UNOLS: Management of Marine Technical Support
- View All
NSF Solicitation 15-525 requested proposals from institutions for the Management of the UNOLS Technician Pool. The Technical Services Program in Ocean Sciences (OCE) at NSF provides funding for support activities both at sea and shore-side for a variety of oceanographic research projects. This support is generally provided by the staff of full time technicians at the operating institutions in the Academic Fleet. During periods when the support demands are greater than the available personnel, the institution hires or borrows (from another operating institution) additional technicians on an ad hoc basis. Conversely, when an institution has a weak schedule, the size of the technical support staff does not adjust and technicians may be underutilized. The NSF, in conjunction with the Technical Support Manager at the UNOLS office, has instituted a process whereby the exchange of full-time technicians between Ship Operating Institutions can occur without the burden of sending invoices and payment between institutions. The next step in this process is the establishment of a fleet-wide Technician Pool where a portion of the sea-going workforce is comprised of non-institution-specific, contract personnel that are utilized as needed. The goals of the Tech Pool are two-fold: ? To provide the Technical Support Managers in the fleet more flexibility in achieving the optimal staffing levels, both ashore and at sea. ? To more efficiently manage the personnel resources in the fleet in the face of level or shrinking budgets. NSF is aware that many institutions have HR policies that make it difficult to hire temporary/part time employees. The hiring of non-full-time, contract technicians through a single UNOLS institution would address this issue and provide a resource for operators in the fleet. A 4-member panel convened on July 30, 2015 to discuss 4 proposals submitted to the Oceanographic Technical Services Program in response to Solicitation NSF 15-525. The solicitation involved the management of the UNOLS Marine Technician Pool. The Program recommends that the award for the hosting of the UNOLS Technician Pool be given to Texas A&M University. The award should be a five-year cooperative agreement. The initial budget, as well as the out year budgets, will be negotiated at a later time when a better idea of the ship schedules are known. The following proposals will therefore be declined: 1543749 University of Miami 1543442 Scripps Institution of Oceanography 1542791 University of Washington. 1543166 Texas A&M University will be recommended.