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- Comparative Assessment of Peer Review: Project Outcomes Report
- This report discusses the Comparative Assessment of Peer Review (CAPR) project outcomes. Public funding agencies are required to demonstrate accountability to their government funders (e.g., Congress) as well as to the public. Some agencies - including the US National Science Foundation (NSF) - have used broader societal impacts criteria as part of the review process of grant proposals in order to connect scientific research to societal needs. But these agencies have often encountered questions from scientists and engineers for how to integrate such demands for broader societal impacts into their research proposals. In an effort to help clarify the idea of broader impacts, in 2010 NSF and Congress proposed a list of national needs that NSF-funded research would be required to meet. But was this the best solution? This report discusses the authors' research.
- The Promise and Perils of Transformative Research
- This report is on the workshop 'Transformative Research: Ethical and Societal Implications'. Workshop conversations cluster under the four headings of the history and definitions, promotion, evaluation, and integration of transformative research (TR): 1. History and Definitions: The National Science Board's 2007 report (NSB-07-32) on transformative research called for more effort directed at defining TR. The present report offers additional context and clarity regarding meanings of the term. But it also argues that there are virtues in leaving the term open to multiple interpretations. 2. Promotion: The report welcomes new mechanisms for promoting TR, such as NSF 'CREATIV' grants. It embraces additional means for promoting TR, such as increased emphasis on interdisciplinary research, and explores how different interpretations of how TR occurs imply different strategies for promoting TR. It also calls for increased attention to the broader societal impacts of TR at the levels of policy, of NSF programs, and of individual research projects. 3. Evaluation: The report emphasizes the need to develop means for evaluating attempts to promote TR. It also concludes that research should be directed toward evaluating transformative research at the project level. 4. Integration: The report suggests that consideration of the broader societal impacts of TR be fully integrated with transformative research itself. Attention to the broader impacts of TR should inform the development of policies and programs designed to promote TR, for instance through the creation of mechanisms such as an Advisory Committee for Transformative Research (ACTR).
- Comparative Assessment of Peer Review (CAPR): EU/US workshop on peer review: Assessing "broader impact" in research grant applications
- This is the report of a workshop focusing on the use of broader societal impacts criteria as part of the review process at the European Commission. There is both a historical account and some thinking about how 'impact' ought to be incorporated into Horizon 2020 (the funding scheme formerly known as FP8). Since the US NSF is also currently rethinking the details of its merit review process, and since there is an interesting comparison between NSF's and the EC's approaches to impact, the authors have also included a focus on NSF's Broader Impacts Criterion. The workshop was both a research opportunity (under SciSIP grant #0830387) and an effort to use that research to help inform policy for science (in terms of informing peer review models).