Status Report

NASA Education Express Message — Jan. 29, 2015

By SpaceRef Editor
January 29, 2015
Filed under , ,

Space Shuttle Thermal Protective Tiles Available for Educational Use

NASA invites eligible U.S. educational institutions and museums to request space shuttle thermal protective tiles and other special items offered on a first-come, first-served basis while quantities last. Organizations previously allocated thermal protective tiles may request an additional three tiles.

There will be a nominal shipping fee that must be paid online with a credit card. To make a request for special items online, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to


DEADLINE EXTENDED: 2014 NASA EONS Solicitation New Appendix

NASA’s Office of Education is accepting new proposals under the Education Opportunities in NASA STEM, or EONS, 2014 NASA Research Announcement for the Minority University Research and Education Program, or MUREP, Institutional Research Opportunity, or MIRO appendix. This effort was previously titled as the NASA University Research Centers Project, and has now been consolidated into the MUREP Program within the NASA Office of Education.

Through the EONS omnibus solicitation, the opportunity MIRO has been released. Through MIRO awards, NASA aims to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM literacy and to enhance and sustain the capability of minority serving institutions to perform NASA-related research and education, which directly support NASA’s four mission directorates — Aeronautics Research, Human Exploration and Space Operations, Science, and Space Technology. 

The deadline for proposals has been extended to Jan. 30, 2015.

For more information regarding the MIRO solicitation, please visit the NASA EONS page on the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Proposal System, or NSPIRES, website at: .


2015 NOAA Undergraduate Scholarship

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, is accepting applications for its 2015 Educational Partnership Program, or EPP, Undergraduate Scholarship Program. The EPP Undergraduate Scholarship Program provides scholarships for two years of undergraduate study to rising junior undergraduate students majoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields that directly support NOAA’s mission. 

Participants receive total awards valued at up to $35,000 in total support during their junior and senior years. During the first summer, scholars complete a nine-week paid summer internship at NOAA in Silver Spring, Maryland. During the second summer, scholars complete paid internships at NOAA facilities across the country. A stipend and housing allowance is provided. At the end of both summer internships, students present the results of their projects at an education and science symposium in Silver Spring. 

Students attending an accredited Minority Serving Institution within the United States or U.S. Territories as defined by the U.S. Department of Education (Hispanic Serving Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Alaskan-Native Serving Institutions, and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions) are eligible to apply for the program. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and must earn and maintain a minimum 3.2 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.

Applications are due Jan. 30, 2015.

For more information and to submit an online application, visit

Questions about this scholarship opportunity should be directed to


U.S. National Park Service’s Young Leaders in Climate Change — Summer 2015 Internships

The George Melendez Wright Initiative for Young Leaders in Climate Change, or YLCC, builds a pathway for exemplary students in higher education to apply cutting-edge climate change knowledge to park management. The program provides paid summer internships to highly accomplished graduate and upper-level undergraduate students to work on diverse issues related to climate change and its effects in national parks. Participants gain valuable work experience, explore career options and develop leadership skills under the mentorship and guidance of the National Park Service.

The program features structured projects in one or more of the following interdisciplinary areas: climate change science and monitoring; resource conservation and adaptation; policy development; sustainable park operations; facilities adaptation; and communication/interpretation/education. Interns who successfully complete the YLCC will be eligible to be hired noncompetitively into subsequent federal jobs once they complete their degree programs. These jobs would be in the Department of Interior, National Park Service or one of the other bureaus within the Department of Interior. An intern must qualify for the job in order to be hired noncompetitively.

Internships are full-time positions (40 hours/week) lasting 11-12 weeks. Interns are paid $14/hour plus benefits, and are employees of the University of Washington. Most positions come with free or subsidized housing in dormitories or other shared accommodations in parks. Internships offer rigorous and challenging projects that demand high-level academic knowledge and skills, allowing interns considerable autonomy and opportunity for leadership under an effective mentor.

The application deadline is 12:01 pm PST on Jan. 30, 2015.

