independent peer review by a panel consisting of all external reviewers or a mix of internal and external reviewers. Some of the proposals that are currently considered directed research could be redirected as supporting activities and decided on more expeditiously by the Program Scientist without undergoing peer review. Moreover, broad and ongoing input on research opportunities may be possible through the use of standing BAAs. In exploring the processes used by other agencies and organizations, the committee notes best practices in ensuring the transparency of the directed research process and also recommends that the HRP increase its communications about directed research. Additionally, continuous QI efforts to evaluate and improve the HRP merit assessment process are needed to enable NASA to actively monitor the effectiveness of merit assessment and fund directed research that will be of the highest possible value to its mission in a timely manner.

The members of the IOM Committee on the Review of NASA Human Research Program’s Scientific Merit Assessment Processes appreciate the opportunity to provide input to the HRP. We would be pleased to brief you and your staff regarding the findings and recommendations provided in this letter.

Sincerely,

James A. Pawelczyk, Chair
Committee on the Review of NASA Human
Research Program’s Scientific Merit Assessment Processes



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