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Curiosity Landing

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Research and Education Opportunities


NSF is the main U.S. agency funding research and education in all areas of science an engineering. Proposals are submitted via Fastlane. Check Grants.gov for all federal agencies.

NASA is the U.S. agency that is responsible for the civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research. Proposals are submitted via NSPIRES.

NASA NAI has periodic solicitations for the main Astrobiology Program elements (NAI, Exobiology, ASTID, ASTEP) offering numerous funding opportunities for scientists.

The NAI MIRS Program is intended to help train a new generation of researchers in astrobiology and to increase diversity within the astrobiology community. This solicitation seeks proposals to continue the process of recruiting and retaining underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers by involving faculty and students from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) in astrobiology research.

The NASA Academies are intensive educational programs emphasizing group activities, teamwork, research, and creativity for undergraduate students.

The Goddard Center for Astrobiology is comprised of scientists who are dedicated to increasing the awareness of astrobiology as a discipline worthy of being considered an educational pursuit. The Undergraduate Research Associates in Astrobiology Program is a 10-week program for undergraduate students candidates.

The JPL education webpage provides opportunities for students, teachers, and faculty.

The American Philosophical Society and the NASA Astrobiology Institute have are partners in promoting the continued exploration of the world around us through a new program of research grants in support of astrobiological field studies undertaken by graduate students, postdocs, and early-career scientists and scholars who are affiliated with U.S. institutions.

A cross-disciplinary, multi-institutional undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral training program in Astrobiology where CATP trainees (~70 graduate & undergraduate students, PDFs over 6 years) will be exposed to innovative research and training approaches, combining fieldwork at unique Canadian analogue sites, including those in the high Arctic, with laboratory work at cutting edge analytical facilities at participating university, government, and industry partners.

The NASA Undergraduate Student Research Program (USRP) offers undergraduates across the United States mentored internship experiences at NASA Centers and research support facilities. The NASA Undergraduate Student Research Program is NASA’s largest nationwide internship program.

An 8-week internship designed for high school students, age 16 or older, who have demonstrated a strong interest in and aptitude for science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics (STEM). One of JPL SpaceSHIP's objectives is to encourage pre-college students who have been traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields to consider such fields for their careers.

NASA Penn State Professional Development for K-12 Teachers provides various summer workshops about innovate teaching methods and the use of current science research in the classroom for K-12 teachers.

NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program (NITARP) gets teachers involved in authentic astronomical research. The educators incorporate the experience into their classrooms and share their experience with other teachers.

Chrétien International Research Grants supports international collaborative projects by scientists in observational astronomy. Emphasis is on long-term visits and the development of close working relationships with astronomers in other countries.

AAS Small Research Grants supports scientists in the U.S. working on NASA-relevant projects.

Astrobiology research-related travel support for undergraduate, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

A travel grant awarded to students pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees in aerospace-related sciences or engineering fields (astrobiology, astronomy, earth and space science, engineering, etc.) to attend a meeting at which they will present their research.


Private Founding



The John Templeton Foundation serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality. They support research on subjects ranging from complexity, evolution, and infinity to creativity, forgiveness, love, and free will.

Theodore Dunham, Jr. Grants for Research in Astronomy makes small grants to support research in astronomy and astrophysics.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grantmaking institution that makes grants in support of original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and economic performance.

Research Corporation for Science Advancement is a private operating foundation that aids basic research in the physical sciences (astronomy, chemistry, physics, and related fields) at U.S. colleges and universities.

The W. M. Keck Foundation supports outstanding science, engineering and medical research, undergraduate education; and, in Southern California, arts and culture, education, health and community service projects that will have a significant impact in addressing complex issues and problems.

The Guggenheim Fellowships are intended for men and women who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. 

Crowdsourcing


Petridish lets you fund promising research projects and join first hand in new discoveries.

FundaGeek is the first Crowd Funding resource designed expressly for technical innovation – commercial projects based on technology, as well as basic research projects at universities and research institutions.

Open Genius Project wants to make qualitative research projects available to public and facilitate the funding through a global and highly motivated community.

Kickstarter has an all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands.

Indie-GoGo can be used to create a funding campaign to raise money quickly and securely. Each campaign has the opportunity to be featured on their homepage, placed in the press, or exposed via social media.

RocketHub is a launchpad and community for independent artists and entrepreneurs. It provides users with a safe, credible environment in which to comfortably support creative projects.

Science@Home: Citizens Science


The internet's largest, most popular and most successful volunteer science projects. Includes various projects like Planet Hunters and Galaxy Zoo.

Open-source software for volunteer computing and grid computing. Use the idle time on your computer (Windows, Mac, or Linux) to cure diseases, study global warming, discover pulsars, and do many other types of scientific research. The well known SETI@home is part of the the Boinc projects.

Noah is a tool that nature lovers can use to explore and document local wildlife and a common technology platform that research groups can use to harness the power of citizen scientists everywhere.

This is an effort to tap into the global brain trust, harness the power of citizen scientists, and educate the next generation of Earthlings to improve current searches for extraterrestrial intelligence and better understand our place in the cosmos.

A citizen science program that links scientists undertaking real scientific research with the broader community through their active participation in the collection of real scientific data. EarthTrek projects focus on environmental issues in which community involvement is the key to understanding the real nature of the issue at a local, regional or even global scale.

Provides rich data sources for basic information on bird abundance and distribution at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. eBird's goal is to maximize the utility and accessibility of the vast numbers of bird observations made each year by recreational and professional bird watchers.

A site that will provide a home for amateur-processed space images. The Planetary Society formed a partnership with UnmannedSpaceflight.com to turn more space exploration fans into armchair space explorers.

SpaceHack is a great directory of ways for the general public to participate in space exploration.

Local Opportunities


A program established to provide incentives to attract more undergraduate and graduate students into STEM fields, particularly minorities and women. The competition announcement is released yearly in early spring.

A program providing seed funding to faculty to stimulate the initiation of new aerospace-related research and education projects that expand the capabilities in aerospace-related sciences at the higher education level.