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Federal Demonstration Partnership

The Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) is a cooperative initiative among federal agencies, including NIFA, and institutional recipients of federal funds. More information can be found at the Federal Demonstration Partnership Web site.

Brief Summary of the Development of the FDP

In 1986, the Florida Demonstration Project was established to increase research productivity by streamlining the administrative process and minimizing the administrative burden on principal investigators while maintaining effective stewardship of federal funds. The Florida Demonstration Project was successful in developing standard features for research grants. The standard features are:

  • 90-day preaward cost provision
  • elimination of most prior approvals except the change in principal investigator and the scope of the program
  • grantee authority to approve a no-cost extension of time
  • the ability to carry forward unobligated balances to subsequent funding periods

In 1998, the Florida Demonstration project transitioned to the Federal Demonstration Project (FDP) with expanded membership among the federal agencies and the university community. From 1998 to 1996, the project was in Phase II or FDP II. Many demonstrations such as noncompeting renewals, representations and certifications, equipment screening, rights in data, documentation allocation standard and many more were undertaken; some were successful, some were not.

In late 1995, the FDP agreed it was time to expand its membership and broaden its scope. The broadened scope emphasizes demonstrations that combine electronic research administration (ERA) and re-engineered systems and procedures, with increased productivity and stewardship and decreased administrative burden. The makeup of the membership expanded to include faculty researchers, agency program officials, and professional organizations. A solicitation appeared in the February 8, 1996, Federal Register, which resulted in FDP, Phase III.

During Phase III, the FDP was renamed Federal Demonstration Partnership to emphasize the relationship between the government and universities. The FDP became the organization that a variety of governmental organizations turned to for feedback and ideas on a broad range of research administration, costing, and science policy issues. Highlights of Phase III activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Developed a concise list of 11 principles to guide Electronic Research Administration (ERA) systems development at agencies and institutions
  • Demonstrated that institutional responsibility could be obtained electronically so that signed, paper proposal cover pages could be eliminated
  • Synchronized the FDP terms and conditions with the Office of Management and Budget Circulars
  • Developed data standards for ERA purposes for Biographical Information, Institutional Profile, and Funding Opportunity Announcements

A solicitation appeared in the February 8, 2002, Federal Register that resulted in FDP, Phase IV. Phase IV consists of more than 90 institutional members, emerging research institutes, affiliate members, and 10 federal agencies.

During Phase IV, the FDP will continue efforts to assure that federally funded researchers and research programs are effective and productive, and that the underlying systems and processes do not unnecessarily hinder the research process. The FDP will focus its efforts on emerging and persistent top policy and process issues.

For more information about the history of the FDP, its structure, a member listing, successes, current activity, the FDP General Terms and Conditions, agency-specific terms and conditions, etc., visit the FDP home page.


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