TSGC strives to distribute available funding in an equitable manner to its affiliates. Each year, every affiliate is encouraged to complete, via a proposal process, for program funds. TSGC Headquarters is also allowed to compete for program funds for activities that benefit the Consortium as a whole.
In all Consortium activities, special consideration is given to proposals that benefit multiple affiliates, that implement partnerships among affiliates, that have strong diversity components, or are based at minority serving institutions.
With 27 academic members, representing the entire spectrum of academic institutions, from very large Research 1 institutions to community colleges, the competition for TSGC scholarships and fellowships has the potential for unfair distribution. The following process has been used since the founding of the Consortium to avoid unfairness in this area.
For graduate fellowships each affiliate receives and ranks all of its applicants prior to submission to the TSGC Fellowship Committee. To ensure no affiliate receives an unfair share of the graduate fellowships, each affiliate can only submit its highest ranked 3 applicants. The Fellowship Committee nominally recommends 20 recipients for TSGC fellowships. As an additional precaution to ensure fairness, representatives from the three Space Grant Colleges in the Consortium [Texas A&M, U of Houston, and UT Austin] are barred from membership on this selection committee.
With respect to undergraduate scholarships, each educational affiliate with an undergraduate program is guaranteed at least one undergraduate scholarship per year provided that a nominee is submitted. On average, TSGC awards about 15 undergraduate scholarships each year.
One major strength of TSGC's committee supported management approach is the equitable distribution of Consortium funding to competitively selected projects, fellowships and scholarships. As a result in the last five years no single institution has received more than 10% of program, fellowship, and scholarship funding combined. This excludes programs administered by TSGC headquarters, as each of these programs by definition, benefits the Consortium as a whole and often do not even involve faculty or students from the host institution.
The funding distribution chart provided shows how TSGC has distributed program, fellowship and scholarship funds during the period of this review.
TSGC's office is located adjacent to the Pickle Research Campus, 12 miles north of the University of Texas at Austin main campus and is co-located with the Center for Space Research [CSR]. This location affords TSGC the benefit of extensive no-cost support from CSR, class A office space, and extensive meeting areas. This physical separation from the UT-Austin main campus helps ensure that the host institution does not disproportionately benefit from the Consortium. The Consortium has exclusive use of 8 offices, a storage room, and a reception area for a total of 2,210 ft2. The Consortium has shared use of an additional 16,000 ft2 which consists of 5 conference rooms, 4 labs, and other non-designated space.
University Abbreviations: TAMU - Texas A&M University, UT Austin - University of Texas at Austin, TCU - Texas Christian University, Tech - Texas Tech University, UH - University of Houston, UTSA - University of Texas at San Antonio, UTD - University of Texas at Dallas, PV - Prairie View A&M University.
TSGC's broad range of programs fall under four major categories: Higher Education, Research Infrastructure Development, Fellowships/ Scholarships, and K-12 Education/General Public Outreach. Although the percentage of funding received by each program element varies each year, TSGC strives to maintain a balanced distribution of funding. In the last five years TSGC has placed a special emphasis upon fostering Academia-Industry ties through a program focused on research infrastructure development. The increased funding of research resulting from this emphasis is apparent on the next chart. This program emphasis will be discussed later in this report. The 28% of program funds going toward fellowships and scholarships has been approximately constant over the past five years and this level of funding is expected to continue.
Average Distribution of Funds Across Program Elements