For additional information and to apply for a YLCC internship, visit

Questions about this program should be directed to Tim Watkins at


NASA History Program Office Summer and Fall 2015 Internships

The NASA History Program Office is seeking undergraduate and graduate students for summer and fall 2015 internships. The History Program Office maintains archival materials to answer research questions from NASA personnel, journalists, scholars, students at all levels and others from around the world. The division also edits and publishes several books and monographs each year. It maintains a large number of websites on NASA history. 

Students of all majors are welcome to apply. While detailed prior knowledge of the aeronautics and space fields is not necessary, a keen interest and some basic familiarity with these topics are needed. Strong research, writing and editing skills are essential. Experience with social media is a plus.

Intern projects are flexible. Typical projects include handling a variety of information requests, writing posts for the NASA history Twitter and Facebook pages, editing historical manuscripts, doing research and writing biographical sketches, and identifying and captioning photos.

Applications for summer 2015 internships are due Feb. 1, 2015. Fall 2015 internship applications are due June 1, 2015

For more information, visit

If you have questions about this opportunity, please contact Bill Barry at


DEADLINE EXTENDED: 2014-2015 NASA Goddard OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Challenge

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center is launching the 2014-2015 TRANSFORMERS OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Challenge, hosted by the Innovative Technology Partnerships Office. The purpose of the challenge is to raise awareness of NASA’s Technology Transfer Program and to inspire interest in all NASA missions, programs and projects.

This year the scope of the contest is being expanded to include two challenges. In the first challenge, students in grades 3-12 are asked to submit a video describing their favorite NASA Goddard spinoff. In a new twist, participants in this year′s contest must also use the engineering design process to develop and propose a new spinoff application of their own for the technology. Spinoffs are technologies originally created for space and modified into everyday products used on Earth. Examples include memory foam, invisible braces and scratch-resistant lenses for eyeglasses.

The second challenge, the TRANSFORMERS OPTIMUS PRIME InWorld Challenge, offers students in grades 6-12 an opportunity to take their video spinoff ideas to another level. Interested teams must study James Webb Space Telescope spinoff technology and post their completed spinoff videos for review by college engineering students. Engineering college mentors will select 20 teams to continue the collaborative design process within a multiuser virtual world to build a 3-D model of the team′s design solutions.

Winning students from each grade category will be invited to Goddard to participate in a behind-the-scenes workshop, attend a VIP awards ceremony and meet actor Peter Cullen, the voice of OPTIMUS PRIME.

The new deadline to register and upload videos is Feb. 1, 2015.

For more information, visit

Questions about this contest should be directed to Darryl Mitchell at

TRANSFORMERS and OPTIMUS PRIME are trademarks of Hasbro and are used with permission. © 2014 Hasbro. All rights reserved.


International Space Station Research Design Challenge: Capillary Effects on Liquids Exploratory Research Experiments

NASA and Portland State University are seeking participants for the International Space Station Research Design Challenge: Capillary Effects on Liquids Exploratory Research Experiments, or CELERE. This design challenge enables students to participate in microgravity research on capillary action, similar to that conducted on the space station. 

Teams or individuals create their own experiment using computer-aided design, or CAD, with a provided template. Short experiment proposals are submitted, and test cells are manufactured by Portland State University using the CAD drawings and a computer-controlled laser cutter. Each experiment is conducted in a drop tower. Video of the drop is provided for student analysis and reporting of results.

CELERE is open to individuals and teams in grades 8-12 Teams may include younger students as long as there is at least one team member in grades 8-12 to facilitate the participation of informal science clubs, Scouts, etc. Teams may be of any size and may include an entire class or science club. The program is limited to students from the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Design proposals are now being accepted. Deadlines for submissions are Feb. 1, March 1 and April 1, 2015.

For more information about this opportunity, visit

If you have questions about this opportunity, please email your inquiries to the CELERE team at


NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowships Program Accepting Proposals for 2015-2016 Academic Year

The NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship Program, or NESSF, is soliciting applications from accredited U.S. universities on behalf of individuals pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees in earth and space sciences, or related disciplines, for the 2015-2016 academic year. The purpose of NESSF is to ensure continued training of a highly qualified workforce in disciplines needed to achieve NASA’s scientific goals. Awards resulting from the competitive selection will be training grants to the respective universities, with the advisor serving as the principal investigator. The financial support for the NESSF program comes from the Science Mission Directorate’s four science divisions: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Planetary Science and Astrophysics. 

