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All university research supported by NASA is on the basis of unsolicited proposals submitted by the scientific investigator. The ideas and research efforts presented by the Nation's scientific community through this medium form the fundamental structure and framework of NASA's activities. The importance of receiving new and imaginative ideas and approaches on a day-to-day basis cannot be overstated, for it is NASA's most effective device for utilizing the best talents and minds available, and keeping abreast of new developments. The opportunity for the scientist and engineer to present constructive programs to solve critical problems, point out gaps in existing efforts, and keep NASA appraised of new events is of vital importance to the continuing success of an extremely complex and rapidly evolving program.

These proposals, of which some 300 are received each month, are processed, cataloged, and distributed by the Office of Grants and Research Contracts to the various headquarters programing offices and the NASA research centers. At the program office level, the proposals are reviewed by competent scientific personnel with direct responsibilities and interests in the proposed research. Proposals may also be reviewed by consultants or scientific advisory groups depending upon the subject matter and the nature of the proposal, such as the Space Science Steering Committee and its subcommittees and the Research Advisory Committee of the Office of Advanced Research and Technology.

Proposals selected for funding are processed by the Office of Grants and Research Contracts, which has the responsibility for negotiating the final grant or contract instrument with the institution.

I referred earlier to a funding mechanism that is used to give stability to university programs that are expected to be of several years duration. This is called “step funding” or “forward funding" and involves an initial grant of funds that will be paid to the institution over a 3-year period. Under this arrangement, funds in the amount of 100 percent of the level of the effort agreed upon are made available during the first year, funds in the amount of two-thirds of the agreed level of effort are programed to be paid during the second year, and one-third of the agreed level of effort to be paid during the third year. When the initial grant is made, these funds are all set aside by NASA and paid to the university on some prescribed schedule. During the course of the investigation, if the progress of the research is satisfactory, NASA will supplement the grant annually with funds in the amount of the agreed level of effort, which are paid in thirds over a 3-year period. In this manner the university always has funds coming in for 2 additional years at a reduced rate should NASA decide to withdraw its support. This procedure permits the university to dissipate any obligations that it may have incurred in an orderly manner over a 2-year period. Although this type of funding is not appropriate for all research, it is, for the greater part of NASA's university research endeavors, because it creates stability and thereby increases research productivity.

Research projects are reviewed and monitored by technical staffs from the offices sponsoring the research. Technical specialists from other offices also are appointed as monitors, particularly for broad programs which involve several diverse and complex activities. Additionally, status reports comprising fiscal data and concise statements of research performed are required semiannually of NASA grantees.

In order to provide for the widest practicable and appropriate dissemination of the research results, the investigator is encouraged to publish his results in scientific or technical journals or as NASA publications. The NASA Office of Scientific and Technical Information is responsible for assembling, abstracting, announcing, and disseminating reports resulting from the research performed by all NASA activities including that conducted on grants.

All accounts records relating to expenditures are subjected to inspection and audit hy representatives of NASA and the General Accounting Office during the course of the investigation and for 3 years thereafter. The principles for determining allowability of costs set forth in Bureau of Budget Circular A-21 or Armed Services Procurement Regulation, section XV, part 2, whichever is applicable, together with related NASA management policies applying to this subject, constitute the basic guidance in determining applicable costs of research sponsored by NASA.

Finally, I would like to apprise you of the existence of a report entitled "Active Grants and Research Contracts," dated July 1, 1963. This report is issued semiannually. It contains a short title descriptive of the work being done in

each NASA grant or research contract, the name of the university undertaking the study, the name of the principal investigator, the funding history, and the titles of reports resulting from the investigation.

I hope the foregoing has given you some insight into the manner in which NASA conducts its relations with universities.

The CHAIRMAN. This looks like the best answer I have seen in a long time as to where this money goes and how it is done. It is a very fine piece of work and I compliment you on it.

