The success of the proposed plant biology program will depend on its meeting the following criteria:

  • The program should be dedicated to the study of plant biology as a basic science. It should not be a mission-oriented program aimed at solving specific practical problems.

  • The program should encompass a comprehensive system of extramural research and training to include pre- and postdoctoral fellowships, training grants for graduate students, grants for the purchase and upkeep of instrumentation, and financial support for meetings. The system of grants should support the highest quality research in nonprofit institutions.

  • The program should be patterned in the detail of its technique and philosophy after NIGMS.

  • The program should support high-quality research being done by plant biologists in nonprofit institutions. Communication between plant scientists and researchers in other disciplines should be encouraged.

  • The program should provide grants and fellowships in sufficient number and amount of award to attract and retain the best scientists.

  • The program should be administered by an agency committed to the above standards.


Because the selection of an agency to lead a coordinated effort to promote plant biology within the federal system is critical, the committee weighed a range of options. Initially, its members focused on identifying a single agency that would have

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