Initially, NESSF awards are made for one year. They may be renewed for up to two additional years, contingent upon satisfactory progress (as reflected in academic performance, research progress and recommendation by the faculty advisor) and the availability of funds. 

The maximum amount of a NESSF award is $30,000 per year. 

Proposals for this opportunity are due Feb. 2, 2015.

For more information about this solicitation, visit{B6CDCEA6-8EDD-A48A-FAF8-E588F66661C3}&path=open

Questions about Earth Science Research NESSF opportunities should be directed to Claire Macaulay at

Questions about Heliophysics Research, Planetary Science Research and Astrophysics Research opportunities should be directed to Dolores Holland at


2015 Planetary Geology and Geophysics Undergraduate Research Program

The Planetary Geology and Geophysics Undergraduate Research Program, or PGGURP, pairs qualified undergraduate students with NASA-funded investigators at research locations across the U.S. for eight weeks during the summer. Students will spend the summer at the NASA scientists’ home institutions. Selected students receive a cost-of-living stipend and compensation for housing and travel.

Undergraduate students majoring in geology or related sciences are eligible to apply. Students graduating in 2015 who have not started graduate school yet are also eligible. Preference is given to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. 

Applications are due Feb. 2, 2015.

For more information, visit

If you have questions about this opportunity, please email Robyn Wagner, PGGURP administrator, at


Mosaics in Science Program

The Mosaics in Science program was developed by the National Park Service, in partnership with the Geological Society of America, to increase diversity among those who seek science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, careers within the National Park Service.

Participants will spend 11 weeks working on a STEM project in a national park. After completing their projects, participants travel to the District of Columbia to participate in a career workshop that provides opportunities to present their work, learn about how to apply for a federal job, and meet National Park Service staff and management.

Twenty-six positions will be offered in 2015. Participants will receive a stipend of $4,000, and housing and travel costs are also covered. Applications are due Feb. 3, 2015

To be eligible, applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States between 18 and 35 years old who attend or recently graduated from an undergraduate institution, or are in the early stages of their career. Interested students must be nominated by an organization partnering with the program. Students from groups historically underrepresented in STEM fields are strongly encouraged to seek nomination. These groups include but are not limited to African-American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, and persons with disabilities. 

For additional information on the Mosaics in Science program and to see a list of partner organizations eligible to nominate students, visit For an overview of the Mosaics in Science Program, see:

Questions about the program should be directed to Lisa Norby at Questions on program eligibility and how to apply for a position should be directed to Matt Dawson at


NASA Wavelength Special Session at American Camp Association Conference

NASA will be represented at Booth #913 during the American Camp Association, or ACA, National Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. The conference takes place Feb. 3-6, 2015.

NASA also will host a special session on Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015, at 10:30 a.m. titled “Five Easy Ways to Create Out-of-this-World Programs with NASA Resources.” This session will share strategies for creating camp programs using NASA Wavelength resources. There are many projects, games and resources on NASA Wavelength just waiting for your campers. From down-to-earth investigations to outer space imaginations, there’s something for every age group and setting.

For more information, visit

Questions about the program should be directed to Andrew Clark at


Lunar and Planetary Institute Workshops: Earth and Space Science

The Lunar and Planetary Institute invites high school teachers to attend a series of earth and space science workshops. These one-day workshops will take place at the Harris County Department of Education Science Center in Houston, Texas. 

‘Weather and Climate Interactions’
Feb. 5, 2015, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Use data-rich activities and hands-on demonstrations to investigate thermal energy transfers and the role of the sun in convection, winds and currents; identify how patterns of atmospheric movement influence weather; and examine the role of oceans in forming hurricanes. The workshop includes a variety of formative assessment strategies.

‘Our Celestial Neighborhood’
Feb. 11, 2015, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Explore the relationships and scales of the solar system, Milky Way and our universe, and examine the characteristics and life cycles of stars, and the variety and properties of galaxies.

A workshop registration fee of $30 includes extensive presentation materials, reference materials, hands-on lesson plans for the classroom, refreshments and lunch. Workshop space is limited, and interested educators are encouraged to apply early to secure a spot. Registration for each workshop closes the day prior to the workshop.

