What started as an experimental project evolved into a Partnership between federal agencies and research institutions. Throughout the decades our partnership goals have remained the same: to reduce administrative burden for researchers.

– Dick Seligman, FDP Co-Chair, 2017 – 2020


In 1986 the Florida Demonstration Project (FDP) began as an experiment with five federal agencies (the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Office of Naval Research, Department of Energy, and the US Department of Agriculture), the Florida State University System and the University of Miami, to test and evaluate a grant mechanism utilizing a standardized and simplified set of terms and conditions across all participating agencies.

The goal was to reduce the administrative burden associated with federal research grants without compromising the highest levels of stewardship of federal funds.  It was acknowledged, however, that not all administrative burden originated in Washington, DC and the universities agreeing to participating in the FDP also committed to examine their own internal administrative processes to reduce administrative burden wherever possible.

Based on the initial success of the Florida Demonstration Project, the same federal agencies, with the addition of NASA, decided to expand the project to a group of universities around the country.  The name then changed to Federal Demonstration Project (still FDP).

Many of our partnerships with federal agencies resulted in the resources and flexibilities research institutions have today to reduce administrative burden related to research. Take a look at FDP’s history and select key accomplishments:

Phase I (Florida Demonstration Project) 1986-1988 and

Phase II (Federal Demonstration Project) 1988-1996:

  • Streamlined terms and conditions in federal Notices of Awards.
  • Partnered with federal agencies to test automatic carryover of unexpended funds from one budget period to the next, 90-day pre-award spending, and no-cost extensions. These “expanded authorities” still exist today for federal grantees.

Phase III (Federal Demonstration Partnership) 1996-2002

  • Introduction of faculty FDP members to provide input on research administrative burden.
  • Broadened its scope to emphasize demonstrations that combined electronic research administration (eRA) and reengineered systems and procedures.
  • Introduced the first iteration of the now widely used FDP Subaward templates to expedite review and negotiation of federal subawards among FDP member institutions.

Phase IV (Federal Demonstration Partnership) 2002-2008

  • Conducted its first Faculty Workload Survey. More than 6000 federally-funded faculty members at FDP institutions participated in the survey. Results of the survey showed that 42% of the faculty time available for research is spent in award administrative activities.
  • Increased participation of Emerging Research Institutions, broadening the perspective of the impact of administrative burdens on less research-intensive institutions.

Phase V (Federal Demonstration Partnership) 2008-2014

  • The FDP Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) Clearinghouse was introduced as central location for institutions to document that they are in compliance with the PHS Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) regulations, reducing burden and eliminating extra forms for pass-through entities and subrecipients to verify this information.
  • Conducted the second Faculty Workload Survey to examine researcher administrative burden over time.
  • The Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae (SciENcv) was developed as a result of FDP’s request to develop a system to eliminate burden associated with creating biosketches for multiple circumstances. FDP partnered on the project with the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the National Institutes of Health. SciENcv has since expanded to accommodate several sponsors and the creation of Current & Pending Support forms. It continues to expand.

Phase VI (Federal Demonstration Partnership) 2014 – 2020

  • The FDP Expanded Clearinghouse was created to house key information of member institutions used by pass-through entities for subaward issuance and subrecipient monitoring, eliminating the need to exchange extra forms. It has since expanded to include non-members, and is widely used today.
  • Conducted the third Faculty Workload Survey.

Phase VII (Federal Demonstration Partnership) 2021 – present

  • The FDP significantly expanded its membership, which now includes more than two hundred grantee institutions. New areas of interest and activity include:
    • Faculty Administrator Collaboration Team (FACT)
    • Foreign Influence Working Group
    • Compliance Unit Standard Procedure (CUSP)
    • Data Management and Sharing