Earlier this year, the Molecular Foundry began a process to create a new 5-year strategic plan. As a DOE User Facility, it is critical that our planning process reflects the needs of the various scientific communities that we serve.
To produce a plan that is reflective and responsive to the community, a series of listening sessions with outside thought leaders, many of whom are users, were organized in the spring– one for each of the seven facilities, as well as one for the SAB and one for thought leaders at Berkeley Lab. These discussions were centered on the following questions:
- What are scientific areas of particular promise/excitement/opportunity?
- What challenges must be overcome to take advantage of these opportunities?
- What are the most pressing needs that would help overcome these challenges? How could the Lab environment be leveraged toward these goals?
All of these events with outside researchers representing the user community, along with written input solicited from members of the Foundry’s Proposal Review Board (PRB) and User Executive Committee (UEC), were used to create a list of nearly 150 scientific drivers in the area of nanoscale science. This list was discussed and sorted into groups by Foundry staff at the annual staff retreat. This exercise produced a set of 5 scientific themes that is representative of the Foundry’s strengths and provides specific future directions within each theme. Additionally, the themes are cross-cutting across the Foundry’s seven facilities.
The foundation of this strategic plan is the result of this deliberative process that included many diverse perspectives. In order to ensure that our process is inclusive and that we are meeting the needs of our users, we are now soliciting feedback from the entire Foundry and scientific community.
The public comment period closed on Sunday, September 12, 2021.