, and training, the emerging management and learning discipline known as "service science"
Not later than five years and 10 years after enactment of this Act, assess the performance of the science, engineering, and mathematics education programs of the Department of Energy
Review the performance of the distributed, multidisciplinary institutes, established and centered at national laboratories, to apply fundamental science and engineering discoveries to technological innovations
Four years into its operation, conduct an evaluation of how well the Advanced Research Projects Agency -- Energy (ARPA-E) is achieving its goals and mission
Identify promising practices for improving teaching and student achievement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in kindergarten through grade 12 and examine and synthesize the scientific evidence pertaining to the improvement of teaching and learning in these fields
Conduct a study of the mechanisms and supports needed for an institution of higher education or nonprofit organization to develop and maintain a program to provide free access to online educational content as part of a degree program, especially in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or foreign languages, without using federal funds, including funds provided under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070 et seq.)
109-364 John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007
Receive custodianship of the Air Force Health Study assets, maintain the data and specimens, and make them available for additional studies
109-347 Security and Accountability for Every (SAFE) Port Act of 2006
Conduct a study and prepare a report on disaster area health and environmental protection and monitoring
109-155 National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2005
At five-year intervals, review and assess the performance of each division in the science directorate of NASA
109-59 Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU)
Recommend a research agenda for a national cooperative freight transportation research program and to support and carry out administrative and management activities related to its governance
Carry out the nine research projects called for in the National Academies' Transportation Research Board 2005 Special Report 283 titled "Cooperative Research for Hazardous Materials Transportation: Defining the Need, Converging on Solutions"
109-58 Energy Policy Act of 2005
Study the short- and long-term availability of skilled workers to meet the energy and mineral security requirements of the United States
Every four years, review the Department of Energy's R&D program on technologies relating to the production, purification, distribution, storage, and use of hydrogen energy, fuel cells, and related infrastructure outlined in Section 805 of this Act
Every four years, review the demonstration projects outlined in Section 808 and consistent with "Title VIII -- Hydrogen" of this Act, and the Department of Energy's determination of the maturity, cost-effectiveness, and environmental impacts of technologies supporting each project
Conduct periodic reviews of the Next-Generation Lighting Initiative
Review the research plan for the systems biology program
Conduct periodic reviews and assessments of the Department of Energy's research, development, demonstration, and commercial application programs in energy efficiency, renewable energy, nuclear energy, and fossil energy; the measurable cost and performance goals for the programs as established under Section 902 of this Act; and the progress on meeting these goals
Determine the effect that electrical contaminants (such as tin whiskers) may have on the reliability of energy production systems, including nuclear energy
Study the potential of developing wind, solar, and ocean energy resources on federal land and the outer continental shelf; assess any federal law relating to their development; and recommend statutory and regulatory mechanisms for developing them
108-176 Vision 100 -- Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act
Provide staff support to the Airport Cooperative Research Program Governing Board and carry out projects proposed by the board that the secretary of transportation considers appropriate
108-153 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act
Conduct a triennial evaluation of the National Nanotechnology Program
106-541 Water Resources Development Act of 2000
Biennial review of the progress of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan
105-368 Veterans Programs Enhancement Act of 1998
Review and evaluate the available scientific evidence regarding associations between illness and service in the Persian Gulf War
Develop a curriculum for the care and treatment of Persian Gulf War veterans who have ill-defined or undiagnosed illnesses and periodically review and provide recommendations regarding research plans and research strategies
105-277 Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Fiscal Year 1999
Study on the available scientific evidence regarding associations between illnesses and exposure to toxic agents, environmental or wartime hazards, or preventive medicines or vaccines associated with Gulf War service
102-4 Agent Orange Act of 1991
Periodic review, summary, and assessment of the scientific evidence, and recommendation for further scientific studies concerning the association between exposure to herbicide and each disease suspected to be associated with such exposure (reports to be submitted at least biennially for a period of up to 10 years)
93-348 National Research Service Award Act of 1974
Conduct a continuing study to establish the nation's overall need for biomedical and behavioral research personnel and assess current training programs

*While all projects listed have been designated in legislation, a few lack funding and final contracts.