organization might include such organizations as the National Science Foundation or the DOE funding offices.


To address the study charge, the NRC appointed 12 expert volunteers to the panel. These volunteers, whose biographical sketches appear in Appendix A, represent expertise across research, development, and management activities in the following organizational sectors: the federal government, industry, academia, and national laboratories. Several members of the panel had previously engaged in activities as members of NRC committees that assessed R&D activities at NIST and at other federal agencies.

The panel gathered inputs from relevant literature and from formal discussions at panel meetings with representatives of the following organizations: NIST, the Defense Laboratory Office, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the IBM Corporation. On March 19, 2012, the panel steered a workshop at the Keck Center of the National Academies in Washington, D.C., at which representatives from the following organizations provided formal presentations on assessment practices: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, former congressional staff, Sandia National Laboratories, The Dow Chemical Company, and Microsoft Research; a presentation was also made by the former Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research, Development, and Acquisition. The workshop also garnered inputs through small group discussions with approximately 100 representatives from organizations of the federal government, industry, academia, and national laboratories. A summary of the workshop was published in September 2012.2

The panel conducted four meetings at which it considered the literature reviewed, the presentations made and the discussions conducted, and information derived from the extensive personal experience and expertise of the panel members, and the panel drafted this report summarizing their findings. The report underwent rigorous review by a committee of experts appointed by the National Research Council. When that review committee expressed satisfaction with the responses of the Panel to their review comments, and when the report was subsequently approved by the National Research Council, it was made available to the public.


This report is organized to reflect the elements in the panel’s statement of task. The body of the report consists of the Summary and six chapters. This first chapter describes the formation and study process of the panel. Chapter 2 presents issues that formed the framework within which the panel examined assessment practices. Chapters 3, 4, and 5 present assessment considerations applicable to the three foci of assessment considered fundamental by the panel: management practices, the technical quality of the R&D, and the impact of the R&D. Chapter 6 presents a summary of guidelines for consideration during an assessment.

The report also includes 12 appendixes. In addition to the biographical sketches of the panel members (Appendix A), they present the following: a summary of a workshop presentation highlighting the importance of assessing the alignment between an organization’s vision and its


2 National Research Council, 2012. Best Practices in Assessment of Research and Development Organizations—Summary of a Workshop. The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.

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