For more information and to register to attend, visit

Questions about these workshops should be directed to


2015 NASA Student Airborne Research Program

The NASA Airborne Science Program invites highly motivated undergraduate students currently in their junior year to apply for the NASA Student Airborne Research Program, also known as SARP 2015. The program provides students with hands-on research experience in all aspects of a major scientific campaign, from detailed planning on how to achieve mission objectives to formal presentation of results and conclusions to peers and others. Students will assist in the operation of airborne instruments aboard the NASA DC-8 aircraft.

The program takes place in summer 2015. Instrument and flight preparations, and the research flights themselves, will occur at NASA′s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California. Post-flight data analysis and interpretation will take place at the University of California, Irvine. 

Successful applicants will be awarded a stipend plus a travel and meals allowance for eight weeks of participation in the program. Housing and local transportation will also be provided.

The deadline for applications is Feb. 5, 2015.

For more information and to download the program application, visit

Specific questions about the program should be directed to


2015 Space Exploration Educators Conference

Make plans to attend the 21st Annual Space Exploration Educators Conference, to be held Feb. 5-7, 2015, at Space Center Houston. This conference is for all K-12 educators. Activities presented use space-related themes to teach across the curricula and can be used for science, language arts, mathematics, history and more.

Attend sessions hosted by scientists and engineers working on the International Space Station, Mars exploration and the planets beyond. Hear from astronauts who will be leading the charge in exploration. Attend sessions presented by educators and receive ready-to-implement classroom ideas. Attendees can earn up to 24 hours of continuing professional education credit.

For more information, visit

Please email any questions about the conference to


2015 NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge

NASA has opened team registration for the 2015 NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge. Organized by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, the event will be held April 16-18, 2015, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, also in Huntsville.

The challenge engages high school, college and university students in hands-on, experiential learning activities, while also testing potential technologies needed for future deep space exploration. Both U.S. and international teams may register to participate. For U.S. teams, registration closesFeb. 6, 2015.

Student teams participating in the Rover Challenge must design, engineer and test a human-powered rover on a mock course designed to simulate the harsh and demanding terrains future NASA explorers may find on distant planets, moons and asteroids.

For more information on the 2015 Human Exploration Rover Challenge and registration, visit

Follow the Rover Challenge on social media for the latest news and updates:

View images from the 2014 Rover Challenge at

International teams with questions about this event or registration may email Amy McDowell at U.S. teams with questions may contact Diedra Williams at


2015-16 Virginia Space Grant Consortium Undergraduate STEM Research Scholarship

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium is offering undergraduate research scholarships of up to $8,500 to encourage talented individuals to conduct research in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, or STEM, fields.

Applicants must participate in an active faculty-mentored research experience that aligns with the aerospace sector and meets NASA’s mission. Student stipends and research support totaling $4,000 during the academic year and $4,500 during a summer semester are available.

These one-year awards are nonrenewable and based on student academic merit, quality of the research proposal and alignment of research with the goals of NASA and the aerospace sector. Underrepresented minority students, female students and students with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and enrolled at one of the five Virginia Space Grant member universities: The College of William and Mary, Hampton University, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

The deadline for submitting applications is Feb. 9, 2015.

For more information, visit Please email any questions about this opportunity to


2015-16 Virginia Space Grant Consortium Graduate STEM Research Fellowship

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium’s Graduate STEM Research Fellowship Program provides fellowships of $6,000 in add-on support to graduate students to supplement and enhance basic research support. The objective of this science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, research fellowship opportunity is to encourage talented individuals to pursue careers in STEM industries that support NASA’s mission.

Participants in the Graduate STEM Research Fellowship Program must take part in an active faculty?mentored research experience that aligns with the aerospace sector and meets NASA’s mission. Awards are made annually and are renewable for one year for students making satisfactory academic and research progress.

This is a competitive fellowship program, and awards are based on merit recognizing high academic achievement and promise. Underrepresented minority students, female students and students with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and enrolled at one of the five Virginia Space Grant member universities: The College of William and Mary, Hampton University, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

The deadline for submitting applications is Feb. 9, 2015.

