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Research and Analysis (R&A). SS. Presentation to the Astrophyiscs Working Group (AWG) October 26, 2000 Guenter Riegler Research Division, Office of Space Science. Three Elements of the Science “Cycle”.

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research and analysis r a
Research and Analysis (R&A)


  • Presentation to the
  • Astrophyiscs Working Group (AWG)
  • October 26, 2000
  • Guenter Riegler
  • Research Division, Office of Space Science
three elements of the science cycle
Three Elements of the Science “Cycle”
  • Research (“Supporting Research and Technology” - SR&T, or “Research and Analysis - R&A): theoretical studies, new instrument development, exploratory or supporting ground-based and suborbital research; this gives rise to mission concepts and tests key instrumentation
  • Flight Mission Development: mission studies, development, launch, in-orbit checkout or cruise to the first target.
  • Mission Operations and Data Analysis (MO&DA): To make the planned observations, analyze and interpret the data, confirm or revise theoretical models; this usually leads to follow-up questions or hypotheses, which require a new science cycle.


Observations +DA



three avenues for nasa university cooperation
Three Avenues for NASA-University Cooperation
  • Research:
    • Requires specialization and research infrastructure
    • OSS issues annual calls for proposals; typical award duration is 3 years; oversubscription typically ranges from 3 : 1 to 5 : 1
    • Universities typically win 60% - 70% of research awards
  • Mission Development (instruments or whole missions)
    • to be successful, proposers must have highly specialized, world-class expertise;
    • opportunities are as frequent as once per 18 months for certain mission “lines”; oversubscription is as high as 20 : 1 to 30 : 1;
    • typical award duration is 5 - 10 years; universities receive 10% - 15% of development funds
  • Observing and Data Analysis Programs:
    • This is the best opportunity for “new” entrants to be selected for funding
    • Astrophysics had a tradition of substantial data analysis programs, with annual, fully open proposal solicitations; most awards have 1-year duration;
    • OSS is systematically adding similar DA programs to planetary and other space science missions, even for missions which were selected in “PI Mode”
    • Oversubscription ranges from 2 : 1 to 6 : 1; universities receive ~ 75% of awards
overview of nasa s space science r a program
Overview of NASA’s Space Science R&A Program
  • In FY00, NASA’s Space Science R&A Program funds ~ 2,000 awards totaling ~ $210M
  • Activities supported by the Program include theory and modeling, laboratory-based research, and the development and validation of new instruments
    • Other than for suborbital investigations, however, the R&A Program does not develop flight hardware
two changes in the management of r a
Two Changes in the Management of R&A
  • I. An Organizational Change: Clustering the Subdisciplines
    • Until recently R&A consisted of ~ 40 separately managed program elements distributed across the various subdisciplines of astrophysics, space physics, and planetary research
    • These elements have recently been grouped into 9 science “clusters,” each of which consists of related programs
  • II. A Procedural Change: Instituting a Senior Review
    • OSS will institute a new triennial Senior Review of the R&A Program, which will be guided in its recommendations by the science goals and objectives in the 2000 (forthcoming) Space Science Enterprise Strategic Plan
r a senior review panel
R&A Senior Review Panel
  • Composition of the Senior Review Panel
    • The panel will consist of active researchers who have been selected for their breadth as evidenced by recent research efforts in two or more of the science clusters
    • Panel members will serve as general experts, rather than as advocates for any specific R&A cluster
  • Charter of the Senior Review Panel: Panel members will be asked to address three questions:
    • (1) What is the science quality and productivity of each science cluster, and to what degree does each cluster support or enable the strategic goals and objectives of the Space Science Enterprise?
    • (2) Judging by the priorities in the SSE strategic plan, is the current funding distribution across the nine science cluster the optimum one, or would the Panel recommend changes?
    • (3) Is the current science cluster structure optimal for attaining the long-term strategic goals of the Office of Space Science?
r a senior review
R&A Senior Review
  • Proposals to the Panel: Development and Content
    • Proposals will be developed by working groups representing each of the nine clusters
      • As of July 2000, 6 of the 9 clusters already have working groups which will prepare proposals for the first R&A Senior Review (June/July 2001)
      • For the remaining 3 clusters, ad hoc working groups will soon be formed
    • Proposals should consist of:
      • A brief description of the science content of the cluster
      • A few (2-3) highlights from recent (past 2-3 years) R&A programs: science discoveries, detector/instrument development or test flight; relevance to goals and objectives in latest OSS Strategic Plan
      • Highlights of R&A work currently in progress, and relevance to strategic goals.
    • Page limit: 20 pages, all-inclusive
r a senior review10
R&A Senior Review
  • Proposals to the Panel: Timeline
    • Draft instructions for proposal preparation will be issued in Nov. 2000
    • A draft proposal should be prepared by the writing team by Jan. 2001, and circulated for comment/inputs to relevant working groups, committees, etc.
    • Finalized instructions for proposal preparation will be issued in late Jan. 2001, after review by the Chair of the Review Panel (who will be appointed in Jan. 2001)
    • Final proposals are due in March 2001
    • During Feb.-March 2001, the full Review Panel will be appointed
    • The review will be held in June or July, 2001
    • Depending on the complexity of the outcome of the review, announcements should be made in or around July 2001
post review process
Post-Review Process
  • OSS will take the recommendations of the Senior Review panel into account in determining
    • the changes, if any, to be made in the SR&T program structure,
    • and in formulating budget plans for the SR&T programs for Fiscal Year 2002 and beyond.
  • Using a combination of the usual annual reviews of a portion of each program element, and this new triennial review of the overall SR&T program, OSS expects to maintain a productive SR&T program that is at the same time clearly focused on and responsive to the strategic goals and objectives of the Space Science Enterprise.
funding trends
Funding Trends
  • Research and Analysis trend:
  • We are increasing opportunities for universities in our current R&A and DA programs - even before additional augmentations
    • New DA lines will be attached to all missions; R&A lines to new initiatives
    • Result - R&DA (to which universities have open access via competitive peer review) will grow at the rate of almost 10% per year - much faster than inflation