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for each action.
Adopt Statement of
Principles of the Government-University Partnership
Reaffirm the Importance of the Integration of Research and
Education and Strengthen the Linkages in Practice
Institute Uniform Government Policies and Practices
for Research Misconduct
Clarify and Extend Use of Merit Review in Awarding Research Funds
Clarify or Amend Cost Sharing Policies and Practices
Reduce Differences in Grants Administration Across
Establish Mechanism to Review Impact of Proposed
Changes in Business Practices
Streamline Certification and Assurances Requirements
Strengthen Environmental Protection in Research Laboratory Setting
Establish Task Force to Provide for Continuing Dialogue and Review
|ACTION: Adopt Statement of Principles of the
- The NSTC proposes a statement of principles of the government-university partnership to
clarify the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of the partiesfunding
agencies, universities, individual investigators, and regulatory bodiesand to
provide a framework for the development of new policies, rules, regulations, and laws
affecting the partnership. The NSTC statement of principles serves as a basis for further
dialogue among interested parties, including government and universities, and should be
finalized by the NSTC within twelve months. There will be a variety of mechanisms provided
for facilitating public comment through discussions with stakeholders, who include the
Congress, university associations and professional societies, the National Academy of
Sciences, the National Science Board, and the Federal Demonstration Partnership.
|ACTIONS: Reaffirm the Importance of the
Integration of Research and Education and Strengthen the Linkages in Practice
- The NSTC reaffirms the importance to the nation, the research enterprise, and the future
scientific and engineering workforce of linking education and research. Federal agencies
and universities are encouraged to explore mechanisms and to experiment with programs that
catalyze the integration of research and education on campus and aid students in their
transition from students to members of the scientific and engineering workforce.
- The NSTC will review government policies and practices to ensure that agencies are able
to support students in a manner consistent with their dual roles as researchers and
students, and recommend changes as necessary. The NSTC will provide the results of the
review and recommendations to the appropriate Federal agencies within twelve months of this
|ACTION: Institute Uniform Government
Policies and Practices for Research Misconduct
- The NSTC will complete the process initiated in 1996 to develop a government-wide
definition of research misconduct and guidelines for handling cases of alleged research
misconduct. The policy will affect all research funded by the Federal government,
including both intramural research and extramural research funded through universities,
non-profit organizations, and the private sector. Agencies will have twelve months to
implement the new policy once it is finalized.
|ACTION: Clarify and Extend Use of Merit Review
in Awarding Research Funds
- The NSTC reaffirms the principle of merit review in awarding research funds.
- The NSTC supports OMBs effort to refine the definition of merit review in its
annual revision of the terms in OMB Circular A-11, "Preparation and Submission of
Budget Estimates (part 1)".
- The NSTC will examine ways to extend agency application of merit review in awarding
research funds and seek ways to decrease practices that bypass the process.
|ACTIONS: Clarify or Amend Cost Sharing
Policies and Practices
- The NSTC will explore mechanisms by which agencies might more clearly and consistently
communicate information to universities about their cost sharing policies, practices, and
expectations. One option might be to require that agencies announce when and how cost
sharing will figure in selection processes and include information about the amount of
cost sharing expected. Options should be drafted within twelve months of this report.
- The NSTC will assess the impact of accounting practices on voluntary cost sharing by
universities, particularly as it relates to the donation of faculty time to research
projects. The review (including data collection) should be completed and recommendations
issued within twelve months of this report.
- The NSTC will assess the impact of provisions that limit reimbursement of research costs
on otherwise allowable costs, and in particular, the impact of these cost reimbursement
policies on government-university relationships that have procurement aspects. The review
(including data collection) should be completed and recommendations issued within twelve
months of this report.
|ACTION: Reduce Differences in Grants
Administration Across Agencies
- The NSTC will establish an interagency group to develop terms and conditions that will
reduce differences in grants administration policy and practice across Federal agencies to
the extent consistent with individual agency needs. The general terms and
conditions should be based on those developed by the FDP and make maximum use of the
expanded authorities included in OMB Circular A-110 for all research and research-related
project grants. Where consistent with statute, the NSTC policy will be that all Federal
agencies will use the uniform terms and conditions as the default for all research and
research-related project grants. These defaults should be overridden only when there are
compelling reasons to do so. These actions should be implemented within twelve
months of this report.
- The NSTC encourages agencies to continue reducing agency-specific requirements, consistent with their missions. Related to this, agencies should work
together to coordinate a "common face" to the university research community in
the development of ERA systems.
|ACTION: Establish Mechanism to Review
Impact of Proposed Changes in Business Practices
- The NSTC will consider the establishment of more effective mechanisms for reviewing
government business policies and practices, both current and prospective, with respect to
sponsored research to consider their relationship to each other, assess their impact on
research, and determine their compatibility with university processes.
|ACTION: Streamline Certification and
- The NSTC will identify the appropriate agencies to conduct review of certification
requirements in order to: determine those which might be replaced by certifications or assurances of
compliance with national policies; identify those for which institutional certifications
or assurances might be more appropriate (via electronic means if possible) than grant-by
grant assurances; prepare a policy, for incorporation into the appropriate government-wide
document, that directs agencies to impose agency-specific certification requirements only
when required by law or if the agency head determines that there is added value that
justifies using certifications rather than assurances; recommend necessary changes
(including possible legislative changes) in current certification requirements. This
action may implicate more than universities and the agencies that fund them, and
appropriate government entities will be consulted as appropriate. The results of the
review and recommendations should be issued within twelve months of this report.
|ACTION: Strengthen Environmental
Protection in Research Laboratory Setting
- After consulting with the appropriate agencies, the NSTC will determine the best way to
organize discussion among the nations universities, Federal and industrial research
laboratories, Federal and state regulators, and Federal science agencies to identify best
practices for integrating environment, safety, and health responsibilities with the
conduct of research. This discussion would serve as a forum for disseminating best
practices to a wider community. It would also serve as a forum for identifying lessons
learned and impediments to the adoption of these practices that should be incorporated
into new and revised Federal and state regulations. This forum should be established
within twelve months of the issuance of this report, and annual progress reports should be
produced, demonstrating progress.
|ACTION: Establish Task Force to Provide for
Continuing Dialogue and Review
- The NSTC will establish a standing interagency working group under the auspices of the
Committee on Science dedicated to continuing review and assessment of the
government-university partnership. The NSTC urges the Presidents Committee of
Advisors on Science and Technology to consider the establishment of a panel for the same
purpose, to consult with universities and other interested parties, and to provide advice
to the President and the NSTC on the government-university partnership. These entities
would complement the activities of already existing organizations, such as the Federal
Demonstration Partnership, the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable, and the
National Science Board. Potential areas meriting further review include the following: the
process for assigning intellectual property rights in the case of
university-industry-government research collaborations; identification of best practices
of individual universities or Federal agencies that could be disseminated for broader use
to improve the partnership; resources required to meet the terms of the OMB advisory that
requires grantee mission-critical systems to be Y2Kor year 2000compliant.
Other topics will be identified and assessed as appropriate.