1. Examine alternative management and organizational structures and approaches that could be used to conduct NASA's science programs, including:

    • organization of research within federal agencies other than NASA, e.g., NOAA, NIST, DOE, DOD, NSF; special consideration should be given to NIH as requested in the Senate language

    • organizations external to the federal government, e.g., FFRDCs, industry, academic institutions, and public, not-for-profit entities

  1. Consideration should be given to:

    • intra-NASA interfaces

    • roles and capabilities of government, universities, and industry in performing research (consideration should be given to both applied and basic research, large- and small-scale programs, and long- and short-term efforts)

    • impact on graduate education and research community renewal

    • role of international collaboration and impact on it

    • transition issues

  1. Document its findings and recommendations in a report to the FOSS-SG

  2. As needed, support preparation by the Steering Group of an integrated report composed of FOSS-AO, FOSS-RP, and JCT reports; also, support NRC review and publication of the integrated report


On behalf of the Space Studies Board, and working under the oversight of the Future of Space Science (FOSS) Steering Group (FOSS-SG), the Task Group on Research Prioritization (RP) will study issues and options relating to the prioritization of space research as directed in FY 1994 report language of the Senate Subcommittee on VA-HUD-IA. Additional guidance is provided in the FY1995 Senate report language. The work of the FOSS-RP will be combined with that of two other subpanels, the FOSS Task Group on Alternative Organizations (FOSS-AO) and the Board's standing Joint Committee on Technology (JCT) to compose an integrated recommendation on the “role and position” of space science within NASA and the nation's research agenda.

Specific tasks of the FOSS-RP are:

  1. Interact with the FOSS-SG to finalize the FOSS-RP Statement of Task

  2. Schedule and conduct meetings as needed and budgeted

  1. Survey and evaluate candidate mechanisms for priority setting across disciplines on the basis of scientific merit; the study should include consideration of the following issues:

    • alternative interpretations and presentations of “priority setting”

    • approaches to priority setting within the NIH, NSF, NOAA, and DoD (also former OSSA approaches)

    • role of criteria other than scientific merit in research priority setting

    • relative roles of diverse participants in priority setting

    • processes for culling and termination prioritization

    • preservation of funding opportunity for highly innovative or high risk research in an environment of budget constraints and well-entrenched existing constituencies

    • appropriate role for international agreements

    • transition issues

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