For more information about this opportunity and to apply online, visit Please email any questions about this opportunity to


NASA OSSI Online Career Week

The NASA One Stop Shopping Initiative, or OSSI, is hosting the NASA OSSI Online Career Week Feb. 10-12, 2015. This online event will connect you with NASA, science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, employers and top graduate programs nationwide. Engage with representatives from all 10 NASA centers to learn about internship, scholarship and fellowship opportunities available at NASA. Interact with recruiters from top STEM employers, and explore internship and job opportunities in the private sector. Learn about highly ranked STEM graduate programs and network with admissions officers from the comfort of your home, dorm, smartphone or tablet. Register for one or all events and launch your career today!

NASA OSSI Online Career Week Live Events
— NASA Internships, Fellowships and Scholarships Day — Feb. 10, 2015 (1-5 p.m. EST)

— STEM Industry Day — Feb. 11, 2015 (1-5 p.m. EST)
— STEM Graduate Programs Fair — Feb. 12, 2015 (1-5 p.m. EST)

Starting on February 9, you will be able to research participating organizations and explore opportunities listed. Complete your profile, and prepare a few questions for the centers, companies or graduate programs you are interested in. During the live events, you will engage in one-on-one text-based conversations directly with a recruiter or admissions officer at those organizations. You can share your background, experience and resume and ask questions. Maximize your time in the event by getting in line to chat with representatives from more than one center, company or university at a time.

To attend, please register at

For more information, please contact


National Space Biomedical Research Institute’s Graduate Education Program in Space Life Sciences

The National Space Biomedical Research Institute, or NSBRI, seeks solutions to health concerns facing astronauts on long missions. The institute′s research also benefits patients on Earth. This NSBRI-sponsored training program in space life sciences enables students to pursue doctorate degrees at Texas A&M University and to focus their research on space life sciences and fields related to the space initiative. Texas A&M currently is recruiting participants for fall 2015. Students will pursue degrees in biomedical engineering, genetics, kinesiology, health physics or nutrition, or an M.D./Ph.D. or a Ph.D. in medical sciences.

Application packages are due Feb. 17, 2015.

For more information, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Stella Taddeo at


NASA’s ESTEEM “Ask US” Online Professional Development Series

NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Program, or MUREP, is sponsoring a series of Google Plus Hangout professional development events for K-12 educators. The Earth Systems, Technology and Energy Education for MUREP, or ESTEEM, team will lead the monthly sessions that will cover a variety of climate topics. This month’s webinar topic is:

Change Over Time: Investigate Climate Change Impacts in the Southwest — Feb. 18, 2015, at 7 p.m. EST
The National Climate Assessment, released in May of 2014, summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States, touching on many disciplines: earth science, biology, human health, engineering, technology, economics and policy. Explore the document with a lead National Climate Assessment author, then learn about related educator resources with Minda Berbeco from the National Center for Science Education. Discover resources that will enable you to bring this topic into classroom lessons, engage students in data collection and analyses and share visualizations and citizen science projects. The focus this month will be on the Southwest region. Watch for additional regions of the U.S. to be featured in upcoming “Ask US” sessions.

Certificates of professional development hours are available upon request. 

For more information on this event and upcoming webinar sessions, visit Questions about this series should be sent to Bonnie Murray at


Call for Abstracts: 66th International Astronautical Congress

NASA announces its intent to participate in the 66th International Astronautical Congress, or IAC, and requests that full-time U.S. graduate students attending U.S. universities respond to this “Call for Abstracts.”

The IAC — which is organized by the International Astronautical Federation, or IAF; the International Academy of Astronautics, or IAA; and the International Institute of Space Law, or IISL — is the largest space-related conference worldwide and selects an average of 1,000 scientific papers every year. The upcoming IAC will be held Oct. 12-16, 2015, in Jerusalem, Israel. NASA’s participation in this event is an ongoing effort to continue to bridge NASA with the astronautical and space international community.

