Status Report

NASA Research Opportunities in Complex Fluids and Macromolecular Biophysics

By SpaceRef Editor
December 17, 2012
Filed under ,

Synopsis – Dec 17, 2012

General Information

Solicitation Number: NNH13ZTT001N
Posted Date: Dec 17, 2012
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Dec 17, 2012
Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No
FedGrants Posted Date: Dec 17, 2012
Application Due Date Explanation: Step-1 proposals are due on February 6, 2013, and invited Step-2 proposals are due on April 10, 2013
Classification Code: A — Research and Development
NAICS Code: 541712

Grant Specific Information

Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement
Funding Instrument Type: Procurement Contract
CFDA Number: 43.003
Cost Sharing or Matching Required: No
Estimated Total Program Funding: not available
Expected Number of Awards: 6
Ceiling Amount: none
Floor Amount: none
Funding Activity: Science and Technology and other Research and Development (ST)
Eligible Applicants: 99 – Unrestricted
Participation is open to all categories of organizations, including educational institutions, industry, nonprofit organizations, NASA centers, and other Government agencies.
Link to Full Announcement:

Contracting Office Address

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Headquarters Acquisition Branch, Code 210.H, Greenbelt, MD 20771


This NRA solicits research proposals from Principal Investigators from U.S. institutions to conduct investigations in two distinct themes, Complex Fluids and Macromolecular Biophysics, aboard the International Space Station. The solicitation (NRA NNH13ZTT001N), entitled “Research Opportunities in Complex Fluids and Macromolecular Biophysics,” will be available on or about December 21, 2012. The solicitation will be found by opening the NASA Research Opportunities homepage at and then linking through the menu listings “Solicitations” to “Open Solicitations.”

NASA’s physical sciences research activities have been guided by recommendations from the National Research Council (NRC). The 2011 NRC Decadal Survey report, “Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era,” recommended a set of high priority areas in Fundamental Physics including complex fluids and soft condensed matter. In addition, the 2003 NRC report, “Assessment of Directions in Microgravity and Physical Sciences Research at NASA,” also recommends microgravity research in this area. To address these recommendations, this NRA solicits Complex Fluids research proposals from Principal Investigators from U.S. institutions to participate in the Advanced Colloids Experiment (ACE) test series; this is the first theme. The ACE will observe the behavior of colloidal systems using a microscope in the microgravity environment of the International Space Station. By performing soft-condensed matter experiments in a microgravity environment, scientists have been able to remove the masking effects of sedimentation, convection, and particle jamming in a timescale not available on Earth. The intent of ACE is to observe colloidal processes, to understand them, and to learn how to control them.

For the second theme, this NRA solicits macromolecular biophysics research proposals from Principal Investigators from U.S. institutions to conduct experiments using the Light Microscopy Module (LMM) and any of the related hardware being developed for the ACE test series, including confocal microscopy. These LMM experiments will observe the mass transport and crystal growth behavior of biological macromolecules on the International Space Station. Removing or greatly reducing the effects of buoyancy-driven convection and sedimentation in microgravity, results in slower, diffusion-controlled molecular transport that can yield larger crystals with fewer defects. This allows for easier molecular structure determination using techniques such as X-ray diffraction. Research areas of particular interest include: transport phenomena in solutions of biological macromolecules, aggregation, nucleation, crystallization and the resultant crystal quality. One important goal of these macromolecular experiments is to determine the fundamental mechanisms governing mass transport and crystal growth.

Proposals submitted in response to this NRA will use a two-step process. Proposers must show a clear connection between their proposed activities and the research emphases outlined in the NRA. Only PIs submitting Step-1 proposals determined to be relevant to the solicited research of this NRA will be invited to submit full Step-2 proposals. Step-1 proposals will be due on or around February 6, 2013, and Step-2 proposals will be due on or around April 10, 2013. Proposals must be submitted by an authorized official of the proposing organization.

Proposals must be submitted electronically. Step-1 proposers can use either NSPIRES (see URL above) or ( ) for proposal submission. Invited Step-2 proposals must be submitted electronically via the NSPIRES proposal data system.

All categories of U.S. institutions are eligible to submit proposals in response to this NRA. Principal Investigators (PIs) may collaborate with investigators from universities, Federal Government laboratories, the private sector, state and local government laboratories and other countries. Collaborative proposals from U.S. institutions that include international participation are eligible, provided NASA policies regarding the conduct of research with non-U.S. organizations are met.

Every organization that intends to submit a proposal in response to this NRA must be registered with NSPIRES, and such registration must identify the authorized organization representative(s) who will submit the electronic proposal. Instructions on how to register in NSPIRES are provided in the NRA. Each electronic proposal system places requirements on the registration of principal investigators and other participants (e.g., co-investigators). Potential proposers and proposing organizations are urged to access the system(s) well in advance of the proposal due date(s) to familiarize themselves with its structure and enter the requested information. Questions with regard to responding to this NRA may be addressed to the contacts referenced in the full solicitation document.

This is a broad agency announcement as specified in FAR 6.102 (d)(2). Notwithstanding the posting of this opportunity at,, or, NASA reserves the right to determine the appropriate award instrument for each proposal selected pursuant to this announcement.

For programmatic information for the NASA Complex Fluids and Macromolecular Biophysics NRA: Dr. Francis Chiaramonte Program Executive NASA Headquarters Email: Phone: 202-358-0693

For technical information for the NASA Complex Fluids and Macromolecular Biophysics NRA: Dr. Brian Motil Chief, Fluid Physics and Transport Branch NASA Glenn Research Center Email: Phone: 216-433-6617

For contract information for the NASA Complex Fluids and Macromolecular Biophysics NRA: Ken Albright Contracting Officer Email: Phone: 228-813-6127

Point of Contact

Name: Francis Chiaramonte
Title: Program Executive
Phone: 202-358-0693
Fax: 202-358-3091

Name: Kenneth Albright
Title: Grants Officer
Phone: 228-813-6127
Fax: 228-813-6434

SpaceRef staff editor.