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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Review of Disability and Rehabilitation Research: NIDRR Grantmaking Processes and Products. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13285.
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REVIEW OF DISABILITY
AND REHABILITATION
RESEARCH

NIDRR GRANTMAKING PROCESSES AND PRODUCTS

Committee on the External Evaluation of NIDRR and Its Grantees

Jeanne C. Rivard, Mary Ellen O’Connell, and David H. Wegman, Editors

Board on Human-Systems Integration

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMICS

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Review of Disability and Rehabilitation Research: NIDRR Grantmaking Processes and Products. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13285.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS   500 Fifth Street, N.W.   Washington, DC 20001

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This study was supported by Contract No. ED-OSE-09-C-0048 between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Education. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-22229-7
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-22229-X

Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu.

Copyright 2012 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested citation: National Research Council. (2012). Review of Disability and Rehabilitation Research: NIDRR Grantmaking Processes and Products. Committee on the External Evaluation of NIDRR and Its Grantees. J.C. Rivard, M.E. O’Connell, and D.H. Wegman, Eds. Board on Human-Systems Integration, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Review of Disability and Rehabilitation Research: NIDRR Grantmaking Processes and Products. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13285.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.

www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Review of Disability and Rehabilitation Research: NIDRR Grantmaking Processes and Products. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13285.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Review of Disability and Rehabilitation Research: NIDRR Grantmaking Processes and Products. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13285.
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COMMITTEE ON THE EXTERNAL EVALUATION OF NIDRR AND ITS GRANTEES

David H. Wegman (Chair), Department of Work Environment, University of Massachusetts, Lowell (Emeritus)

Thomas J. Armstrong, Center for Ergonomics, University of Michigan

Burt S. Barnow, Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, George Washington University

Leighton Chan, Rehabilitation Medicine Department, Clinical Center, v National Institutes of Health

Peter C. Esselman, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle

Walter R. Frontera, School of Medicine, University of Puerto Rico

Glenn T. Fujiura, Department of Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago

Bruce M. Gans, Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, West Orange, New Jersey

Ian D. Graham, Knowledge Translation, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Lisa I. Iezzoni, Mongan Institute for Health Policy, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston

Alan M. Jette, School of Public Health, Boston University

Thubi H.A. Kolobe, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

Pamela Loprest, Urban Institute, Washington, DC

Kathryn E. Newcomer, Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, George Washington University

Patricia M. Owens, Government Accountability Office, Minisink Hills, Pennsylvania

Robert G. Radwin, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin

Jeanne C. Rivard, Senior Program Officer and Co-Study Director (from September 2010)

Mary Ellen O’Connell, Co-Study Director (from September 2010)

Molly Follette Story, Study Director (through September 2010)

Laudan Y. Aron, Senior Program Officer (until April 2010)

Tina Winters, Associate Program Officer

Matthew D. McDonough, Research Associate

Mary Beth Ficklin, Research Associate

Eric Chen, Senior Program Assistant

Gary Fischer, Senior Program Assistant

Jatryce Jackson, Senior Program Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Review of Disability and Rehabilitation Research: NIDRR Grantmaking Processes and Products. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13285.
×

BOARD ON HUMAN-SYSTEMS INTEGRATION

William S. Marras (Chair), Integrated Systems Engineering Department, Ohio State University

Pascale Carayon, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Center for Quality and Productivity Improvement, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Don Chaffin, Industrial and Operations Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan (Emeritus)

Nancy J. Cooke, Cognitive Science and Engineering, Arizona State University

Mary (Missy) Cummings, Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems Division, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Sara J. Czaja, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Center on Aging, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Andrew S. Imada, A.S. Imada and Associates

Waldemar Karwowski, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems, University of Central Florida

David Rempel, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

Matthew Rizzo, Department of Neurology, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, and the Public Policy Center, University of Iowa

Thomas B. Sheridan, Departments of Mechanical Engineering and of Aeronautics-Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Emeritus)

