• Strengthening grants provided by the NRI program have had a major impact on the careers and productivity of faculty who otherwise would not receive federal grant support.

  • The NRI staff has been successful in organizing several vehicles to promote public understanding of research in the food, fiber, and natural-resources area, particularly in view of the organization’s limited resources.


  • NRI complements other USDA activities, but more emphasis might be placed on coordinating ARS and NRI agendas.

  • NRI does not duplicate other federal research efforts.

  • Although the NRI actively participates in cross-agency funding opportunities to ensure complementarity of research efforts, it follows rather than leads in these efforts. The NRI suffers from being smaller than other agencies; this limits the amount of resources it can contribute to interagency initiatives.

  • No process exists for establishing formal relationships with other federal agencies or for consulting and using stakeholder groups.

  • Industry-NRI interaction is well below what might be fruitfully pursued.

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