Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2001 15:59:01 -0700 (MST)
Subject: DPS Mailing #01-07: NASA response on grant delays; HST Feedback

Greetings, DPS Members-

       |1) NASA Response to Grant Delays                        |
       |2) Feedback to Planetary Scientists on HST Cycle 10     |


NOTES FROM THE CHAIR - NASA Grant Delays Being Addressed

Dr. Ed Weiler, Associate Administrator for Space Science at NASA, contacted
me over the weekend to say that he had read every one of your statements 
regarding delays in grant notification and funding. He regards the problem
as serious, and has directed Dr. Guenter Riegler, Director of the Research 
Program Management Division, and his staff - starting this week - to develop 
solutions and options to fix these problems. It is also receiving attention at 
the highest levels at Goddard Space Flight Center where grants are processed. 
He does not promise immediate relief, but I believe that the current problems 
will be resolved very soon.

Weiler has given Riegler carte blanche to bring in a few detailees from JPL 
and Ames Research Center for a few months to assist in getting through the 
short term issues (which includes, I presume, picking up slack on missions
as more time is devoted to the Research and Analysis grants programs). Weiler 
is also calling for scientists interested in serving as an IPA to contact 
Riegler ASAP. I strongly urge you to consider answering these calls.

Mark V. Sykes (


An IPA (from "Intergovernmental Personnel Act") is typically a temporary 
two-year position, renewable for two years, in which a person acts as a 
mission program scientist and/or manages one of the grant programs. It is 
being used here as a generic term to include scientists at centers, private
organizations, and universities. An IPA must have a Ph.D. or equivalent in a 
field of space science relevant to the program area covered by the position. 
Experience in related observational and/or instrumental research is desirable. 
IPAs are expected to succeed in a demanding work environment and to demonstrate
a high degree of initiative.  IPAs should be familiar with NASA's space 
science research programs and possess an ability to comminicate effectively 
with the scientific community, educators, and the media. Salary is competitive 
with senior scientists at universities. Allowances for relocation and travel 
expenses and occasional trips to the home institution are included. A modest 
amount of time is available for research. To provide a partial offset for time 
spent away from research at NASA Headquarters, a "re-entry grant" equivalent 
to half of his/her salary will be issued after return to the home instution. 
The duration of this grant will equal the time spent at Headquarters.

Contact information for Dr. Riegler is as follows:

Dr. Guenter Riegler
Director, Research Division
Office of Space Science
NASA Headquarters
300 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20546-0001

Phone: 202-358-1588


Feedback on HST Cycle 10 to planetary science community from the 
solar system review panel (not official views of STSCI).

- We would like to remind the planetary science community that HST 
continues to be a well-funded program and a valuable resource for 
planetary research. Proposers - new and old - are encouraged to 
submit proposals (particularly medium or larger proposals) for new 
observations or to study archival data.

- The panel encourages STScI to consider including proposals 
concerning extra-solar planets in the solar system panel.  This would 
balance out the size of review panels and allow comparison of solar 
system vs extra-solar observing projects.

- Approximately 1/5 of the proposals were supported in planetary 
science, as across astronomy as a whole.

- Proposals need to clearly state the scientific goals, putting them 
in the larger context of planetary science and of astronomy as a 
whole. Remember that panel members are planetary scientists but may 
not be familiar with your area of research.

- The STScI is encouraging larger (>100 orbits) proposals. Since 
these are reviewed by the TAC, comprising scientists from across the 
spectrum of astronomy, these large proposals need to be particularly 
clear in their presentation of the impact of the observations.

- Images do not reproduce well in the proposals. Proposers are 
encouraged to put images and preprints on a website which is 
referenced in the proposal. Reviewers cannot be obliged to go to such 
sites so the proposal should still stand on its own. But, some 
reviewers of Cycle 10 would have liked the opportunity to read 
unpublished papers referenced in the proposal as well as view higher 
quality images.

- The publication record of the proposal team is considered very 
seriously.  The panel has an impression that planetary scientists 
tend to be slower to publish than the rest of astronomy. This impedes 
the task of supporting requests for further data.

- Some proposals (particularly ToOs or SNAPs or surveys), where the 
data are timely and/or of broad interest, might benefit (in the 
review) from having shortened proprietary periods, and proposers 
should consider this option seriously.

HST Cycle 10 Solar System Panel
Chair, Fran Bagenal


                      Nick Schneider, on behalf of the DPS Committee
                      (submissions to Al Harris: