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SARA : Service and Advice for Research and Analysis

Welcome to the SARA webpage!

NEW! If you are looking for the research opportunities for the NASA post doctoral program, or information about the transition of the program from ORAU to USRA please go to

We are here to provide information about the Data Analysis, Research, and Technology Development programs in NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD). These programs (which we shall hereafter simply refer to as "R&A") are composed of projects being conducted by scientists, engineers, and educators from NASA centers, universities, nonprofits, other Government laboratories, and for profit corporations all across the U.S. We solicit proposals for projects covering a very wide range of subjects and they are evaluated by peer review.  To learn more about what opportunities exist, what projects were funded recently, or what fellowship programs are available, you've come to the right place.

Dr. Max Bernstein serves as SMD’s Lead for Research. He brings to the position a clear understanding of the needs of the community, plus a strong desire to augment the science return from NASA's mission enabling research and data analysis. Frequently heard in town hall meetings is the SMD philosophy that science does not result from the launch of a mission or the collection of data. Science only occurs through the analysis and understanding of that data. Therefore, healthy mission science teams and data analysis programs must accompany every successful mission. The SARA position will support healthy mission science and data programs across the Science Mission Directorate.

The Research and Analysis (R&A) Program

Broadly defined, R&A covers the concept studies that provide the science basis for a mission; the necessary technology and techniques for implementing the mission; the calibration, validation, and analysis of data as a mission is underway; and the analysis of archived data after a mission ends. The ultimate goal is to create new knowledge as we explore the Universe, and to use that knowledge for the benefit of all humankind. A full description of calls for proposals from Astrophysics, Heliophysics, and Earth Science, and Planetary Science can all be found in the SMD omnibus solicitation called Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Science (ROSES). You can keep up on ROSES and other solicitations and community announcements via the solicitations page, including an RSS feed for the latest clarifications, corrections, and amendments to ROSES.

For more information on the activities within the Divisions, including Flight Programs, please visit the SMD home page. For information pertaining to the Science Mission Directorate's organization and leadership, please view the organizational chart.

How to Navigate this website efficiently

This web site serves as a resource for current information about the R&A program, as well as a forum for dialogue with the scientific community. Your input will be of great value. Please send us suggestions. In addition, there will be regular progress updates in the form of a letter from SARA.

Research program specific questions should be directed to the relevant program officer and that information can be found on the Program Officers List. However, if your question is of a more general nature or remains unresolved on a timescale that seems too long to you, please do not hesitate to contact SARA via the contact page. There you will also find an E-mail sign-up form to alert you to updates to this site.

A table of programs and their status can be found at Grant Stats; this page is being developed so some divisions may have more information listed initially than others. Keep watching.

Negative comments are welcome and will be kept strictly confidential. We need your input to know if there are any issues, so please speak freely. At the same time, please include any positive experiences you have had with people or procedures. Your ideas and experiences are extremely valuable. In fact, they will inform future improvements!

We have created a "how to" page to simplify life for proposers, useful links and pdf files can be found in the library, and early career researchers are encouraged to volunteer to serve as a reviewer, either using our volunteer reviewer web forms, or by sending an email to SARA.

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