Notices of Intent Due: February 26, 2020

Proposals Due: March 25, 2020


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Headquarters has released a solicitation, titled Early Career Faculty (ECF), as an appendix to the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) umbrella NASA Research Announcement (NRA) titled “Space Technology Research, Development, Demonstration, and Infusion-2020 (SpaceTech-REDDI-2020), on February 5, 2020.  The solicitation is available by visiting the URL:{ACAD5344-C2D1-8304-D57E-2FE90D346946}&path=&method=init


The Space Technology Research Grants (STRG) Program within STMD seeks proposals from accredited U.S. universities on behalf of their outstanding new faculty members who intend to develop academic careers related to space technology. NASA is seeking proposals that plan to pursue innovative, early-stage space technology research in the topic areas specifically enumerated in the solicitation. Specifically, the proposals must address one of the following four topics:


·         Topic 1 – Coordinated Multi-Robots for Planetary Exploration

·         Topic 2 – Advanced Plant/Food Production Technologies for Space Exploration

·         Topic 3 – Enhanced Diagnostics for Characterizing Entry Aerothermal Environments in High-enthalpy Impulse Facilities

·         Topic 4 – Micro or Nano-structuring Multi-layer Insulation Shields for Ultra-low Emissivity


Only accredited U.S. universities are eligible to submit proposals on behalf of an untenured Assistant Professor on the tenure track at the sponsoring U.S. university at the time of award. A single, eligible Principal Investigator (PI) must lead the proposed research. Co-Investigators are not permitted. Collaborators (other than NASA civil servants/JPL) are permitted. The PI must be a U.S. citizen or have lawful status of permanent residency. See the solicitation for complete requirements regarding eligibility and for definitions and restrictions regarding collaborators.  


A PI may submit only one proposal in response to this appendix.


NASA encourages submission of ECF proposals on behalf of early career faculty members at all U.S. universities and especially encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and persons with disabilities to apply. 


The financial and programmatic support for ECF comes from the Space Technology Research Grants Program within the Space Technology Mission Directorate. NASA plans to make approximately 8 awards as a result of this ECF solicitation, subject to the receipt of meritorious proposals. The actual number of awards will depend on the quality of the proposals received; NASA reserves the right to make no awards under this solicitation. Resultant grant awards are up 3 years in duration and $600K in total value. Awards are planned to start in October 2020.


All proposals must be submitted electronically through NSPIRES or through ( by an authorized organizational representative. Notices of Intent are strongly encouraged by February 26, 2020. Proposals are due on or before March 25, 2020 by 5PM EDT. Detailed submission instructions are provided in the solicitation. Potential proposers and their proposing organizations are urged to familiarize themselves with the submission system(s), ensure they are registered in NSPIRES, and submit the required proposal materials well in advance of the deadline.


Technical and programmatic comments and questions may be addressed by e-mail to the Space Technology Research Grants Program Executive, Claudia Meyer, at Procurement questions may be addressed by e-mail to the acquisition point of contact on this solicitation, Kimberly Cone, at Responses to inquiries will be answered by e-mail and may also be included in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) documents located on the NSPIRES page associated with the solicitation; anonymity of persons/institutions who submit questions will be preserved.