[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 184 (Friday, September 23, 2005)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 55725-55727]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-18985]



Office of the Secretary

32 CFR Part 272

RIN 0790-AH90

Administration and Support Basic Research

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, DoD.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: This document provides general policy guidance and principles 
for the conduct of DoD Components' Basic Research programs. It 
implements a general policy on the support of scientific research that 
is contained in the 1954 Executive Order 10521, ``Administration of 
Scientific Research by Agencies of the Federal Government,'' March 17, 
1954. It also implements guiding principles for the government-
university research partnership that are contained in Executive Order 
13185, ``To Strengthen the Federal Government-University Research 

DATE: This final rule is effective September 23, 2005.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Herbst, (703) 696-0372.


Executive Order 12866

    This is a ``significant regulatory Action,'' as defined in 
Executive Order 12866, in so far as the Office of Management and Budget 
reviewed and approved it for publication. This rule will not: (1) Have 
an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely 
affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, 
productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or 
safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) 
create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action 
taken or planned by another agency; (3) materially alter the budgetary 
impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the 
rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) raise novel legal 
or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's 
priorities, or the principles set forth in Executive Order 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 605(b))

    This regulatory action will not have a significant adverse impact 
on a substantial number of small entities.

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Unfunded Mandates Act of 1995 (Sec. 202, Pub. L. 104-4)

    This regulatory action does not contain a Federal mandate that will 
result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in 
aggregate, or by the private sector of $100 million or more in any one 

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35)

    This regulatory action will not impose any additional reporting or 
recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

Federalism (Executive Order 13132)

    This regulatory action does not have Federalism implications, as 
set forth in Executive Order 13132. It will not have substantial direct 
effects on the States, on the relationship between the national 
government and the States, or on the distribution of power and 
responsibilities among the various levels of government.

List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 272

    National defense; Research; Science and technology.

Accordingly, Title 32 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter I, 
Subchapter M is amended by revising part 272 to read as follows:


272.1 Purpose.
272.2 Applicability.
272.3 Definition of basic research.
272.4 Policy.
272.5 Responsibilities.
Appendix A to part 272--Principles for the Conduct and Support of 
Basic Research.

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301 and 10 U.S.C. 113.

Sec.  272.1  Purpose

    This part implements the:
    (a) Policy on the support of scientific research in Executive Order 
10521, ``Administration of Scientific Research by Agencies of the 
Federal Government'' (3 CFR, 1954-1958 Comp., p. 183), as amended; and
    (b) Guiding principles for the government-university research 
partnership in Executive Order 13185, ``To Strengthen the Federal 
Government-University Research Partnership'' (3 CFR 2000 Comp., p. 

Sec.  272.2  Applicability.

    This part applies to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the 
Military Departments, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the 
Combatant Commands, the Office of the Inspector General of the 
Department of Defense, the Defense Agencies, the DoD Field Activities, 
and all other organizational entities in the Department of Defense 
(hereafter referred to collectively as the ``DoD Components'').

Sec.  272.3  Definition of basic research.

    Basic research is systematic study directed toward greater 
knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and 
of observable facts without specific applications towards processes or 
products in mind. It includes all scientific study and experimentation 
directed toward increasing fundamental knowledge and understanding in 
those fields of the physical, engineering, environmental, and life 
sciences related to long-term national security needs. It is farsighted 
high payoff research that provides the basis for technological 

Sec.  272.4  Policy.

    It is DoD policy that:
    (a) Basic research is essential to the Department of Defense's 
ability to carry out its missions because it is:
    (1) A source of new knowledge and understanding that supports DoD 
acquisition and leads to superior technological capabilities for the 
military; and
    (2) An integral part of the education and training of scientists 
and engineers critical to meeting future needs of the Nation's defense 
    (b) The Department of Defense shall:
    (1) Conduct a vigorous program of high quality basic research in 
the DoD Component laboratories; and
    (2) Support high quality basic research done by institutions of 
higher education, other nonprofit research institutions, laboratories 
of other Federal agencies, and industrial research laboratories.
    (c) The DoD Components' conduct and support of basic research shall 
be consistent with the principles stated in Appendix A to this part.

Sec.  272.5  Responsibilities.

    (a) The Director of Defense Research and Engineering, under the 
Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics 
(USD(AT&L)), shall:
    (1) Provide technical leadership and oversight, issue guidance for 
plans and programs; develop policies; conduct analyses and studies; and 
make recommendations for DoD basic research.
    (2) Recommend approval, modification, or disapproval of the DoD 
Components' basic research programs and projects to eliminate 
unpromising or unnecessarily duplicative programs, and to stimulate the 
initiation or support of promising ones.
    (3) Recommend, through the USD(AT&L) to the Secretary of Defense, 
appropriate funding levels for DoD basic research.
    (4) Develop and maintain a metrics program to measure and assess 
the quality and progress for DoD basic research, a required element of 
which is an independent technical review:
    (i) At least biennially; and
    (ii) With participation by all the Military Departments and all the 
other DoD Components that have basic research programs.
    (5) Monitor the implementation of this part and issue any 
additional direction and guidance that may be necessary for that 
    (b) The Directors of the Defense Agencies supporting basic research 
and the Secretaries of the Military Departments, within their 
organizational purview, shall implement this part.

Appendix A to Part 272--Principles for the Conduct and Support of Basic 

    1. Basic research is an investment. The DoD Components are to 
view and manage basic research investments as a portfolio, with 
assessments of program success based on aggregate returns. There 
should be no expectation that every individual research effort will 
succeed because basic research essentially is an exploration of the 
unknown and specific outcomes are not predictable.
    2. Basic research is along-term activity that requires 
continuity and stability of support. Individual basic research 
efforts sometimes return immediate dividends, with transitions 
directly from research laboratories to defense systems in the field. 
However, most often the full benefits of basic research are not 
apparent until much later. Therefore, the DoD Components must engage 
in long-term planning and funding of basic research to the maximum 
possible extent.
    3. Balance is essential in the portfolio of basic research 
investments. A wide range of scientific and engineering fields is of 
potential interest to the Department of Defense and the DoD 
Components. It is important to develop a balanced portfolio that 
includes investments not only in established research areas with 
promise for evolutionary advances, but also in areas that entail 
higher risk and offer potential for revolutionary advances with 
correspondingly higher benefits.
    4. Coordination with other Federal agencies is important. The 
DoD Components are to consider other Federal agencies' basic 
research investments when making investment decisions, both to avoid 
unintended overlapping of support and to leverage those agencies' 
investments as appropriate.

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    5. Merit review is used to select basic research projects for 
support. It is crucial that the Department of Defense invest in the 
highest quality research for defense needs. Merit review relies on 
the informed advice of qualified individuals who are independent of 
the individuals proposing to do the research. The principal merit 
review factors used in selecting among possible projects are 
technical merit and potential long-term relevance to defense 

    Dated: September 19, 2005.
L.M. Bynum,
Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
[FR Doc. 05-18985 Filed 9-22-05; 8:45 am]