Category Archives: Funding

National Student Solar Spectrograph Competition – Team Registration Awards Deadline September 30, 2012

National Student Solar Spectrograph Competition (NSSSC)

An Opportunity for Undergraduates to Participate in a Real World Research Experience

Ask yourself the following questions:


Register your team today for the National Student Solar Spectrograph Competition! Build awards available for teams registered before September 30, 2012~

  • Are you looking for a real world design problem?
  • Do you want to participate on an interdisciplinary team?
  • Do you want experience with mechanical components, optics, electronics and software?
  • Are you looking for an independent study or a capstone project?
  • Do you want to travel to the ‘Big Sky’ state?
  • Do you want a chance to win scholarship and travel prizes?

If you answered yes to these questions then this competition is for you! Get your team of 3 to 6 students together and register today.

The yearly National Student Solar Spectrograph Competition (NSSSC) is Montana Space Grant Consortium’s Education and Public Outreach (EP/O) Program for NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) mission. A Spectrograph is an instrument used to measure properties of light over a specific portion of the electromagnetic spectrum by separating the incoming light into its characteristic frequencies of wavelengths (spectrum). Spectrographs have a wide range of complexity from simple grating or prisms to the cutting edge IRIS spectrograph.

The NSSSC provides students from across the country the opportunity to work as part of an undergraduate interdisciplinary team to design, build and test a ground based solar spectrograph. Over the course of nine months, teams come up with their own science goals and then build an instrument to collect data in support of their goals. Teams then travel to Bozeman, MT to demonstrate their instruments and present their results in a competitive science fair environment. There are four judged categories: best build, best design, best science and best presentation. Each student on the winning teams receives a scholarship award of $3,000 and a travel award to a NASA launch.

College students interested in designing a spectrograph can now register for the 2012-2013 competition. Build awards of $2,000 per team are available for teams that register by Sept. 30.

Comments about the NSSSC:

“NASA is in a unique position to use scientific space missions like IRIS to foster student interest in science and engineering,” said Diane DeTroye, of NASA’s education office in Washington, D.C. “Giving students a chance to get hands-on experience often encourages them to pursue and continue STEM studies. This helps build an important pipeline of talent for future NASA missions.”

“The concept of having undergraduates design, build and test a scientific instrument is certainly unique as far as I know. This is a marvelous opportunity for young people to develop high level skills in instrument building. Using the instrument to answer science questions makes it even better. I commend and thank you for this wonderful experience. All of us will learn so much as we successfully complete this project. NSSSC provides participating students a better chance for admission to the graduate school of their choice. Also, they will receive better fellowships when they are accepted to graduate school. It will give some of them a direction for their career. I know of no other opportunity to engage in instrument design and application.” – Edmond Wilson, Faculty Advisor Harding University

“The opportunity to work on a real project has been a true motivation for our students who can feel isolated at a small school with no significant research going on.” – Jim Boger, Faculty Advisor Flat Head Valley Community College

The 2012-2013 Final Competition Dates are May 15-18, 2013 in Bozeman, MT. Any questions please contact Randy Larimer at or 406-994-6085

Registration and more information is available at

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Student Travel Grants for Astrobiology – Deadlines April 1, October 1 Annually

Astrobiology Program Travel Awards

The Astrobiology Program Travel Awards Program offers research-related travel support for undergraduate, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Applicants are encouraged to use these resources to circulate among two or more laboratories supported by the NASA Astrobiology Program (ASTEP,ASTID, Exobiology and Evolutionary Biology or the NAI), however any travel that is critical for the applicant’s research will be considered.

Travelers must be formally affiliated with a U.S. institution. Requests are limited to $5,000, and are accepted with deadlines of April 1 and October 1.

How to Apply:

To be considered for an Astrobiology Program Travel Award, please submit the following material to Melissa Kirven-Brooks <Melissa.Kirven-Brooks at>

  • the team(s) and researchers you plan to visit
  • the approximate dates of travel
  • a brief description of the research you plan to conduct at the hosting laboratory (include, for example, any technique you expect to learn, or equipment you will need to use) and how the collaboration is relevant to your research
  • a budget describing what funds are required, and
  • letters of recommendation from your faculty advisor and from the researcher(s) you plan to visit

Visit the program website for details:

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NASA Announcement of Flight Opportunities (AFO) for Payloads Maturing Crosscutting Technologies that Advance Multiple Future Space Missions to Flight Readiness Status

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Dryden Flight Research Center has released a solicitation entitled “NASA Announcement of Flight Opportunities (AFO) for Payloads Maturing Crosscutting Technologies that Advance Multiple Future Space Missions to Flight Readiness Status.” The current solicitation cycle, AFO #5, provides access to flights on parabolic flights, suborbital Reusable Launch Vehicles (sRLV), and high-altitude balloons.

