HSC JOINS FEDERAL RESEARCH PROJECT

September 1, 2002

UNT Health Science Center is one of the newest institutions accepted into the Federal Demonstration Project and the first college of osteopathic medicine selected to participate.

The Federal Demonstration Project brings together federal agencies and research institutions in a combined effort to increase research productivity and decrease the administrative burden associated with federal funding. By addressing administrative and regulatory issues, the FDP is able to streamline and standardize procedures and processes for federally supported research and education and increase the amount of time spent on actual research.

â??When the federal government is considering a new program, it first launches it as a demonstration project,â? explained Robert Gracy, PhD, associate vice president of research and biotechnology. â??Only FDP members have the opportunity to participate in those pilot projects.â?

As a member, the health science center will be able to participate in field testing new federal programs and gain access to any potential funding associated with them.

Another benefit of membership will be increased recognition of the health science center as a research institution by other FDP members. The institution will also be able to offer input on the structure of new projects and have the opportunity to address excessive administrative requirements before theyâ??re finalized.

â??Weâ??ll have direct influence on the final structure of programs and even their viability,â? Dr. Gracy said. â??Weâ??ll be included as a major player in the development of new programs.â?

As the first osteopathic medical school in the program, the health science center will also bring a fresh perspective to federal guidelines and grant applications. â??As an osteopathic school, weâ??ll be able to address any exclusionary language or implications that place us at a disadvantage when a program is still in its pilot stages,â? Dr. Gracy said. â??As a result, the playing field between allopathic and osteopathic medical schools should become more level when weâ??re applying for federal research dollars.â?

FDP members also benefit from increased autonomy from federal funding agencies. â??The federal government gives FDP institutions more authority to approve funding reallocations requested by principal investigators and handle some reports at the local level,â? Dr. Gracy said.

FDP has initiated a change from requiring federal prior approvals to allowing institutional approvals of such items as foreign travel and equipment purchases. It also allows participants to authorize prespending, approve no-cost extensions, and carry forward unobligated funds from one budget period to the next.

FDP began in 1986 in Florida and expanded in 1988 to become a national program. In 1996, the program further broadened the scope of its members with the initiation of its third phase. Now in Phase IV, FDP includes nearly 100 institutional members and 10 federal agencies, as well as some affiliate agencies. The Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable of the National Academy of Science serves as the programâ??s neutral coordinator.

FDP Phase IV will formally begin with an inaugural meeting Sept. 12-13, 2002, at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.

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