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2007-2008 Assessment of the Army Research Laboratory (2009)

Chapter: Appendix C: Assessment Criteria

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Assessment Criteria." National Research Council. 2009. 2007-2008 Assessment of the Army Research Laboratory. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12742.
Page 114
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Assessment Criteria." National Research Council. 2009. 2007-2008 Assessment of the Army Research Laboratory. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12742.
Page 115
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Assessment Criteria." National Research Council. 2009. 2007-2008 Assessment of the Army Research Laboratory. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12742.
Page 116

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Appendix C Assessment Criteria The Army Research Laboratory Technical Assessment Board’s assessment considered the following general questions posed by the ARL Director: 1. Is the scientific quality of the research of comparable technical quality to that executed in lead- ing federal, university, and/or industrial laboratories both nationally and internationally? 2. Does the research program reflect a broad understanding of the underlying science and research conducted elsewhere? 3. Does the research employ the appropriate laboratory equipment and/or numerical models? 4. Are the qualifications of the research team compatible with the research challenge? 5. Are the facilities and laboratory equipment state of the art? 6. Does the research reflect an understanding of the Army’s requirement for the research or the analysis? 7. Are programs crafted to employ the appropriate mix of theory, computation, and experimentation? 8. Is the work sufficiently unique and appropriate to the ARL niche? 9. Are there especially promising projects that, with application of adequate resources, could p ­ roduce outstanding results that could be transitioned ultimately to the field? The Board applied the following metrics or criteria to the assessment of the scientific and technical work reviewed at the Army Research Laboratory (ARL): 1. Effectiveness of Interaction with the Scientific and Technical Community a.  Papers in quality refereed journals and conference proceedings (and their citation index) b. Presentations and colloquia 114

APPENDIX C 115 c. Participation in professional activities (society officers, conference committees, journal editors) d. Educational outreach (serving on graduate committees, teaching or lecturing, invited talks, mentoring students) e. Fellowships and awards (external and internal) f. Review panel participation (Army Research Office, National Science Foundation, Multidis- ciplinary University Research Imitative) g. Recruiting new talent into the ARL h. Patents and intellectual property (IP) (and examples of how the patent or IP is used) i. Involvement in building an ARL-wide cross-directorate community j. Public recognition (e.g., in the press and elsewhere) for ARL research 2. Impact on Customers a. Documented transfer or transition of technology, concepts, or program assistance from ARL to Research, Development, and Engineering Centers (RDECs) or RDEC contractors for both the long term and short term b. Direct funding from customers to support ARL activities c. Documented demand for ARL support or services (is there competition for ARL’s support?) d. Customer involvement in directorate planning e. Participation in multidisciplinary, cross-directorate projects f. Surveys of customer base (direct information from customers on value of ARL research) 3. Formulation of Projects’ Goals and Plans a. Is there a clear tie to ARL Strategic Focus Areas, Strategic Plan, or other ARL need? b. Are tasks well defined to achieve objectives? c. Does the project plan clearly identify dependencies (i.e., successes depend on success of other activities within the project or outside developments)? d. If the project is part of a wider activity, is role of the investigators clear, and are the project tasks and objectives clearly linked to those of other related projects? e. Are milestones identified if they are appropriate? Do they appear feasible? f. Are obstacles and challenges defined (technical, resources)? g. Does the project represent an area where application of ARL strengths is appropriate? 4. Research and Development Methodology a. Are the hypotheses appropriately framed within the literature and theoretical context? b. Is there a clearly identified and appropriate process for performing required analyses, p ­ rototypes, models, simulations, tests, etc.? c. Are the methods (e.g., laboratory experiment, modeling or simulation, field test, analysis) appropriate to the problems? Do these methods integrate? d. Is the choice of equipment or apparatus appropriate? e. Is the data collection and analysis methodology appropriate? f. Are conclusions supported by the results? g. Are proposed ideas for further study reasonable? h. Do the trade-offs between risk and potential gain appear reasonable? i. If the project demands technological or technical innovation, is that occurring? j. What stopping rules, if any, are being or should be applied?

116 APPENDIX C 5. Capabilities and Resources a. Are the qualifications and number of the staff (scientific, technical, administrative) appropri- ate to achieve success of the project? b. Is funding adequate to achieve success of the project? c. Is the state of the equipment and facilities adequate? d. If staff, funding, or equipment is not adequate, how might the project be triaged (what thrust should be emphasized, what sacrificed?) to best move toward its stated objectives? e. Does the laboratory sustain the technical capability to respond quickly to critical issues as they arise? 6. Responsiveness to the Board’s Recommendations a. Have the issues and recommendations presented in the previous report been addressed?

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This volume is the latest in a series of biennial assessments of the scientific and technical quality of the Army Research Laboratory (ARL). The current report summarizes findings for the 2007-2008 period, during which 95 volunteer experts in fields of science and engineering participated in the following activities: visiting ARL annually, receiving formal presentations of technical work, examining facilities, engaging in technical discussions with ARL staff, and reviewing ARL technical materials.

The overall quality of ARL's technical staff and their work continues to be impressive, as well as the relevance of their work to Army needs. ARL continues to exhibit a clear, passionate concern for the end user of its technology—the soldier in the field. While two directorates have large program-support missions, there is considerable customer-support work across the directorates, which universally demonstrate mindfulness of the importance of transitioning technology to support immediate and near-term Army needs. ARL staff also continue to expand their involvement with the wider scientific and engineering community.

This involvement includes monitoring relevant developments elsewhere, engaging in significant collaborative work (including the Collaborative Technology Alliances), and sharing work through peer reviews. In general, ARL is working very well within an appropriate research and development niche and has been demonstrating significant accomplishments.


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