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
During Phase IV target efforts will be undertaken to increase the participation of minority serving institutions and emerging research institutions. In addition, a wider range of government and university participants will be encouraged. On the institutional side, for example, the activities of the faculty representatives have become more focused and more closely interwoven into the fabric of the FDP. On the federal side, more federal auditors and costing officials are involved in the specific task forces and committees working to reduce administrative burden. View the Phase IV Initiatives (PDF).
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 IV was issued in the Federal Register on February 8, 2002. FDP Phase IV formally began with an inaugural meeting September 12-13, 2002 at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington D.C. and will conclude September 30, 2008. No new Institutional Members will be added after the initial selection, although non-members are welcome to attend meetings. However, membership in the other membership categories will remain open during the life of Phase IV: Federal Agencies, Emerging Research Institutions, and Affiliates. More information on Phase IV activities, conditions of membership, and membership categories may be found in the original Phase IV solicitation. There is now a solicitation specifically for Affiliates and ERI's which was revised in August 2003 to accommodate institutions wanting to apply for membership in these categories.
The Committee of the Whole comprised of institutions, emerging research institutions, federal agencies and affiliate organizations meets 3 times a year, twice in Washington DC and once at a site hosted by an institutional member. The National Academy of Science's Government-University-Industry-Research Roundtable is the neutral convenor 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 one representative from each of the FDP standing committees. The research administrator representative on the Executive Committee assumes the role of Chair for a two 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.
Federal Demonstration Partnership Update (PDF), Julie Norris, MIT, and Lawrie Robertson, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Society of Research Administrators Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA, October 21, 2003 (PDF)
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