Current Congressionally Authorized Activities*

Public Law
114-120 Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015
Conduct an assessment of the costs incurred by the federal government to carry out polar icebreaking missions
114-113 Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016
Study the process used to establish the Advisory Committee for the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the subsequent development of the Dietary Guidelines
Study the technical validity of the lateral stability and vehicle handling requirements proposed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission for purposes of reducing the risk of Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle “ROV” rollovers in the off-road environment, including the repeatability and reproducibility of testing for compliance
Conduct a study on policies affecting the next generation of researchers in the United States
Conduct an evaluation of available evidence of health effects from e-cigarettes and recommendations for future federally funded research
Conduct a study of the sources of lead in the environment at Superfund sites proximal to the nation’s largest lead mining districts
Review current monitoring, sampling protocols, and requirements to understand miners’ occupational exposure to respirable coal mine dust in the United States and other industrialized countries
Conduct an analysis of the macroeconomic, health, and crime/social costs of child poverty as well as the efforts aimed at reducing poverty and propose recommendations with the goal of reducing the number of children living in poverty in the United States by half in 10 years
Conduct a study on the safe sodium intake for healthy individuals including a determination of the blood pressure effect and cardiovascular disease implications for healthy people consuming sodium at 3,000 mg or less per day
114-94 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act
Study the performance of bridges that received funding under the innovative bridge research and construction program and whether they met the goals of that program
Evaluate whether it is in the public interest to withhold from discovery or admission into evidence in a federal or state court proceeding any plan, report, data, or other information submitted to, developed, produced, collected, or obtained by the secretary or the secretary’s representative for purposes of complying with the requirements under section 5329 of title 49, United States Code, including information related to a recipient’s safety plan, safety risks, and mitigation measures
Conduct a study of the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Safety Measurement System (SMS) utilized by the program
Study the actions needed to upgrade and restore the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways
Complete testing of electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brake systems during emergency braking application, including more than one scenario involving the uncoupling of a train with 70 or more DOT-117 or DOT-117R specification tank cars
114-92 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016
Jointly with the National Academy of Public Administration, evaluate the plan and its implementation to reform the governance and management and to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the nuclear security enterprise
113-235 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015
Three years after enactment of the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2014 (included in this legislation), evaluate the Regional Innovation Program established by the Act, recommending whether it should be improved and continued or terminated
Establish a blue-ribbon commission on scientific literacy and standing
Evaluate the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP), including its two-tiered peer review process and its coordination of research priorities with the National Institutes of Health, and recommend how it can be improved
Conduct a national level, comprehensive study on the future resilience and reliability of the nation’s electric power transmission and distribution system
113-121 Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014
Study and make recommendations relating to infrastructure and coastal restoration options for reducing risk to human life and property from extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, coastal storms, and inland flooding
113-76 Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014
Evaluate, possibly on a periodic basis, the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) distribution system and make recommendations to improve it, including consideration of private-public collaborations to increase efficiencies
Upon completion of a Government Accountability Office analysis, review the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's ocean and coastal data collection systems to determine which systems should be maintained, which need sustained investment, and which should be retired
Conduct a study on the impact of federal regulations and reporting requirements on institutions of higher education (see Public Law 110-315)
Assess China’s strategies, policies, and programs to become an innovative society and to enhance its indigenous innovation
Undertake a review of existing data collection methods pertaining to human trafficking and slavery and make recommendations to improve data collection in these areas
Review the Bureau of Reclamation’s draft analysis of buried metallic water pipeline reliability to ensure that the uniform reliability standard, in addition to the analysis of economics, cost-effectiveness, and life-cycle costs, is accurate and consistent across all referenced materials
113-6 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013
Analyze the research and activities of the Institute for Telecommunications Services (ITS) of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and make recommendations regarding the extent to which ITS research is addressing future telecommunications challenges and spectrum needs.
112-239 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013
Assess and provide an analysis and recommendations on the state of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ mental health services, including the department’s development and implementation of measures to assess its mental health care services and its staffing guidelines
112-141 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21)
Review a report which assesses the status of vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure dedicated short-range communications technology and applications, analyzes the known and potential gaps, and defines a recommended implementation path
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
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
111-8 Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009
Conduct an inventory of the energy development potential on all lands currently managed by the Department of Energy
110-422 National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2008
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
110-315 Higher Education Opportunity Act
Ascertain the amount and scope, by agency, of all federal regulations and reporting requirements with which institutions of higher education must comply and offer recommendations for consolidating, streamlining, and eliminating those that are redundant and burdensome (see Public Law 113-76)
110-161 Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008
Establish an independent project review of NASA's major programs
110-140 Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007
Evaluate vehicle fuel economy standards, updating the initial report every five years through 2025
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"
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
Establish an expert panel to 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
109-155 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"
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

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