PART TWO
USING ONR's CORPORATE PROGRAMS TO ENHANCE DIVERSITY



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PART TWO USING ONR's CORPORATE PROGRAMS TO ENHANCE DIVERSITY

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5 Observations on ONR's Corporate Programs Overview Like most other mission agencies, the Office of Naval Research administers a substantial portfolio of multidisciplinary research and education programs that support its mission as a whole. The purpose of these "corporate programs," as they are called, is to increase the number of engineers and scientists engaged in technological efforts of concern to national defense and specifically to the Navy. ONR recognizes that it is not enough to fund current research and development to support the Navy's mission; funds must be invested to educate and sustain the future pool of scientists and engineers to maintain the capability to respond to future needs. The primary purpose of the corporate programs is not to increase the diversity of the science and engineering work force. However, as discussed in Chapter 1, the U.S. population as a whole (and school-age children in particular) is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse. Federal education and research programs will need to draw more aggressively from all groups within this population to identify the best talent. Because they reach individuals from high school through postdoctoral study, the corporate programs are important tools that ONR uses to help identify students interested in science and engineering, to encourage them through their academic careers, and to help establish them as emerging researchers. With some thought and attention to where the populations of non-white students and faculty are and how to reach them, the same tools can be used to help increase the diversity of the pool of scientists and engineers. With this overall goal in mind, ONR requested the NRC to review its corporate programs and to recommend ways they could be improved to accomplish two objectives: To help increase the diversity of the nation's overall pool of scientists and engineers working in areas of relevance to the Navy To help increase the diversity of the scientists and engineers working at ONR All of the corporate programs have the potential to help increase diversity of the overall pool, but only a few—those at the postdoctoral level—might realistically be

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used as tools to bring a more diverse work force into ONR at any time in the near future. The committee was also asked to comment on the effectiveness of the corporate programs in general, where appropriate. It has attempted to do so, but it has made no attempt to analyze or evaluate each of these programs in depth. That kind of program evaluation is more appropriate for a committee or organization with different expertise and a single, focused charge. Although this committee has offered some comments on how to strengthen the entire portfolio of corporate programs, the primary interest here is to respond to the specific question of how these programs might be enhanced to contribute more actively to diversity. The programs that, in the committee's judgment, are relevant to this discussion consist of the 16 educational and research programs that support high school students, undergraduates, graduate students, and young postdoctoral researchers. These programs totaled $35 million in FY96, only $12 million of which came directly from ONR funds. The remaining $23 million consisted of funds from the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) that were administered by ONR. The $11 million used to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Institutions (MIs)1 came from both ONR and OSD; these programs help to meet the Department of Defense (DoD) goal that 5 percent of each agency's research funds be set aside for programs for these institutions. The 16 programs are listed below with their FY96 budget allocations. High School Programs $1.4M • Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SEAP)   • High School Apprenticeship Program   • Naval Science Awards   Programs for Undergraduate Students $1.1M • Augmentation Awards for Science and Engineering Research Training (AASERT)   Programs for Graduate Students $13.5M • Augmentation Awards for Science and Engineering Research Training (AASERT)   • National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowships   • ONR Graduate Fellowships (being phased out)   Programs for Postdoctoral Researchers $8.0M • Postdoctoral Research Program   • Young Investigator Program   • Summer Faculty Research Program   • Women Science Scholars   • Ocean Science Educators Awards   Programs at HBCUs and MIs $11.0M • HBCU/MI Science and Engineering Education   • HBCU Graduate Fellowships   • HBCU Engineering Faculty Fellows   • HBCU/MI DoD Infrastructure Support   TOTAL $35.0M 1   The list of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions can be obtained from the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics.

