(Including joint publications with other units)
Developing a National STEM Workforce Strategy: A Workshop Summary (March 2016)
U.S. strength in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines has formed the basis of innovations, technologies, and industries that have spurred the nation’s economic growth throughout the last 150 years. Our understanding, however, of how universities receive, interpret, and respond to industry demands for STEM-trained workers is far from complete. This report examines the extent to which universities and employers in five metropolitan communities (Phoenix, Arizona; Cleveland, Ohio; Montgomery, Alabama; Los Angeles, California; and Fargo, North Dakota) collaborate successfully to align curricula, labs, and other undergraduate educational experiences with current and prospective regional STEM workforce needs. Based on examples from these five regions, the report identifies promising practices to create the kind of university-industry collaboration that promotes higher quality college and university course offerings, lab activities, applied learning experiences, work-based learning programs, and other activities that enable students to be successful in the STEM workforce. (Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW)
Integrating Landscape Approaches and Multi-Resource Analysis into Natural Resource Management: Summary of a Workshop (2016)
The responsible management of natural resources for present-day needs and future generations requires integrated approaches that are place-based, embrace systems thinking, and incorporate the social, economic, and environmental considerations of sustainability. Landscape-scale analysis takes this holistic view by focusing on the spatial scales most appropriate for the resource types and values being managed. Landscape-scale analysis involves assessing landscape features in relation to a group of influencing factors such as land use change, hydrologic changes or other disturbances, topography, and historical vegetation conditions.
Promising Practices for Strengthening the Regional STEM Workforce Development Ecosystem (2016)
U.S. strength in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines has formed the basis of innovations, technologies, and industries that have spurred the nation’s economic growth throughout the last 150 years. Our understanding, however, of how universities receive, interpret, and respond to industry demands for STEM-trained workers is far from complete. This report examines the extent to which universities and employers in five metropolitan communities (Phoenix, Arizona; Cleveland, Ohio; Montgomery, Alabama; Los Angeles, California; and Fargo, North Dakota) collaborate successfully to align curricula, labs, and other undergraduate educational experiences with current and prospective regional STEM workforce needs. Based on examples from these five regions, the report identifies promising practices to create the kind of university-industry collaboration that promotes higher quality college and university course offerings, lab activities, applied learning experiences, work-based learning programs, and other activities that enable students to be successful in the STEM workforce.
Barriers and Opportunities for 2-Year and 4-Year STEM Degrees: Systemic Change to Support Students' Diverse Pathways (2016)
Nearly 40 percent of the students entering 2- and 4-year postsecondary institutions indicated their intention to major in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in 2012. But the barriers to students realizing their ambitions are reflected in the fact that about half of those with the intention to earn a STEM bachelor’s degree and more than two-thirds intending to earn a STEM associate’s degree fail to earn these degrees 4 to 6 years after their initial enrollment. Many of those who do obtain a degree take longer than the advertised length of the programs, thus raising the cost of their education. Are the STEM educational pathways any less efficient than for other fields of study? How might the losses be “stemmed” and greater efficiencies realized? These questions and others are at the heart of this study.
STTR: An Assessment of the Small Business Technology Transfer Program (2016)
The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) and the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program form one of the largest examples of U.S. public-private partnerships. In the SBIR Reauthorization Act of 2000, Congress tasked the National Research Council with undertaking a comprehensive study of how the SBIR program has stimulated technological innovation and used small businesses to meet federal research and development needs and with recommending further improvements to the program. When reauthorizing the SBIR and STTR programs in 2011, Congress expanded the study mandate to include a review of the STTR program. This report builds on the methodology and outcomes from the previous review of SBIR and assesses the STTR program at the five agencies responsible for 96 percent of the SBIR/STTR operations: DoD, NSF, NIH, NASA, and DoE. (Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP)
SBIR at the National Science Foundation (2016)
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program was established in 1982 to encourage small businesses to develop new processes and products and to provide quality research in support of the U.S. government’s many missions. Building on a 2004-2009 assessment, Congress tasked the National Academies with undertaking a second study of how the SBIR program has stimulated technological innovation and used small businesses to meet federal research and development needs, and with recommending improvements to the program. This is one of a series of reports on the SBIR program at the five agencies responsible for 96 percent of the program’s operations -- including the National Science Foundation. Reports on the programs at the Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health have also been published, as well as a separate report on the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program. (Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP)
Immigration Policy and the Search for Skilled Workers: Summary of a Workshop (2015)
The market for high-skilled workers is becoming increasingly global, as are the markets for knowledge and ideas. While high-skilled immigrants in the United States represent a much smaller proportion of the workforce than they do in countries such as Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, these immigrants have an important role in spurring innovation and economic growth in all countries and filling shortages in the domestic labor supply. This report summarizes the proceedings of a fall 2014 workshop that focused on how immigration policy can be used to attract and retain foreign talent. Participants compared policies on encouraging migration and retention of skilled workers, attracting qualified foreign students and retaining them post-graduation, and input by states or provinces in immigration policies to add flexibility in countries with regional employment differences. They also discussed how immigration policies have changed over time in response to undesired labor market outcomes and whether there were sufficient data to measure those outcomes. (Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP)
SBIR/STTR at the National Institutes of Health (2015)
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs provide federal research and development funding to small businesses. In 2008, the National Research Council completed a comprehensive assessment of the SBIR and STTR programs. The first-round study found that the programs were "sound in concept and effective in practice." Building on the outcomes from the Phase I study, this second phase examines both topics of general policy interest that emerged during the first phase and topics of specific interest to individual agencies, and provides a second snapshot to measure the program's progress against its legislative goals.
