"The Federal Demonstration Project is one of a very small number of effective programs to improve government processes. It has produced the defining models for ‘e-government,’ and saved countless hours of time for us bureaucrats as well as for principal investigators. Each consecutive phase has brought a new set of initiatives and accomplishments that merit much wider recognition."
- John Marburger, Former Director OSTP
The Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) is an association of federal agencies, academic research institutions with administrative, faculty and technical representation, and research policy organizations that work to streamline the administration of federally sponsored research. FDP members of all sectors cooperate in identifying, testing, and implementing new, more effective ways of managing the more than $15 Billion in federal research grants. The goal of improving the productivity of research without compromising its stewardship has benefits for the entire nation.
The FDP uniquely offers a forum for individuals from universities and nonprofits to work collaboratively with federal agency officials to improve the national research enterprise. At its regular meetings, faculty and administrators talk face-to-face with decision-makers from agencies that sponsor and regulate research. They hold spirited, frank discussions, identify problems, and develop action plans for change. Then – again working jointly – they test the new ways of doing things in the real world before putting them into effect.
Begun as an experiment in 1986 between five federal agencies (National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Office of Naval Research, Department of Energy, and US Department of Agriculture) and the Florida State University System and the University of Miami to test and evaluate a grant mechanism utilizing a standardized and simplified set of terms and conditions across all participating agencies, the FDP has evolved into an organization of 10 federal agencies and more that 90 research institutions dedicated to finding efficient and effective ways to support research by maximizing resources available for research and minimizing administrative costs.
Phase I (Florida Demonstration Project) 1986-1988
Phase II (Federal Demonstration Project) 1988-1996
Highlights of Phase I and II
- Implemented mostly commons, streamlined terms and conditions for research grants
- Increased budget flexibility
- No cost time extensions
- Pre-award costs
- Carry-forward across continuation years
- Technical progress reports/minimal continuation proposals
- Revised OMB A-110
Phase III (Federal Demonstration Partnership) 1996-2002
- Renewing the Government-University Partnership
- Introduction of Faculty and Program Officers as FDP members
- Electronic Research Administration
- Cost Sharing and Effort Reporting
- Award Terms and Conditions
Phase IV (Federal Demonstration Partnership) 2002-2008
- Increased Participation of Emerging Research Institutions
- Conducted Faculty Burden Survey
- Introduced A-133 Audit Information System
- Increased Faculty Participation
- FDP Terms & Conditions Promoted to Federal Research Terms & Conditions
- Phase V (Federal Demonstration Partnership) 2008-2014
As the end of Phase IV neared, a strategic planning committee was created to develop the overarching goals and objectives for the FDP in Phase V. The basic theme of the strategic plan is: Researchers doing science, not administration. During Phase V we will be increasing the number of demonstrations that are performed, putting the “D” back into the FDP. A main source for ideas on which to base demonstration will be the results of the Faculty Burden Survey. This report outlines how researchers spend their time on federally funded research and will be able to help us see where streamlining is possible without sacrificing accountability.
Phase V (Federal Demonstration Partnership) 2008-2014
- Conducted 2nd Faculty Workload Survey
- Conducted survey to estimate the effects of ARRA legislation
- Project Certification Demonstration
- FDP/Grants.gov Joint Application Design (JAD) Team
- STAR METRICS
- Introduced Research Compliance Committee and subcommittees
- Worklife Balance white paper
There are four types of FDP membership: Research Institutions, Emerging Research Institutions, Federal Agencies and Affiliate Organizations. The solicitation for membership in the Federal Demonstration Partnership Phase VI was issued on February 18, 2014. FDP Phase VI formally began with an inaugural meeting September 11-12, 2015 in Washington, DC and will conclude September 30, 2020. No new Institutional Members will be added after the initial selection, although non-members are welcome to attend meetings. More information on Phase VI activities, conditions of membership, and membership categories may be found in the original Phase VI solicitation.
The voting membership, comprised of institutions, emerging research institutions, federal agencies and affiliate organizations, meets 3 times a year. The National Academy of Science's Government-University-Industry-Research Roundtable is the neutral convener of the FDP, providing all permanent staff support for FDP activities and committees, as well as logistical support for FDP’s 3 annual meetings. The direction of the FDP will be provided primarily by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee consists of two institutional members (one faculty, one research administrator), two federal agency representatives (one program and one administrative), a representative from the National Academies Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable, the FDP Executive Director, a senior federal science official (appointed by the Office of Science and Technology Policy), and co-chairs from each of the FDP standing committees. The research administrator representative on the Executive Committee assumes the role of Chair for a three year period. Task Forces and committees are comprised of volunteers from the FDP membership and perform the day to day work of proposing and conducting demonstrations and pilots.
Advantages of Membership for Federal Agencies
Newcomers Orientation Presentation
The Federal Demonstration Partnership is funded by the following federal agencies: National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency