CTG Explores the Future of Publicly Funded Research in the US
Last year, the Center for Technology in Government was asked by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health to develop a research strategy that would help the research enterprise continue to thrive in an increasingly complex and dynamic environment.
The research enterprise has grown eleven-fold in the last fifty years and now invests as much as $100 billion a year to support the work of scientists, physicians, and engineers in university laboratories, hospitals, and other research settings throughout the United States.
The enterprise is not only large, complex, and important in its own right, it is also embedded in a political, economic, and social environment that exerts strong influences on research topics and priorities, methods and principles, and opportunities for involvement. Given these trends, what knowledge and action are needed to shape the future of grant-supported research?
The results of the CTG-led project were recently released in Finding our Future: A Research Agenda for the Research Enterprise. The report details the challenges facing the research enterprise, outlines an ideal future, and presents a research agenda and action recommendations for moving toward that future.
Since much of today's groundbreaking research extends beyond the bounds of any single discipline, Finding our Future recommends that the research enterprise begin to support new interdisciplinary research. Among its other recommendations, the report suggests that the enterprise find ways to leverage new technologies to virtually bring together top researchers who are not able to travel to physically participate in the review of cutting edge research proposals. It also recommends improving the way research findings are communicated to other researchers and the public.
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