Status Report

NASA [Smd] Due date for Bridge Program Applications Extended to June 1

By SpaceRef Editor
May 20, 2022
Filed under ,

Dear Colleagues,


NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is committed to a culture of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility where all feel welcome, valued, respected, and engaged. The SMD Bridge Program is a new initiative to improve diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility within the NASA workforce and within the U.S. science and engineering community. It aims to increase engagement and partnering between Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), Community Colleges and Primarily Undergraduate-Serving Institutions (PUIs), with other PhD-granting Universities and NASA Centers. It will include paid research and engineering studentships with the goal of enabling and supporting the transition of science and engineering students from undergraduate studies into graduate programs and employment by NASA.​ SMD will be facilitating one or more community planning workshops to collaboratively create the Bridge Program with all stakeholders over the next several months.


In this letter, SMD is soliciting applications from interested individuals in the community for participation as members of the SMD Bridge Program Workshop Organizing Committee. Non-civil servant committee members will be compensated for their time through an honorarium. The Committee will help set workshop agenda(s), reach out to invited and contributed speakers, and provide guidance on the effective recruitment and engagement from potential stakeholders at all career levels, from student to institutional administrators. 


The application material should consist of:


·    A two-page cover letter including (1) the reasons for the applicant’s interest in the SMD Bridge Program Workshop Organizing Committee, and (2) the skills, perspective and experience that the applicant brings to the Committee;

·    A short statement of commitment to perform the tasks assigned to the Committee within the allocated timeframe; and

·    A one- or two-page resume including relevant experience and/or interest in building long-lasting partnerships between students, mentors, MSIs/HBCUs/TCUs/PUIs and NASA Centers, or involvement in other programs whose goal is increasing diversity within the U.S. science and engineering communities relevant to the NASA workforce. 


Applications are solicited from individuals at U.S.-based research and academic institutions, including HBCUs, MSIs, PUIs, and community colleges, Government laboratories, and industry, from participants or leaders from Minority Serving Organizations (e.g., SACNAS, NSBP) and from private individuals. Applicants in any NASA SMD science or mission area, STEM higher education, anthropology or sociology or any relevant discipline will be considered. Applicants at any career stage with expertise and drive to build long-lasting partnerships between students, mentors, HBCUs/MSIs and NASA Centers to increase diversity within the U.S. science and engineering communities, including the NASA workforce, are encouraged to apply. Applicants with backgrounds, training and/or certification in creating inclusive STEM work and learning environments are particularly encouraged.


SMD Bridge Program Workshop Organizing Committee members will be selected so that the committee has members at all career levels, with expertise in science areas relevant to all SMD Divisions, experience leading or participating in Bridge Programs or similar programs with consistent goals and building supportive student/mentor cohorts within and outside of academia.


SMD will accept additional suggestions for membership from the community at large, including NASA Centers. The SMD Bridge Program Director will appoint the members after consulting with other members of the Science Mission Directorate, as appropriate. The Committee Chair will be appointed from the Committee membership.


The due date for Applications for SMD Bridge Program Workshop Organizing membership have been extended; applications are now due 11:59 PM EDT June 1, 2022. Only email applications of a single PDF file will be accepted. Please submit your application via email to


Please visit for further details, including the anticipated time commitment, and the expected goals of the workshop.


SMD reserves the right to cancel the “Dear Colleague Letter” at any time should programmatic and/or other reasons warrant it.


Questions about SMD Bridge Program Workshop Organizing Committee may be addressed to Dr. Padi Boyd, SMD Bridge Program Director, at  

SpaceRef staff editor.