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10 U.S.A.F. JAG L. Rev. 29 (1968)
Project Themis

handle is hein.journals/airfor10 and id is 85 raw text is: PROJECT THEMIS
Major Vern D. Calloway, Jr.*

Project THEMIS is the newest wrinkle in
Department of Defense support of research
in the academic community of the United
States. It is a program designed to develop
new academic centers of excellence in science
and technology rather than merely continue
support to existing centers of excellence. It
is a direct outgrowth of a memorandum from
the President dated September 13, 1965,1
wherein President Johnson urged all agen-
cies with substantial research and develop-
ment programs to make efforts to direct fed-
eral funds to improve research capabilities of
institutions not heavily engaged in programs
relevant to the mission of the agency, thus
affording improvement of high quality re-
search and education.
This engendered in the DoD a study by a
special planning group to coordinate Defense
needs for research with the concept of new
centers of excellence, and formulate a plan
that could be included in the 1967 budget
plan. This University Programs study re-
sulted in a Departmefit of Defense plan by
December 1965,2 and by February 1966 was
referred to as Project MINERVA,3 but some-
time early in 1966, was finalized to the name
Project THEMIS. 4 Necessary funds for
implementing the plan in addition to normal
research and development funding resulted
* See page 4 for biography of author.
'Memorandum to Heads of Departments and
Agencies, dated 13 Sep 65, Subject: Strengthening
Academic Capability for Science Throughout the
'Dated 7 Dec 65 and submitted in a memo of 9
Dec 65 to the Assistant Secretaries of the three
services (R&D) by Director of Defense Research
and Engineering, Department of Defense.
'Announcd 15 Feb 66 by Department of Defense
University Program Committee.
'Greek mythological Goddess of law and justice.
JAG L. Rev., March-April 68

in an FY 67 budget request of $20.5 million
which was approved by Congress.
Getting the program into being required
a great deal of preliminary study and action
on the part of both the DoD and the pro-
spective beneficiaries so that research did not
get started during FY 67, but began with
the fall semester of academic year 1967-68.
By the time the proper public announce-
ments of the program were made and the
brochure5 unveiled in January 1967, the
DoD stated the objectives thusly: Attempt-
ing to strengthen the nation's universities,
increase the number of institutions perform-
ing research of high quality, achieve a wider
geographic distribution of research funds,
and thus enhance the United States' academ-
ic capability in science and technology. .
Project THEMIS was not to be a mere ex-
pansion of the existing research contracting
and grant program, but an addition or sup-
plement to the existing programs. It had been
recognized that the program, to achieve re-
sults that would benefit both the DoD needs
and the institutions' development, could not
be one of creating a capability where none
had existed, but would have to be limited to
improvement of centers that existed but were
not the top producers in the particular field
of endeavor. In other words, criteria were
developed for participation in the program
which would preclude small institutions from
having an entire laboratory of nuclear phy-
sics built and staffed at federal expense but
still allow them some participation.
The goal then became a double one of de-
veloping research excellence while obtaining
clear long-term response to defense research
'Project THEMIS, A Program to Strengthen the
Nations Academic Institutions, 1 Jan 67, Director of
Defense Research and Engineering.
'Id. Foreward.

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