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(A second part of the sustaining university program is concerned with research facilities to provide reasonably adequate working space at universities heavily engaged in scientific and technical activities for the space program. The need for more research laboratory space in the universities is evident; it obviously will not be possible for the universities to undertake the cork of which they are capable and which is required if the national goals in space are to be realized, unless their needs for working space can be satisfied.

Fifteen grants for the construction of such facilities have been made by NASA. These buildings will make over 500,000 square feet of additional space available for scientists now doing research pertinent to our mission. The present facilities program is summarized in the following table:

Summary of facilities grants

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An important criterion used in selecting research facilities grantees is the relative importance to the national space program of the particular fields of research for which the facilities are proposed. The urgency of the institution's need for the facilities, based on the extent of its present research and training program supported by NASA, influences the decision to award a grant, as do the demonstrable competence, achievements, and potential for further contribution to the national space program of its scientific staff. Further, the nature or extent of the institution's commitment to work in the space sciences is considered along with the quality of supporting facilities and staff.

A facilities grant is made for dollar amounts, determined by NASA to be appropriate in each instance, up to the full cost of construction of the proposed building. It is made to a qualifying institution for the acquisition of new laboratories devoted primarily to research in space-related science and technology or expansion of existing accommodations. The proposed amount of a facilities grant represents a ceiling above which NASA will not go. An estimated cost is submitted by the grantee for use by NASA in awarding a grant for the building and necessary fixed equipment, but once a grant is made NASA will not augment the funds or cover overruns. On the other hand, if the bids are such that all of the funds are not required for construction of the optimum sized buildings, then NASA recovers the excess funds. During the course of development of final plans and specifications, we are able to ascertain which elements planned for inclusion are essential, and obtain a clear picture of the costs involved. These will become firm figures only when construction bids, based on the final plans and specifications, have been received. Since NASA reviews the final plans and specifications for technical feasibility, reasonableness of costs, and responsiveness to the scientific program, we insure that no frills are included. NASA and the grantee are both interested in obtaining the greatest amount of useful laboratory space possible under the dollar ceiling of the grant. It is a proviso of all NASA facilities grants that the construction contract be awarded on a fixed price basis to the lowest responsible bidder. In these ways we attempt to obtain the greatest value possible for both the universities and the Nation.

In evaluating proposals for research facilities, it is important to keep in mind that this activity is in support of a total NASA operation involving all our program offices to some degree. Proposals received are reviewed throughout the agency, often by several offices. Site visits by interested NASA personnel are made prior to award of a grant. To insure that the program is not conducted in isolation or as a separate and independent effort, our activities are coordinated with other interested agencies.

In its centers, NASA has available a number of skilled engineers, architects, and other personnel engaged in the planning, design, and construction of research laboratories, some of which are unique to the NASA research effort. These personnel participate in planning conferences with university grantees and their architects to review and offer constructive criticism on the plans and specifications as they are developed; to advise us on the adequacy and economies of certain types of construction; to inspect the progress of construction; and to participate in inspections of completed structures.

The statutory authorizations under which NASA supports the construction of research laboratory facilities at the university are explicit with respect to ownership. Under them, title to facilities constructed or purchased with NASA research and development funds shall vest with the United States, unless the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration determines that the interests of the national program of aeronautical and space activities will best be served by vesting title in the grantee. Determination to vest title in the grantee, pursuant to its request, is made by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on an individual case basis at the time the grant is made. Factors which will be considered in making this determination include:

(a) Ownership of the land upon which the facilities are to be placed or constructed. In every grant made to date, NASA has insisted that the grantee own or have the right to control the use of land upon which the proposed facilities are to be constructed. No grant has included allowances for land acquisition.

(6) Feasibility of removal of the facilities without substantial impairment of their value.

(C) Intentions of the grantee respecting its use of the facilities over the 10-year period next following award of the requested grant. The extent of NASA supported research and training will, of course, vary from year to year, as will the number and quality of proposals. However, intentions, as set forth in a memorandum of understanding, are reasonable reflections of the extent of past and present programs.

(d) Intentions and plans of the grantee to accommodate and promote research in space-related science and technology through use of the facilities to be acquired.

(e) Whether ownership by the grantee will enhance its long-range potential to conduct research in space-related science and technology.

(f) Whether funds other than those provided by the Government will be used in connection with the purchase or construction of the facilities. Usually, a grantee, whether its funds are included in the construction effort or not, must make a significant contribution to the total cost.

Maintenance and operation of the facilities are the responsibility of the grantee, and when title is vested in the grantee, it is a provision of the facilities grant that no charge will be made to any agency of the United States respecting the use thereof in connection with any Government-sponsored research. This is to prevent an institution from being awarded the full amount of the facilities, and then recovering this amount again through amortization and use charges.

There are also considerations from NASA's viewpoint which militate against its retention of title to facilities acquired under this program. First, and foremost among these would be the nonownership of land or lack of rights to control its use or access. Title to a structure under such terms would be of little practical value.

Secondly, ownership carries with it certain broad responsibilities for staffing, along with various items of office and research equipment, expendable supplies, utilities, maintenance, and protection.

Thirdly, the added burden of prudent care involved in ownership and operation.

Finally, ownership entails a program of proper utilization of the facilities consistent with our research and training requirements, on the one hand, and the needs of the universities on the other. Fulfilling these requirements should be accomplished by complementary programs if we are to reap the greatest national benefit in years to come, and it seems to us that the university is best equipped to plan, propose, and implement such programs.