David H. Wegman, Department of Work Environment, University of Massachusetts, Lowell (Emeritus)

Howard M. Weiss, Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University

Barbara A. Wanchisen, Director

Mary Ellen O’Connell, Deputy Director

Jatryce Jackson, Program Associate

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Review of Disability and Rehabilitation Research: NIDRR Grantmaking Processes and Products. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13285.
×

Acknowledgments

This study was sponsored by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). The committee would first like to express its appreciation to Doris Werwie, NIDRR evaluation lead, for supplying the committee with extensive background materials about NIDRR, for compiling special databases and reports on grantee performance to assist in the committee’s expert review of grantee outputs, and for offering ongoing coordination and assistance with the committee’s requests for additional information or data. The committee would also like to extend its appreciation to Ruth Brannon, director of NIDRR’s Research Sciences Division; Timothy Muzzio, director of NIDRR’s Program, Budget, and Evaluation Division; and Phillip Beatty, associate director, Research Sciences Division, for spending extensive time with the committee staff in describing the operation of NIDRR’s priority-writing, peer review, and grant management processes. We would also like to acknowledge William Schutz, program specialist, for his assistance in compiling data for the committee; Leslie Caplan, rehabilitation specialist, for coordinating with the committee so it could observe peer review panels in action; and Mary Darnell, NIDRR’s contracting officer’s representative. Appreciation is extended as well to Sue Swenson, NIDRR acting director, and Connie Pledger, director of the Interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR), for helping to clarify for the committee the role of the ICDR in relation to NIDRR and in the larger research system. Finally, the committee appreciates the time dedicated by the NIDRR staff who agreed to participate in confidential interviews to share their special knowledge and perspectives on NIDRR’s key processes.

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Review of Disability and Rehabilitation Research: NIDRR Grantmaking Processes and Products. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13285.
×

We would also like to thank all of the participants in the evaluation who lent us their time and valuable perspectives. They include the representatives of federal agencies, professional associations, and advocacy organizations who responded to our survey of NIDRR stakeholder organizations and the NIDRR peer reviewers who contributed their perspectives on NIDRR’s peer review processes. Among this group of evaluation participants, much appreciation is extended to the 30 principal investigators (PIs) of the NIDRR grants we reviewed. Their participation required a substantial amount of time and effort, especially in the case of large center grants that produce many outputs. The PIs identified and submitted outputs for the committee’s review and completed a set of questions concerning each output. For many PIs, this effort involved coordination with other team members who had been involved in their projects. In addition, the committee asked the PIs to respond to a separate set of questions regarding how they managed their grants and what other projects had been generated from their grants and outputs. Finally, the PIs were also asked to comment on key NIDRR processes (priority setting, peer review, and grant monitoring) that may influence their work. Some grantees extended themselves as well by setting up special demonstrations of their outputs via teleconference or websites.

We also wish to thank a number of individuals who, in two early public sessions, presented important contextual information for our consideration in planning the evaluation. In addition to Ruth Brannon and Doris Werwie, these included Alexa Posny, assistant secretary, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services; and Lynnae Ruttledge, acting director of NIDRR (as of April 2010) and commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration. They also included NIDRR grantees Richard Burkhauser of Cornell University, Judith Cook of the University of Illinois at Chicago, John Whyte of Moss Rehabilitation Institute, Wayne Gordon of Mt. Sinai University, and Gregg Vanderheiden of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and federal agency representatives Pamela O’Neil of the National Science Foundation, Alan Willard of the National Institutes of Health, and Jeffrey Dowd of the U.S. Department of Energy.

We are also grateful to the following individuals who contributed their time in critically reviewing our preliminary evaluation plan and providing input into the final plan: Carol Weiss of Harvard University, Joseph Wholey of the University of Southern California, Adele Harrell (retired) of the Urban Institute, Deborah Boehm-Davis of George Mason University, and Pascale Carayon of the University of Wisconsin.

