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Shared Research Resources Task Force Publishes Recommendations in FASEB Journal

By: Naomi Charalambakis
Thursday, October 14, 2021

The latest issue of The FASEB Journal features a perspective article on the importance of team science and shared research resources (SRRs) in advancing scientific progress and research efficiency. The article, “Establishing a national strategy for shared research resources in biomedical sciences” is authored by the FASEB Shared Research Resources Task Force and reflects the group’s yearlong efforts to develop actionable policy recommendations for enhancing SRRs.

Located in academic institutions (known as core facilities), national laboratories, and private research centers, SRRs provide shared access to the scientific tools, equipment, and expertise for researchers and staff. Although centralized infrastructure has been fundamental to developing cutting-edge technologies such as DNA sequencers and super-resolution microscopes, SRR funding and oversight remain decentralized and dispersed, resulting in unnecessary resource duplication and inefficient operations. To leverage these critical resources and meet the evolving needs of the 21st century research landscape, the authors recommend the National Institutes of Health (NIH) establish and implement a national strategy for SRRs.

One strategy recommended to fulfill this goal is the establishment of an SRR Working Group within NIH’s Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD), a group charged with advising the NIH director on a broad range of issues related to the agency’s mission and programs. By elevating the role of resource sharing in biomedical research, the authors posit favorable impacts across a broad range of NIH’s goals. For example, targeted SRR investments will facilitate NIH’s efforts to improve research rigor and reproducibility, given that SRRs are leading the way in applying best practices.

Additional information about the task force’s recommendations and the role of SRRs in enhancing research efficiency, including lessons learned from the FASEB SRR Roundtable earlier this year, is available on the FASEB website.