Status Report

Second Education-Focused ISS National Lab Research Announcement and Webinar

By SpaceRef Editor
April 20, 2021
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The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) today released a second research announcement in support of programs, products, and public-private partnerships focused on educational objectives. The ISS National Lab Research Announcement (NLRA) 2021-8: Leveraging the ISS National Lab to Enable Digital Engagement and Higher Education, Cycle Two is open to U.S.-based entities seeking to establish or expand programs and products for students of all ages, particularly those from underserved communities. Earlier this year, CASIS announced an initial education research announcement, which received a robust response. With this second announcement, CASIS hopes to identify additional novel ideas that will drive unique curriculum development to engage the next generation of researchers and explorers.

CASIS will host an informational webinar on April 28, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. EDT to review the objectives of the research announcement, discuss educational opportunities related to the ISS National Lab and low Earth orbit, and answer questions from potential proposers.


Current CASIS education partners include more than 40 organizations in the Space Station Explorers Consortium that bring the excitement of space-based research to students, parents, and educators through standards-aligned curriculum, interdisciplinary programs, and even student-launched investigations.

Through this latest research announcement, we seek to grow our existing ISS National Lab educational programming. Please note that the emphasis of this announcement is not on potential flight projects that would launch to the orbiting laboratory under sponsorship of the ISS National Lab.

Concepts submitted in response to this research announcement must specifically state how proposed initiatives will target and reach underrepresented demographics—and must also address at least one of the following goals:

  • Expanding the Space Station Explorers Consortium and offerings to increase participation in and/or digital engagement with existing or new partner programs
  • Creating higher-education initiatives that enable students to explore education and career opportunities associated with space-based research and development or the growing economy in low Earth orbit
  • Digitizing space-themed K-12 or higher-education programming

This research announcement will follow a two-step proposal submission process. Before being invited to submit a full proposal, all interested investigators must submit a Step 1 Concept Summary for review. All Step 1 Concept Summaries are due May 17, 2021.

To learn more about this opportunity, please visit our research announcement webpage, where you can find all information related the research announcement, including how to submit a Step 1 Concept Summary for review. 

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SpaceRef staff editor.