Appreciation is extended as well to those who played a key role in early stages of the evaluation: Laudy Aaron for her efforts in planning and forming the committee, and Molly Story, whose knowledge and experience in disability and rehabilitation research laid a strong foundation for our work as the first study director.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Review of Disability and Rehabilitation Research: NIDRR Grantmaking Processes and Products. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13285.
×

Among the National Research Council (NRC) staff, special thanks are due to Barbara Wanchisen, who provided oversight of and support for the study; Matt McDonough, research associate, and Tina Winters, associate program officer, who provided research and program expertise in developing drafts of key sections of the report; and senior program assistants Gary Fischer, Jatryce Jackson, and Eric Chen who provided administrative and logistic support over the course of the study. We wish to extend our appreciation as well to Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellow Mary Beth Ficklin for her special analyses, NRC consultants Eleanor Johnson and Jessica Scheer for their qualitative analyses and contributions to the writing of the report, and Rona Briere for her extensive assistance in editing many drafts of the report. Finally, we thank the executive office reports staff of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, especially Eugenia Grohman and Yvonne Wise, who provided valuable help with the editing and production of the report, and Kirsten Sampson Snyder, who managed the report review process.

Finally, the committee members wish to thank the staff of their institutions who assisted and supported their work on this study, and in particular Tana Gaylene of the Rehabilitation Medicine Department Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health.

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Peter Axelson, director of research and development, Beneficial Designs, Inc., Minden NV; Stephen H. Bell, senior fellow and principal scientist, Abt Associates, Inc., Bethesda, MD; Alicia L. Carriquiry, professor of statistics, Iowa State University; Judith A. Cook, professor and director, Center on Mental Health Services Research and Policy, Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago; Susan E. Cozzens, professor of public policy and director, Technology Policy and Assessment Center, School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology; Michael Feuerstein, professor of Departments of Medical and Clinical Psychology and Preventive Medicine and Biometrics, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda MD; Lex Frieden, professor of biomedical informatics and professor of rehabilitation, University of Texas, Health Science Center at Houston, and professor of rehabilitation, Baylor College of Medicine; David B. Gray, professor of occupational therapy and neurology, Program in

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Review of Disability and Rehabilitation Research: NIDRR Grantmaking Processes and Products. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13285.
×

Occupational Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine; Richard Hurtig, professor and Starch faculty fellow, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Iowa; William Zev Rymer, John G. Searle professor and vice president for research, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago; David Stapleton, Center for Studying Disability Policy, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.; and Jack M. Winters, professor of biomedical engineering and co-director of Falk Neurorehabilitation Engineering Research Center, Marquette University.

Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the content of the report, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by John Bailar of the University of Chicago and William Howell of Arizona State University. Appointed by the NRC, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the committee and the institution.

David H. Wegman, Chair
Jeanne C. Rivard, Co-Study Director
Mary Ellen O’Connell, Co-Study Director
Committee on the External Evaluation of NIDRR and Its Grantees

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Review of Disability and Rehabilitation Research: NIDRR Grantmaking Processes and Products. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13285.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Review of Disability and Rehabilitation Research: NIDRR Grantmaking Processes and Products. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13285.
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The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) is the principal federal agency supporting applied research, training, and development to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities. NIDRR's mission is to generate new knowledge and promote its effective use in improving the ability of persons with disabilities to perform activities of their choice in the community, as well as to expand society's capacity to provide full opportunities and accommodations for its citizens with disabilities.

NIDRR prides itself on being proactive in establishing program performance measures and developing accountability data systems to track the progress of its grantees. An electronic annual reporting system is used to collect data from grantees on many aspects of grant operation and outputs. Various formative and summative evaluation approaches have been used to assess the quality of the performance and results of the agency's research portfolio and its grantees. Prompted by the need to provide more data on its program results, in 2009 NIDRR requested that the National Research Council (NRC) conduct an external evaluation of some of the agency's key processes and assess the quality of outputs produced by NIDRR grantees (National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, 2009a). Review of Disability and Rehabilitation Research presents the results of that evaluation.

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