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Evaluating Federal Research Programs

Research and the Government Performance and Results Act

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Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); .
ISBN-10: 0-309-06430-9ISBN-13: 978-0-309-06430-9

The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), passed by Congress in 1993, requires that federal agencies write five-year strategic plans with annual performance goals and produce an annual report that demonstrates whether the goals have been met. The first performance reports are due in March 2000. Measuring the performance of basic research is particularly challenging because major breakthroughs can be unpredictable and difficult to assess in the short term. This book recommends that federal agencies use an "expert review" method to examine the quality of research they support, the relevance of that research to their mission, and whether the research is at the international forefront of scientific and technological knowledge. It also addresses the issues of matching evaluation measurements to the character of the research performed, improving coordination among agencies when research is in the same field, and including a human resource development component in GPRA strategic and performance plans.

Contents

Suggested citation:

Institute of Medicine 1999. Evaluating Federal Research Programs: Research and the Government Performance and Results Act. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/6416.

Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the National Academies Press. (Request Permission) Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences.

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

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NOTICE: This volume was produced as part of a project approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. It is a result of work done by the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (COSEPUP) as augmented, which has authorized its release to the public. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by COSEPUP and the Report Review Committee.

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Under the authority of the charter granted to it by Congress in 1863, the Academy has a working mandate that calls on it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of NAS.

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) was established in 1964, under the charter of NAS, as a parallel organization of distinguished engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of members, sharing with NAS its responsibilities for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of NAE.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) was established in 1970 by NAS to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to NAS in its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, on its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of IOM.

The Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (COSEPUP) is a joint committee of NAS, NAE, and IOM. It includes members of the councils of all three bodies.

Financial Support: The development of this report was supported by the National Research Council, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Defense.

Limited copies are available from: Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, 2101 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20418.

Additional copies are available for sale from: National Academy Press, Box 285, 2101 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20055. You may order by phone at 1-800-624-6242 (202-334-3313 in the Washington metropolitan area) or by visiting the National Academy Press web site, www.nap.edu.

Copyright 1999 by the National Academy of Sciences.
Bookshelf ID: NBK547310PMID: 31580629DOI: 10.17226/6416

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