The research component of the sustaining university program is designed to expand and improve directly the capabilities of the Nation's universities to conduct research in the space sciences and technology.

Through the support of broad space and aeronautical research programs which have been specifically tailored to the individual characteristics of each university, the maximum opportunity is offered for the adoption of new research approaches, balancing and strengthening of existing work, and stimulation of the development and growth of new talent. As a consequence, the space program obtains the most vigorous, productive, and creative contributions the university can provide while the university profits through the overall enhancement of its research and training resources.

Each university has a different capability, and our relationship with it varies accordingly. In general, however, the universities fall into two groups: those which are not actively participating in space research activities but which have a basic potential for quality research, and those heavily involved in substantial amounts of sponsored research. We work with both, for each has a vital role in the support of NASA's mission.

Through the support of quality work at selected institutions not currently participating in space research, the number of universities involved in attacking some of the fundamental problems facing NASA is permitted to grow and thus broaden the base of the Nation's total university research capability. By providing new opportunities to these institutions to participate, many excellent research programs have already emerged and new talents and skills have been developed.

Vigorous programs at these institutions add an additional benefit to the scientific strength of the Nation.

Exciting research activity at a university provides an incentive for the researcher to remain there, where he creates a new nucleus of interest, which in turn attracts other young researchers who wish to join him instead of moving to a larger, better known institution. The net result again is an increase in a national resource.

To the university already heavily involved in space-related research this program provides an opportunity to make more efficient use of its assets. A carefully developed research program can provide valuable augmentation of existing work, fill gaps in research programs or consolidate related work. More importantly, however, it promotes the development of multidisciplinary approaches to broad problems which require a focusing of talents from several different research areas. As Dr. Newell has pointed out, this multidisciplinary approach is of critical importance to NASA. Finally, even in the larger institutions there is a need for flexible support for the encouragement of young researchers and the germination of new ideas.

Through this specialized program involving a wide variety of institutions, NASA assures a continued flow of quality research and talent needed to fulfill its immediate objectives, while at the same time providing increased opportunities to younger, less-developed schools to develop their capabilities and prepare for stronger roles in the future.

The space sciences summer study, conducted under the auspices of the Space Science Board of the National Academy of Sciences, reviewed this program in 1962 and stated that “Broadly conceived research grants, not aimed at specific projects are regarded as the lifeblood of a vigorous university research program.”

Fundamental research, to be conducted in the most efficient and productive manner requires the assurance on the part of the investigator and the institution of long-term financial support. Such support permits the participants to plan programs in depth and devote their full attention to their work. It is the policy of NASA to provide continuity of research support where possible. The majority of the research grants under this program provide for several years of support, through a technique known as step funding to be described later. Programs presented for support are judged against the following criteria :

(a) The nature and quality of the research proposed, the scientific merit of the program, the capabilities of the researchers, and the relationship to long-range NASA scientific goals.

(6) The relationship of this program to other research within the university and overall NASA objectives and research interests.

(c) The potential value and impact upon the university that the program will have in terms of the university's future research capabilities.

(d) The side benefits of the program which will result, such as enhanced research training opportunities.

(e) The extent of the commitment of the university to provide support to the program and to the research staff. During fiscal year 1962, approximately $3.5 million were invested in programs at 11 universities. At five institutions, broad multidisciplinary research programs were established which permitted integrated attacks on large complex problems by physicists, chemists, biologists, geologists, and engineers.

In fiscal year 1963, research programs that had been started at seven institutions were continued. In addition, 10 new projects were begun, 3 conferences were supported, and 5 institutions received small grants for special purposes.

A summary of the sustaining university program's research activities follows:

Fiscal year 1962 sustaining university program: Research program

Institution and project



Annual level

of effort

$500,000 | 3 years.




923, 000

2 years.
3 years

1 year.

60,000 500,000

50,000 154,000

California (Berkeley)/NSG-243: Multidisciplinary space

California (L/A)/NsG-237: Multidisciplinary space

Columbia/NSG-294: Materials research..
G.R.C of S.W./NsG-269: Earth and planetary sciences.
Kansas/NsG-298: Development of space science research.
National Academy of Sciences/NsG-252: Space science

summer study program at State University of Iowa. National Science Foundation/R-62: 13th assembly of

the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics. Ohio State/NsG-295: Biological effects of gases low in

nitrogen. Pennsylvania/NSG-298: Unconventional techniques of

energy conversion. Texas A&M/NSG-239: Development of space sciences

research. Wisconsin/NsG-275: Theoretical quantum chemistry--





3 years.













1, 825, 000

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Mississippi State/NsG-80: Biology of closed ecological

Montana State/NsG-430: Space physics research.-
N.Y.U./NASr-167: NASA-university liaison activities..
Pennsylvania/NSG-316: Unconventional techniques of

energy conversion: 1

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125, 000

3 years.





Pittsburgh/NsG-416: Multidisciplinary space sciences.--
Rice/NsG-6: Materials research:


50,000 300,000



3 years.


Syracuse/NSG-159: Materials research..
Texas A. & M./NSG-239: Development of space sciences


10, 464

1 year
3 years.


Washington (Seattle)/NsG-484: Multidisciplinary ce-
ramics research:




400.000 3 years.


Wisconsin/NsG-275: Theoretical quantum chemistry 1
Xavier/NSG-315: Conference on quantum mechanics.--

370, 000


do 1 week



Total so..

6,093, 520

i Continuation of fiscal year 1962 research grants.
NOTE.-Letters in parentheses indicate joint funding with other NASA program activities.

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