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The Individual Programs As part of its analysis of the corporate programs, the committee reviewed promotional materials, budget information, data on the numbers and type of participants, and both qualitative and quantitative evaluations, where available. It also discussed the goals and objectives of the programs with ONR managers. Below are brief descriptions of the major programs, along with observations that may be helpful in enhancing these programs' effectiveness for the Navy's mission and for increasing diversity in the science and engineering pool. High School Programs Programs to interest high school students in science and technology and to give them hands-on experience in research contribute to sustaining the pool of future scientists and engineers, and especially to enlarging that pool to include more minorities and women. It is at the high school level, or earlier, that many promising students are lost to science, math, and other technical fields. ONR offers several apprenticeship programs for high school students as well as a small one for junior high students. The largest program is the Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SEAP), which is funded by the OSD. SEAP gives 600 students in the Washington, D.C. area an opportunity to assist in ongoing research and development work in Navy and other DoD laboratories during the summer. Based on a 1994 survey of 1,064 former participants conducted for ONR by the Academy for Educational Development, 70 percent still indicated interest in science and engineering as a career. Forty-five percent of the program participants were female, 7 percent African American, and another 5 percent listed as "other." The percent of females is encouraging, but the percent of African American students is not, especially since over 80 percent of the high school students in the District of Columbia are African American. By contrast, ONR's High School Apprenticeship Program, which sends high school students into the laboratories of ONR principal investigators at U.S. universities, has a high minority participation (80 percent in 1994). This is most likely due to the fact that the program was formerly targeted only for minorities, and the contacts developed during that time continue to exist. ONR staff report, however, that the number of minority participants is declining now that it is no longer targeted to minorities. This program is a good example of the success which can be accomplished with a concerted effort to recruit students from racially diverse high schools. It is dependent, however, on the initiative of individual ONR program officers and their principal investigators to identify potential participants. Programs for Undergraduate Students The only program for undergraduate students, other than those at HBCUs/MIs, is the Augmentation Awards for Science and Engineering Research Training (AASERT). This program, open to U.S. citizens only, allows ONR principal investigators to fund undergraduates and some high school students as research assistants on their ONR grant or contract in order to stimulate student interest in research and to provide

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actual experience in original investigation. A similar program is available to graduate students. AASERT was begun in 1991 in response to congressional concern about a potential shortage of Ph.D. scientists and engineers as well as a desire to increase the number of U.S. citizens holding research assistantships. The program allows ONR investigators to supplement their grants with additional research assistants who would not otherwise be funded by that grant. In 1994, 428 graduate and undergraduate students were supported—239 of them by direct ONR funds. Thirty-five percent of those students were women and 3 percent were minorities, lower than the 44 percent of female baccalaureate graduates in science and engineering and the 11 percent of minority graduates reported in 1991 (NSF 1994, pp. 54, 57). Representing $9M of the $35M spent annually in educational programs, ASSERT is essentially a way of supplementing already funded faculty research grants, but with some eligibility restrictions. The presumed shortages of Ph.D.s predicted in the late 1980s and early 1990s do not seem to have materialized, but the undergraduate portion of the program, at least, is very much in line with the need to broaden the experience of undergraduates in science and engineering. It is unfortunate that a program of this size and potential value has not attracted a more diverse population. Programs for Graduate Students In addition to the ASSERT program described above, ONR's main support at the graduate level is through the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship program. (The related ONR Graduate Fellowship program is being phased out.) The NDSEG program has been in existence since 1989. It funds about 90 new fellowships annually, providing stipend and tuition support for doctoral students in ONR-related disciplines. The program currently is about 30 percent female and 6 percent minority. That latter number has declined in the past year coinciding with the removal of a requirement that 10 percent of the awards be targeted for minorities. ONR participation in the NDSEG fellowship program is too recent to yield significant results in the form of Ph.D. production, but some data are available on the earlier ONR Graduate Fellowship program (started in 1980). Based on data collected by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), ONR made 594 fellowship awards between 1982 and 1994. By the spring of 1995, at least 245 students had received the Ph.D. Forty-seven percent took jobs in industry and 24 percent in universities, with another 14 percent pursuing postdoctoral research. No data are available on degree completion or employment by race or gender. The graduate fellowship program is a relatively generous one, with stipends of $16,500 to $18,500, and it is not surprising that most students finish the three-year program. However, more significant are whether they complete their degrees and what they do upon graduation. Also, unlike the programs for young faculty members, these students do not appear to have any contact with ONR once the award is made since the fellowships are portable and are not connected with a Navy organization or other ONR research activity. This pool of doctoral students, in the committee's opinion, represents a largely untapped resource for ONR as it expands the pool of potential investigators and employees.

