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Enhancing Support of Transformative Research at the National Science Foundation

Abstract

"The National Science Board (Board) established the Task Force on Transformative Research (Task Force) in December 2004 to serve as a Board focal point for gaining a better understanding of National Science Foundation (NSF) policies to solicit, identify, and fund innovative, "potentially transformative" research. Transformative research is defined as research driven by ideas that have the potential to radically change our understanding of an important existing scientific or engineering concept or leading to the creation of a new paradigm or field of science or engineering. Such research is also characterized by its challenge to current understanding or its pathway to new frontiers.



Enhancing Support of Transformative Research at the National Science Foundation presents the Board's findings and recommendation for NSF to enhance its ability to identify and fund transformative research. The Board recommends that NSF develop a distinct, NSF-wide Transformative Research Initiative distinguishable by its potential impact on prevailing paradigms and by the potential to create new fields of science, to develop new technologies and open new frontiers. The Board looks forward to having the NSF report back to the Board with a preliminary plan by the August 2007 Board meeting."

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