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(FDP) was established to examine, streamline, and reduce the burdens of grant administration. The goals of the FDP are to standardize terms and conditions across federal agencies, simplify the prior-approval process, and streamline award distribution—for example, the FDP is doing a long-term study of institutional burdens related to the OMB circulars. Extending the FDP to colleges with less involvement in federal research awards would help disseminate best practices among federal agencies and institutions of higher education.

Among the actions the federal government could take to reduce the administrative burden on the performers of research are the following:

  • Use the “Principles of the Federal Partnership with Universities in Research” developed by the NSTC to provide a framework for the development of new policies, rules, regulations, and laws affecting the government-university partnership.

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

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

  • Streamline and align the grant-administration process across agencies to the extent that is consistent with agency needs; all agencies should use uniform terms and conditions for all research and research-related project grants.

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