Mathematics Curriculum, Teacher Professionalism, and Supporting Policies in Korea and the United States: Summary of a Workshop (2015)
On July 15-17, 2012 the United States National Commission on Mathematics Instruction and Seoul National University held a joint Korea-U.S. workshop on Mathematics Teaching and Curriculum. The workshop was organized to address questions and issues related to math teaching and curriculum that were generated by each country, including the following: What are the main concerns in the development of the curriculum? What issues have been discussed or debated among curriculum developers, teachers, teacher educators, and scholars regarding the curriculum? How have textbooks been developed for the curriculum? How are curricular tasks designed and what criteria are used? What is the role of learning trajectories in the development of curriculum? This report summarizes the presentations and discussions at the workshop.
Optimizing the Nation's Investment in Academic Research: A New Regulatory Framework for the 21st Century:
Part 1 (Prepublication release: September 2015)
Research universities are critical contributors to our national research enterprise. They are the principal source of a world-class labor force and fundamental discoveries that enhance our lives and the lives of others around the world. These institutions help to create an educated citizenry capable of making informed and crucial choices as participants in a democratic society. However many are concerned that the unintended cumulative effect of federal regulations undercuts the productivity of the research enterprise and diminishes the return on the federal investment in research. (Committee on Science, Technology, and Law (CSTL)/ Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW))
Innovation, Diversity, and the SBIR/STTR Programs: Summary of a Workshop (2015)
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs provide federal research and development funding to small businesses. One of the goals of these programs is to foster and encourage participation by minority and disadvantaged persons in technological innovation. Innovation, Diversity, and Success in the SBIR/STTR Programs is the summary of a workshop convened in February 2013 that focused on the participation of women, minorities, and both older and younger scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs in the SBIR and STTR programs, with the goal of reviewing current efforts to expand the pool of SBIR/STTR-funded researchers and of identifying mechanisms for improving participation rates. This report is a record of the presentation and discussions of the event. .(Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP))
Brazil-U.S. Workshop on Strengthening the Culture of Nuclear Safety and Security: Summary of a Workshop (2015)
On August 25-26, 2014, the Instituto de Pesquisas Energ?ticas e Nucleares (IPEN) and the National Research Council of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences convened the Brazil-U.S. Workshop on Strengthening the Culture of Nuclear Safety and Security. The workshop, held on the IPEN Campus in S?o Paulo, Brazil, examined how a culture of nuclear safety and security is built and maintained within the nuclear science, technology, and industrial sectors. Participants identified opportunities for cooperation to strengthen that culture and shared research, perspectives, and practices. This report summarizes the presentation and discussion of that event.
Diplomacy for the 21st Century (2015)
Diplomacy for the 21st Century recommends steps that the Department of State should embrace to take full advantage of the leading science and technology (S&T) capabilities of the United States. These capabilities provide the department with many opportunities to promote a variety of the interests of the United States and its allies in a rapidly changing world wherein S&T are important drivers of economic development at home and abroad and help ensure international security. This report assesses and makes recommendations concerning the changing environment for the conduct of diplomacy in the years ahead, with a focus on the role of S&T in the development and implementation of U.S. policies and programs. According to this report, prompt steps by the department s leadership are essential to ensure adequate comprehension of the importance of S&T-related developments throughout the world and to incorporate this understanding within the nation's foreign policy for the 21st century. This report also urges the adoption by the department of a broader whole-of-society approach in carrying out its responsibilities at home and abroad - extending beyond traditional interagency coordination and the narrow band of current external partners to include foundations, universities, research centers, and other groups who are extending their international reach. (Development, Security, and Cooperation (DSC) )
Preparing the Workforce for Digital Curation (April 2015)
The massive increase in digital information in the last decade has created new requirements for institutional and technological structures and workforce skills. Preparing the Workforce for Digital Curation focuses on education and training needs to meet the demands for access to and meaningful use of digital information, now and in the future. This study identifies the various practices and spectrum of skill sets that comprise digital curation, looking in particular at human versus automated tasks. Additionally, the report examines the possible career path demands and options for professionals working in digital curation activities, and analyzes the economic benefits and societal importance of digital curation for competitiveness, innovation, and scientific advancement. Preparing the Workforce for Digital Curation considers the evolving roles and models of digital curation functions in research organizations, and their effects on employment opportunities and requirements. The recommendations of this report will help to advance digital curation and meet the demand for a trained workforce. (Board on Research Data and Information)
Developing a Framework for Measuring Community Resilience: Summary of a Workshop (March 2015)
