All Projects

How has convergence research been conceptualized and implemented?

Understanding convergence research and the National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) role in supporting it

Convergence research addresses complex problems in research and society through a systems approach involving deep integration of people and ideas and a holistic, rather than reductionistic, approach to problem solving. Growing convergence research at the National Science Foundation (NSF) is as one of NSF’s 10 Big Ideas for future NSF investments.

Convergence research is related to other forms of research that span disciplines but goes well beyond them. It is driven by a specific and compelling problem that requires integration of skills, knowledge, and perspectives across communities. It brings together a diverse set of researchers to develop innovative and creative ways of solving complex problems.

Westat is conducting an exploratory study to better define convergence research and lay the foundation for assessing it.

The study examines the established literature, as well as work carried out by NSF, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and NASA to develop a deeper understanding of the conceptual foundations of convergence research, how it is practiced, and what is meant by success. These activities are designed to lay the groundwork for creating an assessment framework for supporting, documenting, and enhancing investments in the research area.

We have divided our work plan into 3 major tasks:

  • Literature review and bibliometric analysis
  • Semi-structured interviews with key NSF and other agency staff, Principal Investigators of NSF grants, and experts in the field.
  • Development of an initial theory of change and logic model

Westat has provided 3 research briefs to NSF. Once completed, Westat will integrate the findings into a report, drawing on all 3 activities described above.

The research will inform the answers to the following questions:

  • What are the criteria for success for convergence research projects or programs?
  • What factors constrain or enable success?
  • What role do funders, universities, and institutions play in supporting convergence research?

Want to work with us?
You’ll be in great company.

About Us Careers

Westat Employees.
Westat Employee.
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
Baltimore Metropolitan Council
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
DC Public Schools
Georgia Department of Transportation
Internal Revenue Service
Leadership Montgomery
Maryland Cancer Registry
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
National Science Foundation
NYC Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
SiriusXM
Social Security Administration
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Teach for America
Texas Education Agency
The Johns Hopkins University
The National Institutes of Health
The Verizon Foundation
Toyota
U.S. Department of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Education
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Department of Transportation
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
University of Maryland Baltimore Campus
University of Michigan
University System of Maryland
Explore Our Clients

Please wait...

Forbes 2021 The Best Employers for Women Powered by StatistaForbes 2021 The Best Employers for Diversity Powered by StatistaForbes 2021: America's Best Midsize Employer Powered by Statista

Westat is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, genetic information, gender identity or expression, or any other protected status under applicable law. Notices to Employees & Applicants.