This “Call for Abstracts” is a precursor to a subsequent submission of a final paper, which may be presented at the 66th IAC. Student authors are invited to submit an abstract regarding an original, unpublished paper that has not been submitted in any other forum. A NASA technical review panel will select abstracts from those that have been accepted by the International Astronautical Federation. This opportunity is for graduate students majoring in fields related to the IAF research topics. Students may submit technical (oral) presentations and/or posters. Students may submit abstracts that are co-authored with their Principal Investigators. However, the student must be the “lead author,” and only the student will present at the IAC. Students must be available to travel to the conference to represent NASA and their universities. Students must be U.S. citizens, attending a U.S. university, who plan to enter a career in space science or aeronautics. Pending the availability of funding, graduate students selected by NASA to participate in the IAC will be considered for subsidy funding from NASA.

Many students and professors are currently involved in NASA-related research that could be considered for this submission. Students submitting abstracts are strongly encouraged to seek advice from professors who are conducting NASA research and/or from NASA scientists and engineers. Abstracts must be related to NASA’s ongoing vision for space exploration and fit into one of the following IAC categories:

— Science and Exploration — Systems sustaining missions, including life, microgravity, space exploration, space debris and Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, or SETI
— Applications and Operations — Ongoing and future operational applications, including earth observation, communication, navigation, human space endeavors and small satellites
— Technology — Common technologies to space systems including astrodynamics, structures, power and propulsion
— Infrastructure — Systems sustaining space missions including space system transportation, future systems and safety
— Space and Society — Interaction of space with society including education, policy and economics, history, and law

The criteria for the selection will be defined according to the following specifications:
— Abstracts should specify purpose, methodology, results, conclusions and areas for discussion.

— Abstracts should indicate that substantive technical and/or programmatic content is included. 
— Abstracts should clearly indicate that the material is new and original; they should explain why and how. 
— Prospective author(s) should certify that the paper was not presented at a previous meeting.

Abstracts must be written in English, and the length should not exceed 400 words. Tables or drawings are not allowed in the abstract.

NOTE: If you plan to seek assistance from NASA, you must submit to the International Astronautical Federation and to NASA.
— Submit your abstract to the IAF at their website by Monday, Feb. 23, 2015 (14:00 CET).
— Submit your abstract to NASA at no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, Feb. 20, 2015.

IAC Paper Selection
Submitted abstracts will be evaluated by the Session Chairs on the basis of technical quality and relevance to the session topics. Selected abstracts may be chosen for eventual oral or poster presentation. Any such choice is not an indication of quality of the submitted abstract. Their evaluation will be submitted to the Symposium Coordinators, who will make acceptance recommendations to the International Programme Committee, which will make the final decision. Please note that any relevance to the Congress main theme will be considered as an advantage.

The following information must be included in the submission: paper title, name of contact author, name of co-author(s), organization(s), full postal address, phone, email of the author and co-author(s). Abstract should specify purpose, methodology, results and conclusions and should indicate that substantive technical and/or programmatic content, as well as clearly indicate that the material is new and original and explain why and how.

Please check the IAF and the IAC websites ( and regularly to get the latest updates on the Technical Programme.


2015 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships 

Caltech’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships, or SURF, project introduces undergraduate students to research under the guidance of seasoned mentors at Caltech or NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, or JPL. Students experience the process of research as a creative intellectual activity and gain a more realistic view of the opportunities and demands of a professional research career.

SURF is modeled on the grant-seeking process. Students collaborate with potential mentors to define and develop a project and to write research proposals. Caltech faculty or JPL staff review the proposals and recommend awards. Students work over a 10-week period in the summer, mid-June to late August. At the conclusion of the project, each student will submit a technical paper and give an oral presentation at SURF Seminar Day.

All application materials must be received no later than Feb. 22, 2015. For more information, visit

Please email any questions about this opportunity to the Caltech Student-Faculty Programs office at


NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellowships

The NASA Postdoctoral Program, or NPP, supports NASA’s goal to expand scientific understanding of the Earth and the universe in which we live.

Selected by a competitive peer-review process, NPP fellows complete one- to three-year fellowships that offer scientists and engineers unique opportunities to conduct research in fields of science relevant to NASA.

These opportunities advance NASA’s missions in earth science, heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary science, astrobiology, space bioscience, aeronautics and engineering, human exploration and operations, and space technology. Opportunities are available at NASA centers and other NASA-approved sites.

