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The Research Environment and Culture

  • Increase the size and duration of project awards so that researchers spend more time doing research and less time ensuring that their research is supported.

  • Increase the diversity of the individuals and organizations doing research.

  • Fund risky projects that could dramatically advance an area of research or open new research frontiers.

  • Develop a new digital cyberinfrastructure to make the best use of rapidly expanding databases and multidisciplinary collaborations.

  • Expand funding for merit-reviewed, cross-disciplinary, collaborative research centers.

Program Management and Review

  • Ensure that federal agencies include research programs in their strategic plans and that they evaluate the success of those programs in performance reports.

  • Evaluate research in terms of quality, relevance, and leadership. For basic research, include assessments of the historical value of basic research in contributing to national goals.

  • Evaluate how well research programs develop human resources and the quality, relevance, and leadership of the programs.

  • Establish a formal process to identify and coordinate areas of research that are supported by multiple agencies, and designate a lead agency for each such field.

Administrative Policies and Procedures

  • Develop a new framework for the development of policies, rules, regulations, and laws affecting the partnership between the federal government and the institutions that perform research.

  • Raise the cap on reimbursement of indirect costs to reflect the costs to universities of conducting research.

  • Expand and enhance the Federal Demonstration Partnership to enroll more institutions and heighten the visibility of this important initiative.


Because innovation does not have a single obvious pathway to success, much depends on the environment and culture that make innovation possible. These factors range widely across social, administrative, and tech-

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