fulfill the organization’s goals and mission and to address the needs of its customers, and maintaining a current and planned R&D portfolio that supports the organization’s mission. Generally, managers or directors of research organizations should be scientifically trained personnel with research experience. There are certainly exceptions, but they are few; directors must genuinely understand and believe in basic and applied research. The manager must be capable of assessing and prioritizing research proposals from the research staff and from external funding sources and must also ensure that the aforementioned database is rigorously maintained. The manager must also be the marketing leader in finding research grants for internally generated basic and applied research proposals; must support customers who are seeking solutions to problems using applied research; and must diligently push for balance between internally generated basic and applied research proposals, customer-funded basic research proposals, and customer-funded advanced engineering support. Non-academic organizations (e.g., corporations and government organizations) which include R&D organizations that are productive in both research and engineering are most successful when the R&D director or manager reports to the overall leader of the organization.
The following ideas for assessment processes might be considered:
• The research organization should conduct internal assessments of about 25 percent of basic and applied research projects, randomly selected each year, using the assessment criteria.
• The research organization should have a “blue ribbon” external panel of scientific experts to assess the internally reviewed projects with respect to the assessment criteria. The external review should be compared with internal assessments, using the same criteria.
• The research organization should solicit feedback from external customers who fund projects. The solicitation for feedback should be oriented around customer satisfaction. The feedback survey should be a tailored version of the assessment criteria.
• The research organization should review the research staff composition annually with regard to the quality of staff and mix of staff expertise.