CASIS and the NSF Announce Second Space Station Funding Opportunity in Fluid Dynamics

Press Release From: Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS)
Posted: Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) today announced a joint solicitation wherein researchers from the fluid dynamics community will have the ability to leverage resources onboard the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory. Up to $2 million will be awarded for multiple research investigations to support flight projects to the ISS National Laboratory. This is the second collaboration between the NSF and CASIS dedicated towards the funding of fluid dynamics concepts onboard the space station to benefit life on Earth.

Through this partnership, CASIS and NASA will facilitate hardware implementation and on-orbit access to the ISS National Laboratory.  NSF will fund the selected projects to advance fundamental science and engineering knowledge. CASIS is the nonprofit organization responsible for managing and promoting research onboard the ISS National Laboratory. NSF supports transformative research to help drive the U.S. economy, enhance national security and maintain America’s position as a global leader in innovation.

The unique high-quality and long-duration microgravity environment on the ISS National Laboratory has many benefits for the study of fluid dynamics processes and phenomena. Many processes that affect the behavior of fluids on Earth, such as thermal convection, sedimentation, hydrostatic pressure, and buoyancy, are absent in microgravity. The elimination of these variables allows phenomena of interest to be studied without gravitational interference.

Through this solicitation, CASIS and NSF seek proposals that will evaluate phenomena such as, but not limited to, capillary flow, diffusion, interfacial behavior, multiphase flow, separation, and surface tension. Studies in fluid dynamics could have significant applications for many industries, including consumer products, electronics, manufacturing, medical devices and pharmaceuticals, and oil and gas. All proposals must demonstrate a tangible benefit to improving life on Earth.

Prior to submitting a full to proposal to NSF, all interested parties must submit a Preliminary Feasibility Review form to CASIS, which will determine the operational feasibility and economic merit of the proposed project.  CASIS will notify the proposer of a passing or failing review score within 28 days of the Preliminary Feasibility Review form being submitted. The deadline to submit the Preliminary Feasibility Review form is January 24, 2018. Only projects that pass the CASIS Preliminary Feasibility Review will be invited to submit a full proposal to NSF. The notification of a passing score must be included in the full proposal submission. NSF will close this grant solicitation on March 5, 2018.

Information on the CASIS Preliminary Feasibility Review can be found at:

To learn more about the on-orbit capabilities of the ISS, including past research initiatives and available facilities, visit:

To learn more about the funding opportunity, view via the Division of Chemical, Bioengineering and Environmental Transport (CBET) in the NSF Engineering Directorate.

About CASIS: The Center for Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) is the non-profit organization selected to manage the ISS National Laboratory with a focus on enabling a new era of space research to improve life on Earth. In this innovative role, CASIS promotes and brokers a diverse range of research in life sciences, physical sciences, remote sensing, technology development, and education.

Since 2011, the ISS National Lab portfolio has included hundreds of novel research projects spanning multiple scientific disciplines, all with the intention of benefitting life on Earth. Working together with NASA, CASIS aims to advance the nation’s leadership in commercial space, pursue groundbreaking science not possible on Earth, and leverage the space station to inspire the next generation.

About the ISS National Laboratory:
 In 2005, Congress designated the U.S. portion of the International Space Station as the nation's newest national laboratory to maximize its use for improving life on Earth, promoting collaboration among diverse users, and advancing STEM education. This unique laboratory environment is available for use by other U.S. government agencies and by academic and private institutions, providing access to the permanent microgravity setting, the vantage point in low Earth orbit, and varied environments of space.


About the National Science Foundation:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2017, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.


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