of these corporate programs is to increase the number of engineers and scientists engaged in technological efforts of concern to national defense and, specifically, to the Navy. There are sixteen programs relevant to this discussion, comprising an annual budget of $35 million. They include high school apprenticeships, supplementation to research grants, graduate fellowships, support for postdoctoral researchers and young investigators, and awards to bolster science and engineering at the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Institutions (MIs).

The committee was generally impressed with the breadth of educational programs ONR administers and with the dedication of its program staff. While these programs do not directly address ONR's primary mission of research and development, they are important to achieving that mission by helping to develop the scientists and engineers who will solve the Navy's technical challenges in the future.

ONR's corporate programs are relatively young, typically beginning in the early 1980s as fellowship programs. The HBCU/MI programs, especially, are only a few years old. The committee's impression is that these programs evolved historically as the Navy perceived a need, or as Congress mandated a particular activity, and while each is worthwhile in its own right, they do not necessarily form as coherent a set of programs as they might. Some of the programs are extremely small; some are restricted to specific geographic areas like the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, which is close to ONR headquarters and several Navy facilities. Others are limited to the HBCUs and a smaller number of MIs. They need to be related in a coherent structure to a single set of goals and should reach science and engineering talent nationally.

Recommendations

  • ONR should create a single, coherent vision for the corporate programs, tied more closely to the mission of ONR.
  • ONR should realign its corporate programs to provide a continuum of educational opportunities from high school through postdoctoral study.
  • ONR should use broader criteria for recruitment and selection.
  • ONR should extend support for minority students and faculty beyond the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Institutions (MIs).
  • ONR should collect systematic data on program participants to allow for ongoing program evaluation.
  • ONR should use the programs for postdoctoral researchers to recruit more aggressively for potential ONR employment.


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