Effective Date: November 22, 2016
Expiration Date: November 22, 2021
This directive (NPD), in conjunction with NPD 7120.4, establishes the policy and responsibilities for the conduct of NASA's Research and Technology development (R&T) programs and associated projects. This policy applies to all R&T programs and associated projects that NASA conducts and manages consistent with NASA's objectives outlined in 51 U.S.C.§ 20102. NASA undertakes only R&T programs whose objectives are clearly defined and consistent with the Agency's vision and mission, as defined by NPD 1001.0.
a. This NPD is applicable to NASA Headquarters and NASA Centers, including Component Facilities and Technical and Service Support Centers. This language applies to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a Federally Funded Research Center, other contractors, grant recipients, or parties to agreements only to the extent specified or referenced in the appropriate contracts, grants, or agreements.
b. In this NPD, all mandatory actions (i.e., requirements) are denoted by statements containing the term "shall." The terms "may" or "can" denotes discretionary privilege or permission; "should" denotes a good practice and is recommended, but not required; "will" denotes expected outcome; and "are" or "is" denotes descriptive material.
c. In this directive, all citations of NASA directives are assumed to be the latest version unless otherwise noted.
The National Aeronautics and Space Act, 51 U.S.C. 20113(a).
a. Federal Acquisition Regulations,48 CFR Part 35.
b. NASA Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement NFS, 48 CFR Parts 1835 and 1872.
c. Research Misconduct, 14 CFR Part 1275.
d. NPD 1001.0, NASA Strategic Plan.
e. NDP 1050.1, Authority to Enter into Space Act Agreements.
f. NPD 1360.2, Initiation and Development of International Cooperation in Space and Aeronautics Programs.
g. NPD 2200.1, Management of NASA Scientific and Technical Information.
h. NPD 2230.1, Research Data and Publication Access.
i. NPD 7120.4, NASA Engineering and Program/Project Management Policy.
j. NPR 1080.1, NASA Research and Technology Management.
k. NPR 7120.8, NASA Research and Technology Program and Project Management Requirements.
l. NAII 1050.1, NASA Advisory Implementing Instruction, Space Act Agreements Guide.
m. The Grant and Cooperative Agreement Manual.
a. Implementation of NASA's R&T policy involves planning, selection, management, oversight, review, and evaluation processes. Specific implementation responsibilities of NASA offices, officials, and individual researchers are identified in NPR 1080.1 and in NPR 7120.8. NASA solicits proposals for R&T investigations using broad agency announcement (BAAs), such as Announcements of Opportunity (AOs), NASA Research Announcements (NRAs), or NASA Cooperative Agreement Notices (CANs). Procedures for AOs are found in NASA Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (NFS) Part 1872. NRA procedures are described in both NFS Part 1835.018, as well as the NASA Grants and Cooperative Agreements Manual (GCAM). Procedures for CANs are described in the Grants and Cooperative Agreement Manual. Guidelines for partnerships (non-procurement activities or relationships) can be found in NPD 1050.1 and NAII 1050.1 and related policies.
b. NASA seeks external advice from a diverse range of institutions representing a variety of perspectives and backgrounds.
(1) Plan and Prioritize: NASA focuses on excellence in selection and program planning of R&T. The Agency achieves excellence by selecting the best ideas presented in competitive proposals evaluated based on scientific merit and other suitable criteria, thereby, providing the American public the greatest return on its investment in NASA R&T programs. Additionally, NASA's role as an R&T Agency requires a high- quality internal R&T capability and knowledgeable civil service personnel working at the forefront of research and technology. R&T program planning is consistent with the Agency's vision and mission, as defined by NPD 1001.0, and with the Administration's stated priorities.
(2) R&T Management: NASA formulates and executes R&T in accordance with the requirements of NPR 7120.8 and NPR 1080.1.
(3) Solicitation, Review, and Selection of R&T Proposals.
(a) Open competition and peer review (i.e., the scientific or technical review of proposals by qualified, unbiased experts) are the standard methods of ensuring that the most meritorious R&T proposals are selected. Procedures for employing other than full and open solicitation and selection of proposals may be used on an exceptional basis according to proposals governing legal and Agency standards. The specific process by which R&T are solicited may vary depending on program requirements, and proposals may be received from offerors through solicitations and other types of announcements.
(b) The solicitation shall provide a clear description of the research areas of interest and state the factors used to evaluate proposals.
(c) Selection officials shall make selection decisions based on the published criteria.
(d) The solicitation, review, and selection process for R&T proposals shall be properly documented.
(4) Misconduct: NASA handles allegations of R&T misconduct in accordance with processes established in NPR 1080.1 and 14 CFR Part 1275.
(5) Oversight and Assessments:
(a) Assessments of the quality, effectiveness, and impact will be made on a regular basis through all phases of an R&T program. The minimum criteria for these assessments are defined in NPR 7120.8.
(b) When possible, the assessments will be based on measurable, including quantitative, criteria; it is recognized, however, that quantification is sometimes not possible for fundamental research. Other assessments based on Government-wide mandates, such as the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act (GPRAMA) and Congressional Budget Justification, are described in NPR 1080.1.
(6) Partnerships: NASA policy is to pursue partnerships with outside organizations that further research and technology development through collaborative or no-funds-exchanged means in accordance with law, regulation, and policy. NASA encourages its various Field Centers, Component Facilities, and Support Centers to collaborate together and leverage the expertise across the Agency for the benefit of R&T programs.
(7) International Collaboration:
(a) International coordination and the mutually beneficial conduct of international cooperation programs, projects, and activities are encouraged when such participation is consistent with NASA's mission and has technical, scientific, economic, or foreign policy benefits for NASA and the United States.
(b) Arrangements for cooperative international projects take into consideration NASA's fiduciary responsibility to ensure adequate technical insight to maximize the probability of mission success.
(c) NASA will lead, where appropriate, but will also join partnerships led by other countries and those partnerships in which leadership is shared. NASA will follow the policy set forth in NPD 1360.2, in conducting international collaborations.
(8) Data Availability:
(a) Per NPD 2200.1, NASA is required to provide for the widest practicable and appropriate dissemination of the Scientific and Technical Information (STI) resulting from NASA's R&T efforts, while precluding the inappropriate dissemination of sensitive but unclassified information. NPD 2230.1 specifically addresses public access to research data.
(b) Per NPD 2200.1, NASA is required to disseminate STI in a manner consistent with U.S. laws and regulations, Federal information policy, intellectual property rights, technology transfer protection requirements, and budgetary and technological limitations.
Cognizant Mission Directorate and Mission Support Offices periodically review and make recommendations on the matrices included in the Agency's budgetary, performance planning, and review documents.
NPD 1080.1B, NASA Science Policy, dated July 09, 2008.
a. NPD 1000.0, NASA Strategic Management and Governance Handbook.
b. NPR 2200.2, Requirements for Documentation, Approval, and Dissemination of NASA Scientific and Technical Information.
c. NPR 7120.5, NASA Space Flight Program and Project Management Requirements.
d. Guidebook for Proposers Responding to a NASA Funding Announcement.
e. Standard Format for NRAs and other Announcements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements.