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A Summer Research Program of NASA/Faculty Fellowships at the Jet Propulsion LaboratoryThe NASA Faculty Fellowship Program (NFFP) is designed to give college and university faculty members a rewarding personal as well as enriching professional experience. Fellowships are awarded to engineering and science faculty for work on collaborative research projects of mutual interest to the fellow and his or her JPL host colleague. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have participated in the NASA Faculty Fellowship Program for more than 25 years. Administrative offices are maintained both at the Caltech Campus and at JPL; however, most of the activity takes place at JPL. The Campus handles all fiscal matters. The duration of the program is ten continuous weeks. Fellows are required to conduct their research on-site. To be eligible to participate in the program, fellows must be a U.S. citizen and hold a teaching or research appointment at a U.S. university or college. The American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) contracts with NASA and manages program recruitment. Over the past several years, we have made attempts to increase the diversity of the participants in the NFFP Program. A great deal of attention has been given to candidates from minority-serving institutions. There were approximately 100 applicants for the 34 positions in 2002. JPL was the first-choice location for more than half of them. Faculty from 16 minority-serving institutions participated as well as four women. The summer began with an orientation meeting that included introduction of key program personnel, and introduction of the fellows to each other. During this welcome, the fellows were briefed on their obligations to the program and to their JPL colleagues. They were also given a short historical perspective on JPL and its relationship to Caltech and NASA. All fellows received a package, which included information on administrative procedures, roster of fellows, seminar program, housing questionnaire, directions to JPL, maps of the local area, and a copy of the JPL Universe (a JPL newsletter). A calendar of events for the 2002 NFFP Program was designed to expose the fellows to the full range of JPL activities, seminars, tours, and trips to NASA Dryden, Goldstone, and Palomar Observatory. Weekly brown-bag lunches were also scheduled. The lunches provided a time for airing problems that may have arisen during the previous week, soliciting suggestions for program enhancement, announcements, and general socializing. Professor and Mrs. Albee also hosted the annual Summer Faculty Welcome Party at their home. During their ten-week tenure at JPL, the visiting faculty carried out projects in a wide variety of JPL's science, engineering, and technology disciplines, including communication, planetary science, materials research, reliability and quality assurance, astronomy, guidance and control, and micro-sensors. At the end of the NFFP Program, all fellows were required to complete a one-page summary of their summer s work. This was in addition to any documentation required by their host organization. Distribution of the final paycheck was dependent upon submission of this one-page summary and completion of NASA's NFFP evaluation in the EdCATS system. Fellows were also asked to complete a questionnaire for JPL, which enables the program administrators to make any appropriate changes to make the program more beneficial and effective for all involved. The 2002 NFFP Program at JPUCaltech was considered unanimously highly successful by both fellows and JPL colleagues. It provided a significant experience to most faculty members and fresh ideas to JPL researchers. Each year, suggestions for improvement include expansion of the program, longer terms, larger stipends, funds to support graduate students, and funds to continue collaborative research. The NASA Faculty Fellowship Program continues to occupy a significant place in JPL programs and serves to strengthen the ties between NASA, JPL, Caltech, and t academic community. This program is an important part of NASA's commitment to education. No inventions or patents were created during this program.
Document ID
Document Type
Contractor or Grantee Report
Albee, Arden (California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Subject Category
Space Sciences (General)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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