Research Policy Board proposed to ease regulatory burden on research universities

More research administration news: If there’s one thing that political opponents in Washington DC can agree on, at least in theory, is that research is over-regulated. Study after study after study has shown that research faculty spend about 40% of their time performing administrative duties, many of which are related to research regulations (think effort reporting) that are perceived to get in the way of actual discovery–the thing that scientists are funded to actually spend their time on. (As an aside, the number of burden studies has also increased, and Sally Rockey once quipped to your friendly Research News editors that someone needed to do a burden study of all the burden studies.) So what’s the answer? You’ll be unsurprised to learn that a Congressionally appointed committee is recommending forming a Research Policy Board to help ease the regulatory strain on federally funded institutions. While adding another layer of regulation may seem onerous, the goal for the Board would be to streamline and harmonize existing regulations to reduce complexity. Let’s call it an experiment.