SSI should take advantage of any other efforts to clarify and catalog relevant research being done in the region while continuing to identify new topics that are relevant and important.

Conclusion The draft plan defines capacity building well (pp. 86-87), but it does not articulate how capacity building will either be incorporated into an RFP or as part of the program as a whole. It also does not address the educational components of capacity building.

Recommendation The plan should more clearly identify the benefits of capacity building and should provide more specifics on how the AYK SSI intends to implement and assess the results of capacity building. The plan should specifically discuss and implement educational components (K-12 and beyond) of capacity building.

Conclusion As the draft plan recognizes, cataloging, assembling, and synthesizing existing data is an important early step that the program should take.

Recommendation This committee endorses and encourages the AYK SSI’s approach of focusing early RFPs on retrospective analyses.

Conclusion The administration of this, like any, scientific program is a significant undertaking and requires the full attention of a dedicated and qualified individual or individuals.

Recommendation The AYK SSI should hire a full-time dedicated science director to manage the plan.

Conclusion There is insufficient separation to avoid the appearance and reality of conflict of interest between the people who write the science plan and the RFPs and evaluate research proposals, and the investigators who submit research proposals.

Recommendation The AYK SSI should reduce the appearance and reality of conflict of interest that result when individuals involved in writing the science plan, and especially in writing the RFPs, apply for research funding from the AYK SSI. Special care should be taken in those cases to ensure that the reviewers of those proposals have not been

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