Applications are due on or before 5:30 PM Eastern Time September 21, 2012, and selections will be announced in November 2012 (target).  The solicitation is available by opening the NASA Research Opportunities home page at , selecting “Solicitations,” then selecting “Open Solicitations,” and, selecting “NOCT110 Announcement of Flight Opportunities.”  To go directly to the solicitation page on NSPIRES click here.

NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT) seeks to mature towards flight readiness status crosscutting technologies that perform relevant environment testing and advance multiple future space missions.  To facilitate this goal, NASA is providing access to certain flight opportunities available to the Agency, on a no-exchange-of-funds basis, to entities that have technology payloads meeting specified criteria.  The payloads may be exposed to a near-zero or reduced gravity environment by flying on aircraft that provide parabolic flight trajectories and on sRLVs that are potentially capable of flying to altitudes above 100 km.  For flight tests that do not require microgravity, but do require the temperature, pressure and atmospheric conditions of high altitudes, balloon flights are available.  Refer to platforms for specific information on vehicle and flight characteristics.

This call is open to all individuals and organizations, U.S. and non-U.S.  Such organizations may include educational institutions, industry, nonprofit organizations, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, NASA Centers, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), other Government agencies, and partnerships between such entities.

Science payloads will not be evaluated under this announcement.  Prospective responders with science payloads are encouraged to respond to open solicitations for science from the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) and Human Exploration and Operations Research Mission Directorate (HEOMD).

All applications must be submitted electronically through NSPIRES by an authorized organizational representative (AOR).  Potential applicants and proposing organizations are urged to access the electronic proposal system well in advance of the application due date to familiarize themselves with its structure and to enter the requested information.  Note that it may require several weeks for non-U.S. organizations to obtain the registrations needed to submit a proposal.

Comments and questions may be sent via e-mail to  Responses to inquiries will be answered by e-mail and may also be included in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document located on the NSPIRES page associated with the solicitation; anonymity of persons/institutions who submit questions will be preserved.

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ROSES-12 Amendment 13 – Proposal Due Date Change for The Outer Planets Research Program

The Outer Planets Research (OPR) program supports diverse scientific investigations that contribute to the understanding of the outer Solar System, including the giant planets, their satellites, and smaller solid bodies including comets, asteroids, and Kuiper Belt objects. The program includes both data analysis from NASA missions and fundamental research.

The due date for proposals to Appendix C.7, the Outer Planets Research Program, has been delayed to November 2, 2012, so as not to overlap with the 44th Annual Meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society. Notices of intent to propose are still requested by August 24, 2012.

On or about August 10, 2012, this Amendment to the NASA Research Announcement “Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2012” (NNH12ZDA001N) will be posted on the NASA research opportunity homepage at and will appear on the RSS feed at:

Tables 2 and 3 of the Summary of Solicitation for this NRA will be updated to reflect this change.


ROSES-12 Amendment – Terrestrial Ecology

ROSES-12 Amendment 12: Final Text for ROSES-12 Appendix A.4, Terrestrial Ecology.

NASA Terrestrial Ecology research addresses changes in Earth’s carbon cycle and ecosystems using space-based observations.  This solicitation requests proposals for 1) data set development in support of arctic-boreal ecosystem vulnerability research to be conducted in a future Terrestrial Ecology Program-sponsored field campaign, 2) data set development to meet specific priority needs of the NASA terrestrial ecological community, and 3) successor studies in the areas of remote sensing science and remote sensing methods development that offer to significantly advance the results of prior NASA Terrestrial Ecology research.

Proposals to this program will be taken via a two-step proposal process. This means that the Notice of Intent is replaced by a required Step-1 proposal and the Title and Principal Investigator are binding. The three-page Step-1 proposal will be used to conduct a preliminary evaluation, which will result in full proposals being either encouraged or discouraged. See Section 4 of Appendix A.4 for details.

This amendment presents the final text for this Appendix A.4 Terrestrial Ecology, which replaces in its entirety the placeholder text that was released with ROSES 2012. Step-1 proposals are due September 18, 2012 and Step-2 proposals are due January 8, 2013.

On or about July 30, 2012, this Amendment to the NASA Research Announcement “Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2012” (NNH12ZDA001N) will be posted on the NASA research opportunity homepage at and will appear on the RSS feed at:


NASA and NSBRI Solicitation for Crew Health and Performance in Space Exploration Missions

A National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Research Announcement (NRA), entitled, “Research and Technology Development to Support Crew Health and Performance in Space Exploration Missions” (NRA NNJ12ZSA002N), has been released which jointly solicits ground-based, analog definition and flight definition proposals for the NASA Human Research Program (HRP) and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI). This NRA is available through the NASA Research Opportunities homepage at and then linking through the menu listings “Solicitations” to “Open Solicitations.” On the Open Solicitations page, select NNJ12ZSA002N from the list of Solicitations.

