White House launches a joint committee to improve research productivity

White House launches a joint committee to improve research productivity

The White House, in a statement released on May 6, 2019, announced the launch of a new joint committee to address the challenges facing the US research community. The committee, launched by the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), will work to boost “the safety, integrity, and productivity of research settings.” It will be jointly led by NSTC’s Committee on Science and Committee on Science and Technology Enterprise.

The joint committee will investigate the hurdles faced by researchers, like administrative workload on research funded by the government and concerns around the integrity in research. The committee will also focus on ensuring a safe, inclusive, and equitable research environment as well as protecting American research assets.

“Our Nation’s continued global leadership in science and technology depends upon attracting, empowering, and retaining our best and brightest talent,” said Dr. Kelvin K. Droegemeier, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), in the statement. “It’s critical we remove any obstacles in the way of the scientists, engineers, and inventors of today and tomorrow achieving their full potential,” he added.

Members and co-chairs of the committee include leaders from national agencies like the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Department of Energy. They will work closely with the academic and scientific community to gather important insights that will help with creating new policies and initiating cross-agency efforts.

The committee’s focus will span a wide range of challenges faced by members of the US research enterprise across government, academia, and private sector, and will not be limited to a specific area of research, an OSTP representative told Nextgov. “It’s looking at the impediments to researchers across disciplines driving new discoveries and innovations and what can we do to address those impediments so our enterprise is performing its best,” the representative said.

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