ing agency for physical science research; a significant fraction of the nation’s expertise in areas such as neutron scattering, accelerator physics, and nuclear science resides within the national laboratories.3 Yet DOE has had some difficulty enlarging its research budget to accommodate growth.
Some participants expressed concern that the lack of a clearly articulated DOE mission has contributed to the lack of political support for national laboratories, and this lack of support will present a significant challenge for future collaborative activities. The fact that both the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and NSF continue to have growing support for both facilities and research programs is viewed by some in the university systems as making it more difficult to develop, implement, and sustain collaborative research partnerships with the national laboratories. Nonetheless, the importance of finding ways to continue to build and maintain these relationships, particularly access to user facilities at the national laboratories, was viewed by most at this workshop as critical to their future endeavors. In fact, Marburger’s comments, delivered by Michael Holland from OSTP, reinforced this point, stating that the laboratories are “helping the universities carry out their research mission for all of the science agencies.”
While most agreed that these partnerships were important, they also agreed that there were a number of challenges to making these relationships work, even at the individual investigator level. These challenges, although not necessarily unique to collaborations between universities and national laboratories, nevertheless were viewed as important to deal with in order to increase the opportunity for successful collaborations. As noted by the title of the plenary session, if collaboration is such a good thing, why isn’t there more of it?
Prepared remarks from key individuals were presented in four major areas of concern, followed by breakout sessions on each of these topics:
Incentives and structures
Access to major user facilities
Building the S&E workforce of tomorrow
Collaboration in the context of classified research
The following material represents the key items of discussion and major ideas presented during both the formal sessions and the breakout group discussions. Many of these same ideas are presented again in Appendix E, where they are grouped by types of collaboration.