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NASA Astrobiology Faculty Diversity Program

Status Report From: NASA Astrobiology Institute
Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The goal of the Astrobiology Faculty Diversity Program (formerly known as the Minority Institution Research Support (MIRS) Program) is to help train a new generation of researchers in astrobiology and to increase diversity within the astrobiology community, The AFD Program aims to recruit new researchers into the astrobiology community, inspire and encourage underrepresented students to enter the field of astrobiology, and strengthen the infrastructure of astrobiology research at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).

The eligible candidate must be:

The AFD Program provides a stipend, travel allowance, and follow-up support for faculty from Minority Serving Institutions:

  • Up to 10 weeks of support with a stipend of $1,000 per week

  • Up to $5,000 for housing and travel

  • An optional award of $10,000 following the sabbatical, intended to continue the research and involve students, and/or develop astrobiology laboratories or curriculum at the home institution.

The application includes:

  • The AFD Program application form

  • A 5 page research proposal

  • A description, not to exceed one page, of the applicant’s interests and qualifications relevant to the field of astrobiology and the expected benefit of participation to the applicant, the applicant’s home university and students, the Astrobiology Program researcher, and the AFD Program

  • Plans for future funding to sustain a research or teaching program related to astrobiology after the sabbatical ends

  • A letter of commitment from a hosting NASA Astrobiology-funded researcher

  • A letter of endorsement from the applicant’s home institution

Please contact Melissa Kirven, Melissa.kirven@nasa.gov, to identify eligible hosts and for more information.

Application Deadline is April of each year.


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