As a result, NPP fellows contribute to national priorities for scientific exploration, confirm NASA’s leadership in fundamental research and complement the efforts of NASA’s partners in the national science community.

U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents and foreign nationals eligible for J-1 status as a research scholar may apply. Applicants must have completed a doctorate or equivalent degree before beginning the fellowship, but may apply while completing degree requirements. Applicants who earned the Ph.D. more than five years before the deadline date are categorized as senior fellows; all applicants, no matter their category, must apply and become eligible for an NPP award via the same process.

Interested applicants may apply by one of three annual application deadlines: March 1July 1 and November 1.

For more information and application procedures, go to

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to


2015-16 Virginia Space Grant Consortium STEM Bridge Scholarship

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium, or VSGC, is offering renewable scholarships to sophomore undergraduate students studying science, technology, engineering or mathematics, or STEM. The STEM Bridge Scholarships are $1,000 and are available to students who are U.S. citizens from any federally recognized minority group enrolled fulltime at one of the five VSGC member universities: The College of William and Mary, Hampton University, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

The STEM Bridge Program bridges students to future opportunities by mentoring and guiding them to future VSGC scholarships and NASA-related paid internships. The program encourages students to explore how their majors can apply to NASA′s Mission.

This is a competitive program, and awards are based on student academic merit, quality of interest essay as well as letters of recommendation from current college faculty who can attest to students’ interest in STEM areas.

The deadline for submitting applications is March 16, 2015.

For more information, visit Please email any questions about this opportunity to


NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s 2015 Faculty Research Program

Applications are currently accepted for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory 2015 Faculty Research Program. This program provides opportunities for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, faculty to engage in research of mutual interest to the faculty member and a JPL researcher. Non-STEM faculty will be considered based on available opportunities.

To be eligible to participate in the program, applicants must hold a full-time appointment at an accredited university or college in the United States. Special requirements for foreign national faculty members apply. Fellows are required to submit research reports and present their work at the end of the session.

The program awards $15,500 fellowships for 10-week sessions. Please note that stipend payments or salaries from other federal funding sources, including research grants and contracts, may not be accepted during the 10-week tenure of a JPL faculty research appointment.

The deadline for applications is April 1, 2015. For more information about this opportunity, visit

Inquiries about NASA’s JPL Faculty Research Program should be directed to the Petra Kneissl-Milanian at


Airport Cooperative Research Program — University Design Competition for Addressing Airport Needs

The Airport Cooperative Research Program is accepting applications for its national competition that engages university students in addressing issues relating to airports and the National Airspace System. The competition, managed by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium, challenges individuals and teams of undergraduate and/or graduate students working with faculty advisors at U.S. colleges and universities to consider innovative approaches related to airport issues. 

The competition focuses on design solutions in the following broad areas: airport operation and maintenance, runway safety/runway incursions/runway excursions, airport environmental interactions, and airport management and planning. Some specific challenge areas are defined in the Technical Design Challenges section of the guidelines. Students are not limited to the suggested topical areas listed. They are free to propose design solutions based on other topics that fit the four broad challenge areas.

Students can win cash prizes for their winning innovative design solutions. First place winners will present their work at a national award ceremony in summer 2015.

Submissions are due April 30, 2015.

For more information, including eligibility requirements and application materials, visit Please email any questions about this opportunity to


2020 Electric General Aviation NASA Aeronautics Design Challenge

Electric-powered aircraft have the potential to revolutionize the way we travel. NASA invites college teams to take part in the 2015 NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate’s 2020 Electric General Aviation Design Challenge. Student teams are invited to design an electric (i.e., no combustion) general aviation aircraft that meets performance requirements and is operational by 2020.

The contest is open to teams of full-time students enrolled in higher education institutions of the United States or its territories. This category includes universities, colleges, trade schools, community colleges, professional schools, etc. Multidisciplinary teams are encouraged.

Letters of intent will be accepted through Jan. 16, 2015. Final entries are due May 8, 2015.

For more information and a complete list of rules, visit

Questions about the challenge should be directed to Elizabeth Ward at

SpaceRef staff editor.