STAR METRICS Working Group

(STAR METRICS stands for Science and Technology in America’s Reinvestment – Measuring the EffecT of Research on Innovation, Competitiveness and Science)
Special STAR METRICS meeting for Vice Presidents of Research

Phase 2 of STAR METRICS expands the reporting for STAR beyond jobs information to include a wider array of impact metrics such as patents, publications, and citations. We now are interested in hearing directly from the public — including grant recipients and university officials — as to what are the most important measures to be tallied.  To help inform this process of launching Phase 2 of STAR METRICS, we are inviting the Vice Presidents for Research from universities who are participating in Phase 1 to a public consultation session on October 22nd at the National Press Club in Washington. During what we hope to be a dynamic brainstorming session, we will cover such topics as, What data elements should be collected for Phase 2? What existing databases should be used? Can any aspects of the reporting be automated and, if so, which parts?

We welcome ideas from your scientific community in advance. You may send compiled community inputs to, or individual faculty can post ideas on the FDP website ( This prior input will be used to help frame the discussion during our meeting.

STAR METRICS has the potential to change how we think about science investments and science impacts. As we move forward with an increasingly transparent, open, and participatory Federal government, this is your chance to weigh in on how STAR METRICS can shape the future of our Nation’s all-important investments in science and technology


STAR METRICS is a federal and university partnership which is developing an empirical framework to measure the outcomes of science investments and demonstrate the benefits of scientific investments to the public. The project is led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) under the auspices of Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).

STAR METRICS builds upon the success of the STAR Pilot Project and is a multi-phase project that will evolve with time in response to the demands of stakeholders.

Two phases of the project are envisioned: 

- Phase I: The development of uniform, auditable and standardized measures of the initial impact of ARRA and science spending on job creation. 
- Phase II: The collaborative development of measures of the impact of federal science investment in four broad categories:
  • Economic growth (through patents, firm start ups and other measures),
  • Workforce outcomes (through student mobility and employment),
  • Scientific knowledge (such as publications and citations) and, later,
  • Social outcomes (such as health and environment)

The benefits of STAR METRICS are that a common empirical infrastructure will be available to all universities and science agencies to quickly respond to State, Congressional and OMB requests. It is critical that this effort takes a bottom up approach that is domain specific, generalizable and replicable.

The charge to the FDP working group on STAR METRICS is to actively engage in developing and testing new metrics. The group will draw on academic research from NSF's SciSIP program.

Initial ideas about particular metrics have been developed as a result of extensive outreach and examination of the literature. They are described in each of the four sections.  Working group members are invited to comment, add new ideas, and suggest new metrics that should be developed in the first part of Phase II.

We expect to have identified promising initial metrics by the next FDP meeting August 29-31,  2010.  Four separate sessions will be held to decide on which metrics will be selected for the inclusion in the first stage. 

 Steering Committee

Marietta Harrison (Co-Chair) Purdue University
Bill Duval (Co-chair) National Institutes of Health
Cindy Hope University of Alabama
Mike Laskofski George Mason University
Joanne Zanella-Litke University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
David Robinson Oregon Health & Science University
Jim English University of Missouri
Steve Beguin Arizona State University
Additional Information