GAO Assesses DOE Research Prioritization

A recently released report addresses how the DOE Office of Science is managing budgeting issues in light of the current economic situation.

US_CapitolwebFrank Rusco, Director of Natural Resources and Environment at the Government Accountability Office (GAO), recently drafted a report on the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science’s (SC) use of a multilayered process for prioritizing research. This February 2012 report, prepared for Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development of the Senate Appropriations Committee, reviewed SC’s research priorities, explained how those priorities were established, and offered a description of the coordination between SC and other federal agencies used to identify areas of potential duplication of research efforts.

The report concluded that while the federal budget process provides an annual opportunity for agencies to formalize priorities, SC “develops priorities on an ongoing basis through the continuous evaluation of evolving scientific knowledge and other contextual factors.

This report provided a background summary of the four goals underpinning DOE’s mission and listed SC’s support of fundamental research through six core interdisciplinary research programs: Advanced Scientific Computing Research, Basic Energy Sciences, Biological and Environmental Research, Fusion Energy Sciences, High Energy Physics, and Nuclear Physics.

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Source: Aline D. McNaull | American Institute of Physics