Senator Smith ?
Senator SMITH. I have no questions.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Webb, if you are satisfied with that operation, we shall close these hearings down and submit these questions in writing

I want to express my thanks to you for coming up here and giving your time for 2 days.

This is a program in which we have been questioned as closely as we have in any one of the other programs at NASA. I think it is fine that we have had clear statements from you.

As you know, when we began, I thought I favored a means test for the granting of scholarships. I think the answers given this morning by Dr. Newell persuaded me that that is the wrong way to approach it. I appreciate the contribution which he made and which you and Dr. Smull have made in this hearing.

Do you have any concluding statements!

Mr. WEBB. Only to say, Mr. Chairman, that we deeply appreciate the willingness of the committee to go into this

into this program. In our view, this is one of the most important elements of future strength of this Nation, where the advanced technology must be applied by industry, where large sums of money go to industry, but the development of the technology and the science underlying the technology must be done before the big systems can be built. This is the fountainhead of the systems that will work and the area where we separate out, before going into production, those that will not work. So it is one of the most important elements of strength for this Nation for many, many years to come.

The CHAIRMAN. I agree with you fully and I appreciate the fact that you are willing to stand up and fight for it.

Thank you very much. The hearing is closed.

(Whereupon, at 12:10 p.m., the committee adjourned, subject to the call of the Chair.)


Question 1. Because of the sheer volume of data being developed through university research contracts for NASA and other Government agencies, what plans does NASA have, as to how one can codify, store, and make available to all agencies of Government and for that matter, private industrythe data developed? Does NASA participate with other Government agencies in trying to solve the above problem?

Answer. The results of university research, which the NASA sponsors, are (a) reported in formal publication series, (b) announced in an abstracting and indexing journal, and (c) made available to Government agencies and industrial organizations in the aerospace program.

NASA publishes the research findings in its own formal publication series, the Contractor Report series. In addition, the grantees and/or contractors can publish the results of their supported research as separate reports or in the learned journals in which scientists are accustomed to publishing. In all cases, significant contractor reports are announced and abstracted in Scientific and Technical Aerospace Report and are made available, as appropriate, to Government and industry either through the NASA distribution system or through a public source such as the Office of Technical Services of the Department of Commerce or the Federal Government designated depository libraries.

To facilitate the processing of information and to avoid duplication of effort, cooperative arrangements have been made with major Government agencies to develop overall Government policy for the support of the publication and dissemination of the results of university research. NASA also participates in arrangements for the Government-wide interchange of this information and for insuring broad announcement and availability to the industrial and university communities. This interchange has been considerably facilitated by recent agreements and by policy decisions of the Federal Council for Science and Technology to standardize processing formats and procedures.

All these efforts are designed to implement section 203 of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (Public Law 85–568) to “provide for the widest practicable and appropriate dissemination of information concerning its activities and the results thereof."

Question 2. Much of the testimony by NASA witnesses implied that universities and colleges have a role much broader than merely the training of students. If I have clearly interpreted the witnesses' position, what contribution, in NASA's opinion, can and should a university make to the society it is a part of and, more specifically, to the region it is located within, in terms of other than their primary mission, the training of students ?

Answer. In general, yes, this is one of the questions ably dealt with in Dr. Kerr's “Uses of the University.” Many universities are already making a concerted effort to bring to bear a significant portion of these intellectual and physical resources on the particularly pressing problems of their immediate socioeconomic environments, as well as on some of the broader problems we face as a nation. The impact of the exploration of space is being felt, to some degree, by all facets of our society. We believe that the university has a responsibility to attack these problems and, by virtue of its academic influence, serve as an enlightening and stabilizing element. The university is uniquely equipped, not only to perform basic research and train new talent in new areas of science, but also to provide leadership within its sphere of influence in the discussion and practical solution of the problems of extracting from our space effort the greatest possible benefits to human welfare.

