Bridging Disciplines in the Brain, Behavioral, and Clinical Sciences (IOM, 2000)

Recommendation 1 Federal and private research sponsors should seek to identify areas that can be most effectively investigated with interdisciplinary approaches.

Recommendation 2 Funding agencies and universities should remove the barriers to interdisciplinary research and training … by

  • Requiring commitments from university administration to qualify for funding for interdisciplinary efforts. These should include supportive promotion policies, allocation of appropriate overhead, and allocation of shared facilities.

  • Facilitate interactions among investigators in different disciplines by funding shared and core facilities.

  • Encouraging legislation to expand loan repayment programs to include investigators outside NIH who are engaged in funded interdisciplinary and translational research.

  • Supporting peer review that facilitates interdisciplinary efforts.

  • Continuing and expanding partnerships among funding agencies to provide the broadest base for interdisciplinary efforts.

  • Indicating in funding announcements that training is an integral component on the interdisciplinary research project.

Universities should:

  • Allocate appropriate credit for interdisciplinary efforts … including fair allocation of research overhead costs to the home departments of all investigators and a fair credit for faculty contributions.

  • Review and revise appointment, promotion, and tenure policies to ensure that they do not impede interdisciplinary research and teaching.

  • Facilitate interaction among investigators through support for shared facilities.

  • Encourage development, maintenance, and evolution of interdisciplinary institutes, centers, and programs for appropriate problems.

Improving Palliative Care for Cancer (IOM and NRC, 2001)

Recommendation 2 The NCI should add the requirement of research in palliative care and symptom control for recognition as a “comprehensive cancer center.”

The Health Care Financing Administration should fund demonstration projects for service delivery and reimbursement that integrate palliative care and potentially life-prolonging treatments throughout the course of disease.

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