The 2012 National Research Council report Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative highlighted the challenges of increasing national resilience in the United States. One finding of the report was that "without numerical means of assessing resilience, it would be impossible to identify the priority needs for improvement, to monitor changes, to show that resilience had improved, or to compare the benefits of increasing resilience with the associated costs." Although measuring resilience is a challenge, metrics and indicators to evaluate progress, and the data necessary to establish the metric, are critical for helping communities to clarify and formalize what the concept of resilience means for them, and to support efforts to develop and prioritize resilience investments. One of the recommendations from the 2012 report stated that government entities at federal, state, and local levels and professional organizations should partner to help develop a framework for communities to adapt to their circumstances and begin to track their progress toward increasing resilience. To build upon this recommendation and begin to help communities formulate such a framework, the Resilient America Roundtable of the National Academies convened the workshop Measures of Community Resilience: From Lessons Learned to Lessons Applied on September 5, 2014 in Washington, D.C. The workshop's overarching objective was to begin to develop a framework of measures and indicators that could support community efforts to increase their resilience. The framework will be further developed through feedback and testing in pilot and other partner communities that are working with the Resilient America Roundtable. This report is a summary of the one-day workshop, which consisted of a keynote address and two panel sessions in the morning and afternoon breakout sessions that began the discussion on how to develop a framework of resilience measures. (Resilient America)
Potential Risks and Benefits of Gain-of-Function Research: Summary of a Workshop (February 2015)
On October 17, 2014, spurred by incidents at U.S. government laboratories that raised serious biosafety concerns, the United States government launched a one-year deliberative process to address the continuing controversy surrounding so-called "gain-of-function" (GOF) research on respiratory pathogens with pandemic potential. The gain of function controversy began in late 2011 with the question of whether to publish the results of two experiments involving H5N1 avian influenza and continued to focus on certain research with highly pathogenic avian influenza over the next three years. The heart of the U.S. process is an evaluation of the potential risks and benefits of certain types of GOF experiments with influenza, SARS, and MERS viruses that would inform the development and adoption of a new U.S. Government policy governing the funding and conduct of GOF research.Potential Risks and Benefits of Gain-of-Function Research is the summary of a two-day public symposia on GOF research. Convened in December 2014 by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, the main focus of this event was to discuss principles important for, and key considerations in, the design of risk and benefit assessments of GOF research. Participants examined the underlying scientific and technical questions that are the source of current discussion and debate over GOF research involving pathogens with pandemic potential. This report is a record of the presentations and discussion of the meeting. (Board on Life Sciences (BLS)/Committee on Science, Technology and Law (CSTL)/Institute of Medicine (IOM))
Building Infrastructure for International Collaborative Research in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: Summary of a Workshop (February 2015)
Building Infrastructure for International Collaborative Research in the Social and Behavioral Sciences is the summary of a workshop convened by the National Research Council's Committee on International Collaborations in Social and Behavioral Sciences in September 2013 to identify ways to reduce impediments and to increase access to cross-national research collaborations among a broad range of American scholars in the behavioral and social sciences (and education), especially early career scholars. Over the course of two and a half days, individuals from universities and federal agencies, professional organizations, and other parties with interests in international collaboration in the behavior and social sciences and education made presentations and participated in discussions. They came from diverse fields including cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, comparative education, educational anthropology, sociology, organizational psychology, the health sciences, international development studies, higher education administration, and international exchange. (Board on International Scientific Organizations (BISO))
The Flexible Electronics Opportunity (January 2015)
The Flexible Electronics Opportunity examines and compares selected innovation programs both foreign and domestic, and their potential to advance the production of flexible electronics technology in the United States. This report reviews the goals, concept, structure, operation, funding levels, and evaluation of foreign programs similar to major U.S. programs, e.g., innovation awards, S&T parks, and consortia. The report describes the transition of flexible electronics research into products and to makes recommendations to improve and to develop U.S. programs. Through an examination of the role of research consortia around the world to advance flexible electronics technology, the report makes recommendations for steps that the U.S. might consider to develop a robust industry in the United States.Significant U.S. expansion in the market for flexible electronics technologies is not likely to occur in the absence of mechanisms to address investment risks, the sharing of intellectual property, and the diverse technology requirements associated with developing and manufacturing flexible electronics technologies. The Flexible Electronics Opportunity makes recommendations for collaboration among industry, universities, and government to achieve the critical levels of investment and the acceleration of new technology development that are needed to catalyze a vibrant flexible electronics industry.(Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP))
Critical Role of Animal Science Research in Food Security and Sustainability (2015)
This report identifies areas of research and development, technology, and resource needs for research in the field of animal agriculture, both nationally and internationally. This report assesses the global demand for products of animal origin in 2050 within the framework of ensuring global food security; evaluates how climate change and natural resource constraints may impact the ability to meet future global demand for animal products in sustainable production systems; and identifies factors that may impact the ability of the United States to meet demand for animal products, including the need for trained human capital, product safety and quality, and effective communication and adoption of new knowledge, information, and technologies. (Science and Technology for Sustainability (STS))