Federal Research Environment for the
Department of Defense
A Presentation to UC Riverside
Michael Ledford, Kaitlin Chell, and Karen Mowrer
Lewis-Burke Associates, LLC
January 2014
Lewis-Burke Associates, LLC
Lewis-Burke Associates, LLC is a leading full-service government
relations firm specializing in advocating for the public policy
interests of institutions of higher education and other research
and education organizations
• Began working with UC Riverside in November 2012
• 23 professional staff members
• 26 clients, all nonprofits involved in research and/or education
– 15 universities
– 3 contractors running national research facilities
– 8 associations
Select Services
• Advanced intel on new programs and emerging agency themes.
• Strategic university-wide agenda development.
• Enhancing resources for researchers.
– Information on new funding initiatives and prominent solicitations.
– Support for post-docs and graduate students.
– Thematic deep dives on federal funding.
– Support for early career faculty.
• Coalition building.
• Program and project support at both political and policy levels.
• Positioning and profile enhancement.
Department of Defense
• DOD basic and applied research priorities in FY 14 despite overall
RDTE cuts
– However, DOD officials indicate investment accounts will be cut in FY 2015
budget request
– Success rates lower, fewer extensions, some select areas cut by as much as
– Air Force and Navy positioned to do better than Army
• Ongoing debate about feasibility of Strategic Guidance if sequester
not reversed (long-term)
– Service branch research offices implementing cuts differently
– Cognitive sciences, synthetic biology, advanced materials, and quantum
information sciences key foci; maintaining technological workforce also a
major concern (particularly cyber)
– Shift to Asia is still an undercurrent
Service Branch Research Offices
• Army Research Office
– Continues strong focus around broad basic research topics including
physics, materials, computing, engineering, life sciences, and
environmental sciences
– Emphasis remains around broad scientific areas, but ARO is aligned with
crosscutting DOD priorities like big data, manufacturing, and materials
• Office of Naval Research
– Leading funder of basic research across service branches
– Priorities include sensors/communications, energy, and portable weapons
• Air Force Office of Scientific Research
– Recent realignment under five new thrust areas reflects increasing
interdisciplinary approach to funding research
– Priorities include cyber/information science, materials, alternative energy,
and communications
Signature DOD Funding Mechanisms
• Standard grants and contracts –
– Broad Agency Announcements
– Special program announcements (e.g. Minerva, Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI), Young
Investigator Programs)
• Cooperative Research Agreement (CRA)
• Cooperative Technology Agreement (CTA)
• Center of Excellence (COE)
• Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts
Other DOD Research Entities
– Focused on game-changing R&D around threats of the future; program managers
enjoy broad autonomy in funding projects
• SEED awards also possible for ideas with promise but more demonstration necessary
– Cyber/cloud computing, big data, and health/biological research top priorities
under new Director Prabhakar
– Basic and applied research on bio/chemical/nuclear/information sciences
geared towards countering weapons of mass destruction
– Small, but underutilized research opportunity for universities (~$50 m in basic
• Chemical-Biological Research (~$60 million)
– Targeted BAAs released throughout the year
– Non-medical: nano, cognition, information science, bioscience
– Medical Biological Defense Transformational Medical Technologies Initiative:
diagnostic technologies, vaccine, therapeutic – viral, toxin, bacterial
– Medical Chemical Defense – Smallest Area: respiratory, cutaneous and ocular,
neurological, toxicology
• Workshops – identify key priorities (e.g. groundwater
contamination, sustainable water usage, climate change,
energy and water, materials research for stealth warfare
technology, etc.)
• SERDP-reducing energy and water consumption; invests in
both basic and applied
• ESTCP-technology demonstration and validation program
• SERDP Core Solicitation – Pre-proposals due Jan 9, SEED
Solicitation – Proposals due Mar 14.
• ESTCP likely early 2014 release
• New leadership (Acting: Anne Andrews) at SERDP/ESTCP
presents opportunities for changes; ARPA-E Workshop good
Intelligence Community: Opportunities for
• NSA (National Security Agency)
– Centers of Excellence for Information Assurance – Academic and Research
– New emphasis on “cyberdefense”
– e.g., Key research topics – Mobility, Software assurance, Virtualization,
• DIA/ODNI (Defense Intelligence Agency)
– Centers for Academic Excellence (Jan 2014)
– Postdoc Research Fellowships (Nov 2013)
• NGA (National Geospatial Intelligence Agency)
– NARP - Academic Research Program (BAA –Winter 2014)
• University research initiatives – basic research
• Research Collaboration Grants - GEOINT
• New Scientific and Technical Innovative Research grants (early career)
• IARPA (Intel Community – DARPA)
– Select Programs – Abstracts and Proposers’ Day conference CRITICAL
– Active BAAs (Office of Incisive Analysis, Office of Safe & Secure Operations,
Office of Smart Collection)
– New: bio-intelligence chip (i.e. exposure to chem-bio agents).
Other Key Defense Health Engagement Areas
• Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP)
– Broad umbrella with active solicitations throughout the year (typically
1/year for each sub-program – e.g. Breast Cancer Research, TBI, etc.)
• Combat Casualty Care
– Device, mobile, on site interventions, traumatic brain injury
• Telemedicine and Advanced Robotics (TATRC)
– Medical devices, trauma, neuroscience, biomaterials
• Social and Behavioral Research:
– Cross DOD - Human Social Cultural Behavioral Modeling (~$20 million)
• Minerva Program (basic research)
– U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences
– ARO - Cultural and Behavioral, Institutional and Organizational Science
Looking Ahead
• Must lead with DOD mission to be responsive to sponsor needs
• R&D and basic research still a TOP priority on both sides of the
aisle in Congress, but there is competition for limited dollars as
more institutions turn toward DOD
• Public-private partnerships will remain the favored mechanism
for very large-scale efforts
• Proposers Days, RFIs, and meetings with program managers
still key to determining and influencing agency policy and
research directions
• Shared milestones and progress reports part of the culture
Kaitlin Chell
Lewis-Burke Associates LLC
1341 G Street, NW
Eighth Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005
e: [email protected]
p: 202.289.7475
f: 202.289.7454

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