Status Report

Release of NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate – Early Career Faculty (80HQTR21NOA01-21ECF_B1)

By SpaceRef Editor
February 8, 2021
Filed under , ,

Notices of Intent Due: February 24, 2021

Proposals Due: March 24, 2021


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Headquarters has released a solicitation, titled Early Career Faculty (ECF), as an appendix to the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) umbrella NASA Research Announcement (NRA) titled “Space Technology Research, Development, Demonstration, and Infusion-2021 (SpaceTech-REDDI-2021), on February 4, 2021.  The solicitation is available by visiting the URL:


STMD, and the Space Technology Research Grants (STRG) Program in particular, seek proposals from accredited U.S. universities on behalf of faculty members early in their careers as they conduct space technology research of high priority to NASA’s Mission Directorates and STMD. NASA is seeking proposals that plan to pursue innovative, early-stage space technology research in the topic areas specifically enumerated in the solicitation. Specifically, the proposals must address one of the following three topics:


·         Topic 1 – Advanced Computational Techniques for the Development of Cryogenic Refrigeration Systems

·         Topic 2 – High-Fidelity Emulation of Full-Physics Models in Earth Science

·         Topic 3 – Joining Processes for Shape Memory Alloys to Enable Advanced Structural Applications


Only accredited U.S. universities are eligible to submit proposals on behalf of their outstanding new faculty members who intend to develop academic careers related to space technology. The proposed research must be led by a single, eligible Principal Investigator (PI). The PI must be an untenured Assistant Professor on the tenure track at the sponsoring U.S. university at the time of award. The PI must be a U.S. citizen or have lawful status of permanent residency. The PI must be the primary researcher on the effort; Co-Investigators are not permitted. Collaborators (other than NASA civil servants/JPL) are permitted. See the solicitation for complete requirements regarding eligibility and for definitions and restrictions regarding collaborators. 


A PI may submit only one proposal in response to this appendix.


NASA encourages submission of ECF proposals on behalf of early career faculty members at all U.S. universities and especially encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and persons with disabilities to apply. 


The financial and programmatic support for ECF comes from the Space Technology Research Grants Program within the Space Technology Mission Directorate. Awards are planned to start in October 2021. NASA plans to make approximately 6 awards as a result of this ECF solicitation, subject to the receipt of meritorious proposals. The actual number of awards will depend on the quality of the proposals received; NASA reserves the right to make no awards under this solicitation. Resultant grant awards are up to 3 years in duration and $600K in total value. Awards are planned to start in October 2021.


All proposals must be submitted electronically through NSPIRES or through ( by an authorized organizational representative. Notices of Intent are strongly encouraged by February 24, 2021. Proposals are due on or before March 24, 2021 by 5PM EDT. Detailed submission instructions are provided in the solicitation. Potential proposers and their proposing organizations are urged to familiarize themselves with the submission system(s), ensure they are registered in NSPIRES, and submit the required proposal materials well in advance of the deadline.

Comments and questions may be addressed by e-mail to the Space Technology Research Grants Program, at Responses to inquiries will be answered by e-mail and may also be included in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document located on the NSPIRES page associated with the solicitation; anonymity of individuals/institutions who submit questions will be preserved.


SpaceRef staff editor.