Status Report

NASA Solicitation: Research Opportunities in Fundamental Physics

By SpaceRef Editor
July 15, 2011
Filed under ,

Synopsis – Jul 14, 2011
General Information
Solicitation Number: NNH11ZTT001N
Posted Date: Jul 14, 2011
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Jul 14, 2011
Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No
FedGrants Posted Date: Jul 14, 2011
Application Due Date Explanation: STEP 1 proposals are due on SEPTEMBER 7, 2011 and INVITED STEP-2 proposals are due on NOVEMBER 4, 2011
Classification Code: A — Research and Development
NAICS Code: 541712 – Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (except Biotechnology)

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: 5
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


Description This NRA solicits fundamental physics research proposals from U.S. investigators to participate in planned European Space Agency (ESA) research activities on the International Space Station (ISS). These ESA activities are the Space Optical Clock (SOC) project, the Quantum Weak Equivalence Principle (QWEP) project, and the Atomic Clock Ensemble in Space (ACES) project. This solicitation (NRA NNH11ZTT001N), entitled, “Research Opportunities in Fundamental Physics,” will be available on or about August 1, 2011. This solicitation will be found by opening the NASA Research Opportunities homepage at and then linking through the menu listings “Solicitations” to “Open Solicitations.”

Fundamental physics is standing at the precipice of dramatic discoveries. Last century’s major scientific insights represented by the theories of general relativity and quantum mechanics are known to be mutually incompatible. The lack of a theory to unify all natural forces including gravity indicates the incompleteness of the Standard Model and General Relativity. In addition, there is clear evidence for dark energy and dark matter from astrophysical observations. While NASA’s Science Mission Directorate plans to study dark matter and dark energy through observational means, and to seek clues to when General Relativity might fail through studies of physics in the strong gravity environment near black holes, the establishment of new physical understanding beyond current known theories remains elusive. Nonetheless, the new physics is expected to lead to breakdowns of the well-established theories with verifiable experimental consequences. Recent technology advancement in optical clocks, atom interferometers and Bose Einstein Condensates has demonstrated a radical improvement in measurement precision, putting experimentalists within striking range of reaching the experimental sensitivity where breakdown of these theories may occur and important new discoveries made. It is clear that laboratory physics can contribute greatly to this quest for new physics in the 21st century by utilizing carefully conceived experiments with unprecedented resolution on the ISS, such as the planned ESA SOC, QWEP and ACES projects.

Proposers must show a clear connection between their proposed activities to the planned ESA SOC, QWEP and ACES ISS projects. Proposals, including Step-1 proposals that do not provide this clear connection will be evaluated as “not relevant

Proposals submitted in response to this NRA will use a two-step process. 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 September 7, 2011, and Step-2 proposals will be due on or around November 4, 2011. 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.

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 organizational representative(s) who will submit the electronic proposal. Instructions on how to register in NSPIRES is described 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) of interest to familiarize themselves with its structure and enter the requested information. Questions in regards 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. Points of Contact For programmatic information for the NASA Fundamental Physics NRA: Dr. Francis Chiaramonte Program Executive NASA Headquarters Email: Phone: 202-358-0693

For technical information for the NASA Fundamental Physics NRA: Dr. Ulf Israelsson NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Email: Phone: 818-354-9255

For contract information for the Fundamental Physics NRA Margaret Easter Contracting Officer 818-354-5354

Point of Contact

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

Name: Ulf Israelsson
Title: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Phone: 818-354-9255
Fax: 000-000-0000

SpaceRef staff editor.