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Pt. 272, App. A
Appendix A to Part 272—Principles for the Conduct and Support of Basic Research
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 a long-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.
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 missions.