At the outset of interacademy exchanges during the 1960s and 1970s, each of the interacademy agreements noted in Chapter 1 was based on negotiated quotas, expressed in person-months of visits in each direction. In most cases, these quota limitations constrained the number of scientists who traveled in each direction because the number of months requested by qualified applicants interested in traveling in either direction usually exceeded the quota allocations. The quotas were often adjusted due to the availability of funds and changing application pressures in the United States and in the Eastern European countries.
This quota system was patterned after the quota systems that were in wide use by academies in the USSR and Eastern Europe. This approach enabled the academies to control the funds and, of course, the selection of candidates for the programs from their countries and the acceptance of candidates proposed by counterpart academies. There were many exchanges among the countries of Eastern Europe outside the framework of the quota systems of the academies. But the academy systems were widely recognized in Eastern Europe as a good, although tightly controlled, international route for research scientists to follow in order to help ensure availability of funding and to avoid at least some potential political and security problems.
The requirements for American participants in the interacademy programs in the early days, which changed very little over the years, were as follows:
Any American citizen who possesses a doctoral degree (or its equivalent) in the natural, mathematical, fundamental medical (non-patient oriented), engineering, or quantitatively oriented behavioral sciences, or who is now a candidate for the doctorate and expects to receive it prior to the time of the exchange visits is eligible.1
At that time, American applicants were considered for 1-month familiarization visits and 3- to 12-month research visits. Visits of 5 to 12 months were encouraged. Placements in Czechoslovakia and the German Democratic Republic (GDR) were limited to institutes of the counterpart academies, with greater flexibility in the other countries.
Applicants from Eastern Europe also chose between short- and long-term visits to the United States. For many years, most participants were interested in research in the natural sciences. Almost all successful applicants from the region were placed in U.S. universities.