As those of you who attend the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) meetings knows, the goal of a database of researcher profiles that can be shared/referenced across agencies to facilitate proposal development has been an ongoing topic of discussion. Lattes Platform, a common system for maintaining researcher and institutional profiles, houses over 2.5 million profiles. Developed by the Brazilian government and in use in 18 countries, is one example that demonstrates the validity of the concept of a universal researcher profile.
Having a federal-wide profile system could facilitate proposal development through pre-population of forms. This would allow agencies to access consistent and current profile information for researchers while requiring researchers to update their profile information in only a single database instead of with each agency individually.
NIH and other federal agencies have begun a project toward the goal of establishing a common, federal-wide researcher profile system. There is much work ahead to realize a system, but the first steps are being taken.