Center of Science, Policy and Society Programs: Research Competitiveness Program
Strategies for Competitiveness in Academic Research
In 1996, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), through the Directorate for Science and Policy Programs, undertook a major program in support of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). The resulting Research Competitiveness Program (RCP) sought to bring the resources of the national science, engineering, and science policy communities to the service of improving research competitiveness in the states that participate in the NSF EPSCoR program. The program was conducted through three interrelated tasks: First, the Leadership Development Task conducted a series of eight workshops addressing topics nominated by the EPSCoR community. Second, the Direct Assistance Task recruited experts nationwide to visit institutions in the EPSCoR states to provide expertise and assistance in addressing specific problems and opportunities related to research competitiveness. Over a four-year period, more than fifty site visits were made to institutions in all twenty states. Finally, an analytical task, labeled, “Examining Research Competitiveness,” undertook science policy research to develop a better understanding of the nature of competitiveness in academic research and to develop strategies for enhancing research competitiveness.
This book is the product of the analytical task, which was an outgrowth of prior work conducted by AAAS. The prior project, entitled “Competitiveness in Research: A Review and Assessment,” resulted in a book, Competitiveness in Academic Research, edited by Albert H. Teich (AAAS, 1996), to which this volume is a companion. The seven essays in that first book comprised a systematic approach to the definition and assessment of research competitiveness. Strategies for Competitiveness in Academic Research, edited by J. Scott Hauger and Celia McEnaney (AAAS, 2000), focuses on identifying and implementing strategies for enhancing research competitiveness. The essays in this book examine several important themes, including the national context for competitiveness in research; factors that have helped or hindered the enhancement of research competitiveness in EPSCoR states; academic strategic planning; inter-institutional collaboration; and strategies for investing in human capital and achieving equity in the distribution and development of research resources.