About STPI

The IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI), located across from the White House in Washington, DC, is one of three Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) operated by the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), a nonprofit corporation. STPI was established by Congress to inform policy decisions of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in the Executive Office of the President.

STPI staff collaborating
STPI staff collaborating
STPI staff collaborating

STPI’s interdisciplinary staff provides responsive, high-quality analyses of national and international science and technology (S&T) issues important to OSTP and other executive branch sponsors, including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Aviation Administration.

STPI staff collaborating
  • Critical infrastructure and resilience
  • Energy and environment
  • Homeland and national security
  • Information and communication technologies
  • Innovation and competitiveness
  • International science and technology
  • Life sciences
  • Research and development infrastructure
  • Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and workforce
  • Social and behavioral sciences
  • Space, aviation, and transportation

Some recent examples of STPI contributions to the federal S&T enterprise include:

  • Policy analysis and development
    • Assessing federal policies that affect the national security S&T enterprise and infrastructure
    • Understanding federal initiatives and programs addressing the opioid crisis, including challenges, gaps, and areas for investment
    • Analyzing performance standards for immediate occupancy of commercial and residential buildings
  • Program evaluation
    • Evaluating a federal program to fund basic research in behavioral and social sciences
    • Evaluating a program for transferring technology between national laboratories and industry
    • Providing an analysis of applications and awards of federal S&T grants to Hispanic-serving institutions
  • Science and technology assessment
    • Analyzing global trends in small satellite technology
    • Assessing the Federal Government’s reliance on Earth observation systems
    • Analyzing threats to the electric power grid from geomagnetic-induced currents and man-made events
  • Data collection and analysis
    • Analyzing the U.S. Antarctic logistics support program
    • Developing metrics for evaluating epidemiology and genomics research programs
    • Collecting and analyzing data to examine racial disparities in the federal research grants process
  • Strategic planning and metrics
    • Evaluating priorities for critical infrastructure security and resilience
    • Developing priorities for clinical trials and other medical research
    • Assessing priorities and developing metrics for federal STEM education policies
  • Economic and business case analysis
    • Forecasting the future economic impact of quantum information science
    • Assessing economic feasibility of privately funded space activities
    • Understanding aviation and commercial space-flight insurance requirements

Leveraging a diverse and experienced staff

STPI’s researchers include physical scientists, life scientists, engineers, social and behavioral scientists, economists, historians, STEM experts, and attorneys. Approximately three-quarters of the senior research staff hold doctorates in their respective technical fields. When needed, STPI also draws on the talents of the large, diverse research staff of another IDA FFRDC, the Systems and Analyses Center, which supports the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

STPI’s two-year Science Policy Fellowship Program provides recent bachelor’s degree recipients with opportunities to develop professionally by using their critical thinking and analytic skills in support of a variety of S&T policy-related tasks.