Special Projects

Within the CRESST team, USRA will be the lead institution for handling visiting scientists, non-UM student programs and sabbatical appointments, seminars, conferences, colloquia, and summer schools. USRA's has extensive experience in handling these sorts of activities at GSFC. All special projects will be handled on an "implement as funded basis".

Visiting scientists, in this context, can mean professionals who lend their expertise to CRESST for period of a day or two, up to a few months or even a year in certain circumstances. However, a key distinction is that the visitor retains a primary affiliation at his or her home institution. So, a scientist, working under CRESST for a year or less, who retains an affiliation with his or her home institution, will be classified as a visiting scientist through USRA's special projects activities. CRESST will also establish mechanisms to support and eventually recruit applications for Sabbatical Visitors. Confirmation of the Fellow's sabbatical arrangements with his or her home institution will be required prior to appointment.

Graduate Students are an important component to the CRESST. We will pursue graduate student involvement in two distinct ways. First, the two University of Maryland campuses will make special efforts to couple faculty and graduate students with research projects and scientists at GSFC. The University of Maryland College Park has a long history of graduate student Ph.D. thesis with GSFC scientists. Similarly the University of Maryland Baltimore County has approximately 40 graduate students in Physics, and is committed to building a robust astrophysics graduate program. Second, USRA will be responsible for a concerted effort to recruit and involve graduate students from educational institutions around the country and the world.

In the later years of a student's Ph.D. work, he or she may be resident at Goddard full time or nearly full time. The CRESST team will encourage arrangements in which a NASA or CRESST scientist formally sits on a student's Masters or Ph.D. committee and, ideally, visits the student's university to meet with his/her faculty advisor once a year. Therefore, for non-local students, travel funds are very important for the student, in order to maintain good communication between the GSFC or CRESST and the university advisor. Therefore, in CRESST proposals, we will make a point to include a provision for such funds in joint research and educational proposals involving the CRESST scientist and a university faculty member.

Workshops, Conferences, Seminars, and Summer Schools are other areas where USRA contributes their expertise. These activities constitute an important tool in fostering the exchange of information between the Sciences and Exploration Directorate and the outside research communities. A CRESST-organized scientific meeting will always be closely associated with a larger scientific research or education activity in which program CRESST personnel are actively engaged.