Federal Research Opportunities: DOE, DOD, and HHS Need Better Guidance for Participant Activities
U.S. Government Accountability Office Washington United States
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The ORISE research participation program seeks to enhance the future scientific and engineering workforce by providing students, postgraduates, and faculty with hands-on research experiences in federal agencies. The program is administered by a DOE contractor, and other agencies sponsor research participants via interagency agreements with DOE. Research participants engage in a variety of projects at DOE and other sponsoring agencies, but they are not considered federal government employees and thus are prohibited from performing inherently governmental functions. GAO was asked to review the ORISE research participation program. This report examines 1 program expenditures by all sponsoring agencies and 2 selected agencies assessments of program effectiveness and their guidance on inherently governmental functions. GAO reviewed program data for fiscal years 2010-2014, the five most recent years for which data were available examined program policies and guidance at DOE, DOD, and HHS, the three agencies that sponsored the most participants in fiscal year 2014 and interviewed officials at those three agencies.
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