By Sebastian Sprenger / December 19, 2008 at 5:00 AM

Congressional authorizers recently approved a renewed Defense Department reprogramming request that would fully fund the Minerva initiative. The first request was denied.

The goal behind Minerva is building closer ties with social scientists, who defense officials believe have much to offer in understanding the roots of extremism worldwide.

With the approval from the House and Senate Armed Services committees came instructions for how to tweak the programs funding channels and management, according to House panel spokeswoman Lara Battles.

"((The committees)) gave direction to restructure the program -- specifically, to move the funding to a traditional research (6.1) program element and to begin building an in-house capacity for the types of efforts within Minerva," she told us in an e-mail.

The notation "6.1" is Pentagon budget shorthand for a basic research program.

A senior defense official said earlier this month the appropriations committees, which must also approve the reprogramming request, have already signaled they would do so soon.