For three years, part of DARPA has funded two teams for each project: one for research and one for reproducibility. The investment is paying off.
In 2016, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) told eight research groups that their proposals had made it through the review gauntlet and would soon get a few million dollars from its Biological Technologies Office (BTO). Along with congratulations, the teams received a reminder that their award came with an unusual requirement — an independent shadow team of scientists tasked with reproducing their results.
If you want to do important research well, this is a great approach. IF you could find someone to fund it.
These costs are high, but we think they are an essential investment to avoid wasting taxpayers’ money and to advance fundamental research towards beneficial applications. Here, we outline what we’ve learnt from implementing this programme, and how it could be applied more broadly.