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NASA Human Exploration Research Opportunities (HERO) Released

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Thursday, July 28, 2016

A National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Research Announcement (NRA), entitled, “Human Exploration Research Opportunities (HERO)” (NRA NNJ16ZSA001N), has been released. This NRA will solicit applied research in support of NASA’s Human Research Program (HRP). This NRA is available through the NASA Research Opportunities homepage at http://tinyurl.com/2016-HERO.

The HRP contains six Elements: Space Radiation, Human Health and Countermeasures, Exploration Medical Capability, Behavioral Health and Performance, Space Human Factors and Habitability, and International Space Station Medical Project. Fourteen disciplines or areas support the Program: Behavioral Health and Performance, Bone, Cardiovascular, Extravehicular Activity, Immunology, Medical Capabilities, Muscle, Nutrition, Pharmacology, Radiation, Sensorimotor, Advanced Food Technology, Advanced Environmental Health, and Space Human Factors Engineering.

Awards generally range from under $100K per year for focused, limited efforts (e.g., data analysis) to $1M per year for extensive activities (e.g., development of scientific hardware) and will be made as grants. The funds available for awards in each research opportunity offered in this NRA range from less than one million to several million dollars. This range allows selection from a few to as many as a dozen proposals depending on the program objectives and the submission of proposals of merit. The period of performance for an award can range from one to five years. All categories of United States (U.S.) institutions are eligible to submit proposals in response to this NRA. Any changes or modifications to any of these guidelines will be specified in the descriptions of the relevant research opportunities in the solicited research response area appendices of this solicitation.

Details of the solicited program elements will be given in the solicited research response area appendices of the NRA. Most program elements will require a Notice of Intent (NOI) and a full proposal to be submitted; however, some program elements may require a Step-1 proposal in order to be considered to be invited to submit a Step-2 proposal.

Proposal due dates will be staggered throughout the HERO open period of July 28, 2016 to July 2017. The first proposal due date (for Step-1 proposals submitted in response to Appendix A) is September 5, 2016. The electronic submission of each is required by the due date for proposal submission.

Proposal due dates are given in the NRA and the solicited research response area appendices, which will be posted at http://nspires.nasaprs.com. Interested proposers should monitor http://nspires.nasaprs.com or register and subscribe to the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) electronic notifications system through the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System (NSPIRES) account subscription services. New program elements or amendments to this NRA through July 2017 will be posted in NSPIRES, after which time release of a subsequent HERO NRA is planned.


All categories of United States (U.S.) institutions are eligible to submit proposals in response to the NRA. Principal Investigators may collaborate with universities, Federal Government laboratories, the private sector, and state and local government laboratories. In all such arrangements, the applying entity is expected to be responsible for administering the project according to the management approach presented in the proposal. NASA’s policy is to conduct research with non-U.S. organizations on a cooperative, no exchange-of-funds basis.

This email is being sent on behalf of HRP and is intended as an information announcement to the research community related to the NASA Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) Human Research Program (HRP).

Thank you for your continued interest in NASA. Please refer to the solicitation document for contact information.

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