Universities want fair shake from NASA


  • Lynn Teo Simarski


A number of university scientists want existing NASA procedures changed to foster more equal competition with NASA researchers for the agency's funding. This was a major emphasis among comments that AGU recently made to the agency's task force on NASA-university relations, which expects to issue its recommendations early next year. AGU's response summarized suggestions from the Union's elected officers, rather than expressing a formal position of the organization.

AGU argued that NASA should award all funding through open competition, which would be “a major revolution,” according to AGU group director Les Meredith. Presently, for example, proposals must include the costs of salaries and overhead, yet a NASA center may pay such expenses out of a separate account and thus be able to come in with a lower-cost proposal.