Proposals are solicited by NASA in the areas of Sensorimotor Impairment and Space Motion Sickness; Epidemiological Evidence of Spaceflight Induced Cardiovascular Disease; Computational Models of Cephalad Fluid Shifts; Spaceflight Biochemical Profile; Maintenance and Regulation of Team Function and Performance over Extended Durations; and Development of Safety and Efficiency Metrics for Human-Automation Systems. NASA is also soliciting investigations or technologies lasting no more than one year that provide innovative approaches to any of the defined risks contained in the Integrated Research Plan ( of the Human Research Program.

Proposals are solicited by NSBRI in the areas of Cardiovascular Alterations; Human Factors and Performance; Musculoskeletal Alterations; Neurobehavioral and Psychosocial Factors; Sensorimotor Adaptation; and Smart Medical Systems and Technology.

Proposals responding to the NASA emphases and NSBRI emphases must be submitted separately, and will result in separate evaluations and awards. Step-1 proposals are due on September 4, 2012, and invited Step-2 proposals are due on December 3, 2012. Participation is open to all categories of organizations, including educational institutions, industry, nonprofit organizations, NASA centers, and other Government agencies.

Proposals solicited through this NRA will use a two-step proposal process.  Only Step-1 proposers determined to be relevant with respect to the solicited research of this NRA will be invited to submit full Step-2 proposals. Proposals must be submitted electronically. Step-1 proposals to NASA may be submitted via the NASA Proposal data system NSPIRES ( or via ( Invited Step-2 proposals to NASA must be submitted via NSPIRES. Both Step-1 and Step-2 proposals to NSBRI must be submitted via NSPIRES.

ROSES-12 Amendment – Maturation of Instruments for Solar System Exploration (MatISSE) Program

ROSES-12 Amendment 11: Final Text for ROSES-12 Appendix C.19, Maturation of Instruments for Solar System Exploration (MatISSE) Program.

The Maturation of Instruments for Solar System Exploration (MatISSE) Program supports the advanced development of spacecraft-based instruments that show promise for use in future planetary missions. The goal of the program is to develop and demonstrate planetary and astrobiology science instruments to the point where they may be proposed in response to future announcements of flight opportunity without additional extensive technology development (approximately TRL 6). The proposed instrument must address specific scientific objectives of likely future planetary science missions.

The MatISSE Program seeks proposals for development activities leading to instrument systems in support of the Science Mission Directorate’s (SMD) Planetary Science Division.  The objectives of the program are to develop new technologies that significantly improve instrument measurement capabilities for planetary science missions (such as Discovery, New Frontiers, Mars Exploration, and other planetary programs). It is the responsibility of the proposer to demonstrate how their proposed technology addresses significant scientific questions relevant to stated NASA goals and not for NASA to attempt to infer this.

This amendment presents final text for Appendix C.19, which replaces the previous version in its entirety. The name of this program has been changed from Astrobiology Science and Technology for Instrument Development, as it was at the time of release of ROSES in February 2012, to the Maturation of Instruments for Solar System Exploration.

Notices of intent are requested by August 31, 2012, and proposals are due by October 31, 2012.

On or about July 30, 2012, this Amendment to the NASA Research Announcement “Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2012” (NNH12ZDA001N) will be posted on the NASA research opportunity homepage at and will appear on the RSS feed at:

On a related note, we regret to inform potential proposers that Appendixes C.16 and C.20, which were presented as placeholders on release of ROSES 2012 in mid-February, will not be solicited this year. However, we anticipate that they will be solicited in ROSES 2013 and draft text for Appendix C.16 is presented in ROSES 2012 as the Planetary Instrument Concepts for the Advancement of Solar System Observations (PICASSO) Program.

Free NASA Webinar – Proposal Preparation for NASA SBIR – July 25, 2012

Small businesses wishing to submit proposals for the NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program should consider participation in this free webinar explaining the proposal process. 

When: July 25th, 2012, 1:00 – 2:30 (~60 minute presentation plus Q&A) (US SBA Collaboration)

Location: Online (Webinar)

Cost: FREE but advanced registration is required 

This is one of a series of sessions presented by BBCetc on SBIR/STTR proposals. These sessions provide detailed instruction on various elements of proposal preparation and proposal submission procedures, offering insight on the elements of a competitive SBIR/STTR proposal. There is no charge to attend the webinars, but pre-registration is required.

Visit the following website for details:

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