Iowa researchers who wish to make connections with NASA that can potentially lead to research funding will be encouraged to move through a progression of involvement. The first Research Development Symposium is to be held in conjunction with the Iowa Academy of Science Annual meeting in April of 2020. Additional symposia will be hosted based on need and opportunity. The starting point will be to affiliate with the various Iowa Space Grant Consortium funded programs and identify NASA Mission Directorates that align with areas of research interest. Involvement with the ISGC programs can increase awareness of NASA opportunities and current relevant work from researchers with NASA collaborative experience.
The key to building better ties with NASA Centers is to foster researcher-to-researcher communications. Traditionally, the major impediment to this has been a lack of capacity for travel. RDS is designed to solve the time pressure and lack of awareness of the breadth of NASA by creating events that allow for networking with NASA and fellow Iowa researchers. The RDS will support the hosting and registration of Iowa researchers to attend a symposium that will include those who have worked with NASA and whose work aligns with Iowa’s research interests, ISGC and previous Iowa NASA EPSCoR supported research. It is intended to provide opportunity for a detailed interchange of ideas and capabilities and for planning mutually beneficial projects leading to larger NASA funded proposals. The symposium attendees will also be a pool to generate proposals for Research Building Grants and Partnership Development Grants to increase direct collaborations with NASA.