The Committee on Smaller Facilities is review the current state of small and mid-sized facilities for materials research in the United States at the request of NSF and DOE. Such facilities play a major role in materials research, but they are widely considered to be less than optimally developed or used. To address this concern, the NRC was asked to assess these facilities to help determine ways to use them more effectively. This letter report presents key topics that the committee will explore in depth to carry out this assessment. In particular, the study will assess the characteristics of successful smaller facilities and challenges they face. Recommendations will be provided to enhance the effectiveness of such facilities in performing materials research.