NAICU Washington Update

White House Holds Summit on Research Security and Integrity

November 08, 2019

The White House recently convened leaders from federal funding and security agencies, research universities and institutes, medical centers, scientific societies, and industry and nonprofit organizations to discuss improving the safety, integrity, productivity, and security in the nation’s research environments.  The one-day summit was hosted by the Joint Committee on the Research Environment (JCORE), which was launched earlier this year by the National Science and Technology Council.
According to JCORE, the committee is working to develop policy recommendations and best practices to improve the collective safety, integrity, productivity, and security of the nation’s multi-sector research environment, which spends $600 billion per year on research.  Speakers included leaders from the Office of Science and Technology Policy, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of State, National Institutes of Health, National Security Administration, and the National Science Foundation.
The summit, which NAICU was invited to attend, was organized around JCORE’s four main focus areas: transparency, integrity, workload, and coordination.  Transparency and integrity discussions centered on the balance between the need to share research data and methodology and adhering to ethical principles with mutual respect, while guarding against security risks, harassment, and encouraging other nations to reciprocate ethical practices. Workload and coordination discussions addressed the balance of reporting and administrative requirements for federal research without overburdening institutions and how federal agencies can partner to reduce administrative burden and help secure the research enterprise.
NAICU’s participation in the summit helped ensure that the federal agencies are aware of the broad diversity of private, nonprofit higher education and that the voices of private institutions are part of the discussion when setting policies or best practices for the protection of research.
Going forward, the Office of Science and Technology Policy will continue its work via JCORE meetings, regional meetings at universities, and other outreach activities involving all sectors and partners to establish processes and practices that will result in the best outcomes for research and security.

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