Press Release

NSTRF – Fall 2011 Fellowship Start Solicitation Now Open!

By SpaceRef Editor
December 29, 2010
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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Headquarters has released a solicitation, entitled NASA Space Technology Research Fellowships (NSTRF) – Fall 2011 Fellowship Start, on December 29, 2010. The solicitation is available by opening the NASA Research Opportunities homepage at, selecting “Solicitations,” then selecting “Open Solicitations,” and, finally, selecting “NSTRF11.” Go directly to the NSTRF11 page on NSPIRES here.

NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT) seeks to sponsor U.S. citizen and permanent resident graduate student researchers who show significant potential to contribute to NASA’s strategic goals and missions.

This call for graduate fellowship proposals solicits applications from accredited U.S. Universities on behalf of highly qualified individuals pursuing or planning to pursue Master’s (e.g., M.S.) or Doctoral (e.g., Ph.D.) degrees in relevant space technology disciplines at their respective institutions. This fellowship opportunity is open to students pursuing advanced degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The goal of NSTRF is to provide the nation with a pipeline of highly skilled engineers and technologists to improve America’s technological competitiveness. NASA Space Technology Fellows will perform innovative space technology research while building the skills necessary to become future technological leaders.

OCT is interested in attracting graduate students that are committed to developing disruptive technologies for the aerospace sector and to being part of NASA’s technological future by working on high-priority technologies to sustainably explore space, and who are interested in pursuing NASA’s Grand Challenges.

Selected candidates will perform graduate student research both on their respective campuses and at NASA Centers and, in the future, also at nonprofit U.S. Research and Development (R&D) laboratories. Subsequent calls will provide a list of all labs with which NASA has negotiated agreements. In addition to his or her academic advisor, each student will be matched with a technically relevant and community engaged researcher who will serve as the student’s professional mentor. Through this experience, students will advance their STEM education, gain relevant research experience and learn the research process. Awards resulting from this competitive selection will be made in the form of training grants to the respective universities. If the student is planning to embark on a new degree program (e.g., M.S. or Ph.D.) at an academic institution different from his/her current academic institution, he/she is encouraged to work with faculty at prospective universities in assembling and submitting packages to the fellowship call.

The financial and programmatic support for NSTRF will come from the NASA Office of the Chief Technologist. NSTRF has its basis with the Graduate Student Research Program in the Office of Education and will continue NASA’s rich history of supporting students via the Office of Education and the Mission Directorates. Awards are planned to coincide with the start of the 2011 academic year and are subject to the availability of appropriated funds.

All applications must be submitted electronically through NSPIRES by an authorized organizational representative. Applications are due on or before February 23, 2011. Detailed submission instructions (for the faculty advisor, student and authorized organizational representative) are provided under “Other Documents” on the NSPIRES webpage associated with the NSTRF11 solicitation. Potential applicants, their advisors and proposing organizations are urged to access the electronic proposal system well in advance of the proposal due date to familiarize themselves with its structure and to enter the requested information.

Comments and questions may be addressed by e-mail to the NSTRF Point of Contact, Claudia Meyer, at Responses to inquiries will be answered by e-mail and also included in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document located on the NSPIRES page associated with the solicitation; anonymity of persons/institutions who submit questions will be preserved.

Over the next several years, it is NASA’s intent to build an NSTRF community consisting of approximately 500 active students.

“Our Space Technology Graduate Fellowships will help create the pool of highly skilled workers needed for NASA’s and our nation’s technological future, motivating many of the country’s best young minds into educational programs and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said NASA Chief Technologist Dr. Bobby Braun at the agency’s Headquarters in Washington. “This fellowship program is coupled to a larger national research and development effort in science and technology that will lead to new products and services, new business and industries, and high-quality, sustainable jobs. Fellowships will be awarded to outstanding young researchers and technologists positioned to take on NASA’s grand challenges and turn these goals and missions into reality.”

Good luck, and we look forward to welcoming you into the Space Technology community!

SpaceRef staff editor.