Space research, like other fields such as aeronautics, electronics, and atomic energy, produces corollary benefits in the form of new knowledge, new methods, and new materials which can be employed ultimately in the development and manufacture of articles for consumer use. In the past the transfer process proceeded in a laissez-faire manner at a relatively slow pace. We believe that it is incumbent upon academic institutions, government, and industry to cooperate in an attempt to accelerate this process.

The history of science demonstrates that we need not expect a long wait before the results of space research play a role in our lives. The interval between basic discoveries and their applications to practical affairs has decreased steadily during the course of the scientific revolution. The lag was 37 years from Maxwell's publication of the laws of the electromagnetic field in 1864 to the first radio experiments by Marconi, 10 years from the discovery of the neutron in 1932 to the first nuclear reaction, and 6 years from the invention of the transistor in 1948 to the first transistorized amplifier on the market. Based on this record, many of the important discoveries and advances of space science should feed back into our lives within the decade.

NASA is acutely aware of the contribution the university community is making, and is capable of making, to regional and national growth. We have encouraged universities to seek ways in which the results of NASA-sponsored research can be applied for the good of industry and the economy of the regions within which they reside. There are many significant and complex economic, political, and social consequences of our national space program that are being studied by universities. We believe that it is essential that such studies be continued and multiplied.

Question 3. Statements made by NASA witnesses during hearings implied that they concurred in the need for creating additional centers of excellence in the heartland of America. In a recent article by Dr. Pusey of Harvard in the Evening Star of November 20, Dr. Pusey takes a dim view of quickie culture concepts. To quote Dr. Pusey, You cannot build a center of excellence overnight and you can't do it just with dollars."

Answer. NASA is in agreement with Dr. Pusey's statement: "You cannot build a center of excellence overnight, and you can't do it just with dollars.” It is our appreciation of this that compels us to begin now to initiate the development of new centers of excellence which are essential to the achievement of the long-range goals of the national space program and to the preservation of the role of the United States as a leader in aeronautical and space science and technology.

Through the research component of the sustaining university program, NASA has taken positive action to expand and improve the capabilities of universities to conduct research and develop new centers of excellence. We believe that the challenge of space exploration is intellectually stimulating to the university community. By making a conscious effort to seek out competence in universities wherever it may exist, we are encouraging the development of new centers of excellence outside the "big 20."

Perhaps most important of all, the methods by which NASA deals with universities have been designed specifically to allow participating institutions to make full use of their unique capabilities. To provide flexibility, the grant instrument has been used whenever possible. Within the limit of prudent management, detailed day-to-day administration of grant funds is made the responsibility of the universities. Further, a concerted effort has been made to provide stable funding for continuing research endeavors by “step-funding," which procedure was initiated by NASA.

Question 4. What criteria has NASA developed or is using for distribution of grants and contracts among States, regions, and heavily populated centers? Please identify short-range and long-range benefits and objectives.

Answer. Research grants and contracts are awarded on the basis of scientific merit, relevancy to NASA's needs, and priorities, reasonableness of cost, and proven or estimated ability of the researcher to perform the task. In the interests of our programs, we must continue to support the proven investigator at the well-established university.

However, in our efforts to broaden the research base, we also attempt to seek out competence in universities which need modest encouragement to move ahead. NASA now is supporting research in about 130 universities in practically every State in the Union.

Pages 12 through 14 of Dr. Homer Newell's November 21 testimony before the Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences relate directly to this matter. Research grants are not distributed on the basis of population density, except as their density factor may govern concentrations of competence. Briefly, for short-range accomplishments, we must go where competence exists. For the future, we must be concerned with broadening the research base and encouraging the buildup of new capability.

Question 5. How many unsolicited proposals for research have you turned down during the period of time covered by your report on grants and research contracts dated July 1, 1963

Answer. During the 6-month period preceding issuance of the July 1, 1963, report on grants and research contracts, 1,248 unsolicited proposals were rejected or withdrawn. (Although issued at 6-month intervals, it should be pointed out that this report includes all projects that were active on the date of the report, without regard to when they were initiated or when their proposals were submitted.)

