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The Naval Research Program has three crucial stakeholder sets throughout our research process. These stakeholders work together through the duration of each research cycle to provide:

Cutting edge NRP-funded research project execution for Navy and Marine Corps Topic Advocates
Real world Navy and Marine Corps research requirement needs for NPS student thesis subjects
Introduction to and execution of the continuity of ongoing and future Navy and Marine Corps sponsor research subjects for NPS faculty
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Stakeholders | Topic Advocates

Topic Advocates

Topic Advocates are members of the Naval research enterprise (DoD civilian/contractor personnel and uniformed service personnel) that share goals with NRP. Topic Advocates may choose to participate in NRP to take advantage of the exchanges facilitated between Topic Advocates and NPS faculty and students. They may also choose to augment NRP by providing external funding for one or more of the projects that have been deemed to be a requirement by the Navy/Marine Corps Topic Review Board (TRB).

Topic Advocates submit one or more research topics to the NRP Topic Portal for consideration in each research cycle. Each submitted topic must have at least one Navy or Marine Corps Topic Advocate to move forward to the Initial Research Estimate Form (IREF) submission stage, and compete for NRP research funding.

Advantages of participation

  • Engage in NPS-funded research regarding Topic Advocates' current high priority DoN/DoD research issues which can then be directly funded in follow-on research by their organization.
  • Establish new research relationships with NPS faculty personnel points-of-contact and NPS campus research capabilities.

Execution tasks

Topic Advocates are responsible for coordinating with faculty principal investigators, and the NRP for execution of their individual research projects.

Topic Advocates shall:

  1. Submit individual research topics annually via the NRP Topic Portal; topics should be consistent with the individual organization’s priorities as derived from senior level guidance.
  2. Ensure the appropriate Topic Advocate representatives from their respective organizations can adequately articulate the research challenges, make decisions for the Topic Advocate, and lead breakout discussions as needed.
  3. Provide after action input to NRP to improve the process.

Topic Advocate Leads

Topic Advocate Leads represent Navy and Marine Corps Topic Advocates in the TRB for projects undertaken within NRP, and integrate them within the broader analytic agenda of the Navy and Marine Corps. They review, validate, prioritize, and recommend assignment of NRP resources to research projects.

Topic Advocates and Topic Advocate leads may sometimes be the same individual, filling multiple roles.

Execution tasks

Topic Advocate Leads shall:

  1. Ensure that Topic Advocates within their organization utilize Doctrine, Organization, Training, Material, Leadership, Personnel, Facilities, and Cost (DOTMLPF-C) construct when scoping research, thesis, or capstone projects.
  2. Coordinate with their NRP-designated TRB Lead to represent their topic(s) at the TRB.
  3. Validate consolidated research priorities from the Chief of Naval Operations, Chief of Naval Research, Commandant’s Planning Guidance, Marine Corps Science and Technology Objectives, Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Planning Guidance, Department of Defense (DOD), Strategic Guidance, or other framing documents/guidance in order to scope the proposed research, theses, or capstone projects.
  4. Manage their organization’s research, thesis, or capstone projects that result from the collaboration process.
  5. Track and measure the effectiveness of particular research projects or research/thesis teams.
  6.  Provide board recommendations and the content of the TRB report to their respective Topic Advocate(s).

TRB Organizations

TRB Representative Organizations are currently comprised of individuals from the Navy and Marine Corps:

  • Navy
    • ASN (RDA)
    • N1
    • N2N6
    • N3/N5
    • N4
    • N7
    • N8
    • N9
    • Fleet Forces Command
  • Marine Corps
    • HQMC AVN
    • HQMC DCI
    • HQMC I&L
    • HQMC M&RA
    • HQMC PP&O
    • HQMC P&R
    • HQMC CD&I

Topics will be represented at the TRB by a senior representative of one of these organizations as appropriate. Review the Research Topic Submission and Review Cycle for more detail.


CAC login required.

Browse past NRP research topics, and submit topics for future research cycles.

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Stakeholders | Faculty


Nearly 1,000 scholars and professionals make up the NPS faculty. A robust mix of tenured faculty, lecturers, and visiting professionals integrate teaching with research to strengthen expertise and program relevance, and to expedite research success at NPS. Our faculty demonstrate the immediate applicability of defense-related theories to defense-related problems, many times resulting in patent-eligible technologies.

NRP provides an opportunity for faculty to identify current and relevant topics within the DoN/DoD that align with their research interests. Faculty are invited to meet with Topic Advocates to discuss and scope a potential research project, and are encouraged to browse topics and reach out to the Topic Advocate of a topic of interest.

Advantages of participation

  • Engage in NPS-funded research of current DoN/DoD research issues which can be directly funded in follow-on research by Topic Advocate organizations.
  • Establish new research relationships with DoN Topic Advocate organization personnel and points-of-contact.
NPS login required.

Each topic has its Topic Advocate's contact information, to enable faculty to make contact directly with them.

Resources, tips, tricks, how-to guides, and all the information a researcher needs to effectively participate in NRP research.
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Stakeholders | Students


Over 2,000 students attend the Naval Postgraduate School. The student body consists of officers from the five U.S. uniformed services, officers from approximately 30 ally countries, and a small number of civilian federal and state employees.

NRP provides an opportunity for students to identify current and relevant topics within the DoN/DoD that align with their academic interests and meet curriculum requirements, which can be scoped into a thesis or capstone project. Students are encouraged to browse research topics on the Topic Portal and reach out to the Topic Advocate for a topic of interest.

Advantages of participation

  • Students can engage in research of current DoN/DoD issues which can be directly implemented by the Topic Advocate's organization.
  • Topic Advocates are motivated to have the research completed and will work with students to scope the project to fulfill the student's interest and requirements. Topic Advocates often have access to the data necessary to complete the project, which allows students to focus on the research.
  • Many of the topics have already been discussed by the Topic Advocate and NPS Faculty. The Topic Advocate may help connect students to faculty members already engaged, or who have expressed interest, as students search for thesis/project advisors.
  • Students can review topics provided by the Topic Advocate organization for their follow-on tour to determine what “difficult issues” the organizations are currently dealing with, and to possibly engage early by researching a topic of relevancy.

Students' thesis advisors will be the primary point of contact for initiating a research proposal of a new or current project if students are seeking funding. As a student, many Topic Advocate organizations are able to provide funding for travel related to NRP research projects. 

NPS login required.

Each topic has its Topic Advocate's contact information, to enable students to make contact directly with them.

Search Calhoun to explore all past research conducted by NPS students.
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