We recommend that NASA convene, in partnership with a national association or organization of scientists and engineers, an initial conference of educators and scientists to publicize the program and to inform pertinent organizations and individuals about its purposes and strategies. During this first conference, participants would discuss draft guidelines for implementing the program. Following the development of program guidelines, to be specified in a RFP, a second meeting should be convened for institutions and organizations that are prospective candidates for a National Scholars consortia and other interested participants. The purpose of this meeting would be to explain the requirements for preparing a proposal for funding to implement a consortium.
There should be a pilot phase for the program, during which time three consortiums would be established. These would not be experimental. We are confident that our knowledge base is adequate to assure a high likelihood of success for these initial consortiums. However, information obtained from the experience of their first two years would indicate whether the activities are operating as planned and permit refinement of the guidelines for implementation of subsequent consortiums. Over the next three years other consortiums would be established and the full program implemented.