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Programs for Postdoctoral Researchers Programs for postdoctoral researchers offer the most promise for identifying women and minorities as possible future investigators and program officers for ONR. The Postdoctoral Research program brings promising scientists and engineers into a Navy laboratory to work on an area of interest. Of the 213 participants in this program between 1990 and 1996, 40 percent continued to work in a Navy laboratory after completing the fellowship. Twenty percent went to academia, and another 20 percent went to industry. The Young Investigator program funds young researchers with $100,000 for three years to do Navy-related work on their home campuses. In 1996, 34 individuals out of 416 applicants were funded. Many of these individuals go on to receive ONR research grants. No systematic demographic data are available. The Summer Faculty Research program funds about 100 faculty members per year, about half of whom are from HBCUs and MIs. Participants spend 10 weeks over the summer working at a Navy laboratory. Begun in 1979, this program has funded 2,670 faculty members to date, many of whom return in subsequent years. The participants in all of these programs already have a strong connection to ONR through their colleagues in the Navy laboratories or through the ONR program officer who monitors their progress. Thus they have a natural entree into ONR and the Navy's research and development efforts. No data on the race or gender of the participants are collected in any of these programs, so there is no way to know how many women or minorities receive these awards. In addition, the committee's impression is that candidates for these awards are often identified informally through suggestions from colleagues. This can limit the number of minorities and women who are considered. If special efforts were made to recruit members of underrepresented groups into these programs, ONR would have a rich resource on which to draw for possible new program officers. Unlike the above programs, the Women Science Scholars program does not connect participants to the work of the Navy or of ONR in any specific way. Instead, it provides a year of support to enhance the careers of female scientists and engineers generally. In conjunction with area research facilities, eight women are selected each year to work at the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College. The specific focus of the program is on individuals who are at "critical career points" in their advancement as scholars (e.g., close to tenure, reentering the work force after time away, moving from a liberal arts to a research-intensive institution, or changing fields). Applications for this program come primarily from the Boston area, most likely because of the difficulties of relocating for one year. Also, applications are overwhelmingly in the life sciences, with few from the physical sciences or engineering, which are the dominant areas of research and development at ONR. Program staff are working to ensure greater breadth in disciplines, but the problem of temporary relocation from other parts of the country remains a difficult one. The committee noted that participants in this program are not currently required to do research in an area of interest to the Navy. This means that they are not connected to ONR or to a Navy laboratory

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the way other postdoctoral researchers are. The Navy may thus not be getting as direct a benefit from this program as it might. Equally important, ONR may be missing an opportunity to recruit program officers or at least principal investigators or laboratory employees from a potentially valuable pool of experienced female scientists and engineers. Some modification of this program to tie it more closely to the research agenda of ONR and to a broader geographic area may be in order. Programs at HBCUs and MIs Educational programs at HBCUs and MIs consist primarily of undergraduate and graduate student fellowships. Recipients of all of these awards must be U.S. citizens. The Science and Engineering Education program provides five-year grants to HBCUs and MIs to increase the number and quality of baccalaureate students in those fields, with a long-term goal of preparing them for graduate study. Grant funds typically go toward scholarships, bridging programs, faculty exchanges, and similar mechanisms. The other major HBCU/MI program is the DoD Infrastructure Support Program, which provides support to the institutions directly for curricular enhancements, faculty exchanges, equipment acquisition, and other activities to build the infrastructure necessary to teach and conduct science and engineering. Begun in 1993, the program provides about $4 million annually to about eight institutions. The HBCU Graduate Fellowship program provides up to four years of full support for doctoral students who are graduates of HBCUs. Graduate fellowships can be taken to any institution. Since the initial awards in 1992, 16 students have been selected for the program, but so far six have left the program without completing their graduate studies. The number of applications for the program is low considering the promise of four years of support. Although it is too soon to evaluate the success of the program, some of these early indicators are troubling. Recruiting more effectively, identifying a strong applicant pool, and possibly providing special support for students in their transition to graduate school may help strengthen the program. A similar program supports graduate students who agree to serve as engineering faculty members at an HBCU after completing their degrees. Fairly limited in scope, the HBCU Engineering Faculty Fellows program provides three years of support to three new students annually. Since its inception in 1992, all of the recipients have been members of minority groups, and two-thirds have been female. The Entire Portfolio 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 can assist in solving 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

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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, consisting of fewer than 10 awards per year and budgets of $100,000 to $300,000. Some programs are restricted to specific geographic areas like the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, which is close to ONR headquarters and to several Navy facilities. Others are limited to the HBCUs and a smaller number of MIs. None of these characteristics seem consistent with the nature of ONR as a national agency supporting education and research. They seem, rather, to be characteristics of programs which grew up independently, as such programs often do, each with its own history and clientele. They need to be related in a coherent structure to a single set of goals, and they should reach science and engineering talent nationally. Because the programs are fairly young and because data collection and evaluation have been uneven, there is not yet an adequate track record, in many cases, by which to measure the long-term success of these programs. Such measurement will be necessary if individual programs are to be placed in the context of overall goals. If one of those goals is to help increase the diversity of the national science and engineering pool, data collection and evaluation must be improved. At a minimum, data on the gender and race of all applicants and awards are required, along with tracking mechanisms to find out where program participants go.

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