Question 6. How can you be certain that the subject matter contained in unsolicited proposals for research are responsive to those which NASA most needs in terms of priorities? Is there not a possibility that less needed projects may be funded because NASA has not clearly indicated in some manner those areas where study and analysis are most essential?

Answer. Experience in handling the thousands of unsolicited proposals re .ceived by NASA-approximately 3,000 in fiscal year 1963 alone shows that:

A. Numerous proposals are received in all of the scientific research areas of priority interest to NASA.

B. The number of good proposals related to NASA's requirements always exceeds the agency's funding ability. Only those showing the greatest potential value per dollar of cost are supported. Further, it is common practice to explore with a proposer mutually desirable modifications which make a project more directly responsive to NASA's needs.

It is impossible to predict in advance the precise amount or nature of the scientific understanding that will result from support of a given proposal; accordingly, selection of projects is based on scientific appraisal of the potential, both qualitative, and the program relevance of proposals competing for support in a particular research area. The primary concern of each program manager is the use of his limited resources to obtain research results for which the needs of his program are most critical.

Question ? (a). When NASA supports scientific organizations, conferences, and publications, is there not some way in which Government employees can attend without paying expensive fees?

Answer. NASA financially supports very few meetings of nongovernmental scientific organizations. In fact, present policy would preclude this except in rare instances of recognized need. One example of such support was the triannual meeting of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics held in America in August 1963, and supported in part by several Federal agencies and in part by registration fees. In such cases the registration fees comprise an essential supplement to the Government subsidies in covering the total operating costs of the meeting, and all Government attendees (but not active participants who present papers or chair sessions) would be expected to pay the published fee. In most cases, if attendance was approved in advance as official business, the fee paid by Government employees would be recoverable from the Government by the employee in accordance with a ruling of the Comptroller General.

NASA financially supports a few study meetings in certain special disciplines which may be organized at NASA's instigation and for NASA's principal benefit by an appropriate nongovernmental scientific organization. Attendance at such meetings is usually limited to invited scientists who can make effective technical contributions and no fee is charged.

As a contributing member to several governmental scientific organizations, such as the Interagency Chemical Rocket Propulsion Agency, NASA, in conjunction with other Government agency members, subsidizes through a contractor a continuing service, which includes the holding of one or more classified, state-of-the-art meetings each year to which attendance is regulated by invitation of Government and industry representatives with a need to know and no registration fees are charged.

NASA support of meetings initiated by non-Government scientific organizations mainly comprises advice in programing, furnishing of chairmen and speakers, and occasionally supplying minor operational support of the meeting but no financial support. In such cases Government attendees other than active participants would be required to pay the published fee which would be recoverable by them from the Government if attendance were approved in advance.

In all of the above cases it should be understood that cost of optional food functions attended by Government employees is borne by the employee and is not considered part of the registration fee.

Question y(b). Should not Government agencies be eligible to receive research papers presented Government-sponsored conferences without having to use Government funds to pay for the papers?

Answer. In those few instances in which financial support of a conference is provided by NASA as a cosponsor the papers are available free to NASA and, if included in the terms of the support agreement, would be available free to other designated Government agencies to the extent covered by such financial support.

In instances where NASA is a cosponsor of a meeting but does not provide financial support to the initiating organization, NASA receives free publications which result from the meeting but is not in position to demand free copies for other nonsponsoring Government organizations. For the most part NASA refrains from official sponsorship of meetings which this agency does not initiate and conduct. However in the frequent practice of cooperating with the scientific society by providing advice, speakers, and chairmen for conferences NASA normally receives free not the preprints, but any final publications which result from the meeting.

Question 8. How do you determine priorities among research subjects? Is it less complicated to determine priorities in the physical sciences than in the social sciences?

Answer. NASA's organizational structure reflects the broad areas known to be important to the national space effort. Relative priority constitutes the main factor in the allocation of funds within the various programs. Each unsolicited proposal is analyzed for scientific content by responsible scientists and engineers

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