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Student Programs

For the convenience of students, post-doctoral fellows, young career researchers, and their mentors, this page contains a [growing] list of opportunities. The current list includes summer programs and scholarships for undergraduates and graduate students, post-doctoral fellowships, special programs for early career researchers, faculty members, and senior scientists. Some of these programs occur only at NASA centers, but others are designed to support students or scientists at universities. Some are funded through NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, but many are sponsored either by other directorates within NASA, the NASA Office of Education, or other organizations entirely. Programs that cater to more than one group are listed in both relevant sections. This page will continue to grow over the coming months. Please send information on other opportunities that can be included to help others.

Postdoctoral Opportunities

NAI Postdoctoral Fellowship Program: This program provides opportunities for Ph.D. scientists and engineers of unusual promise and ability to perform research on problems largely of their own choosing, yet compatible with the research interests of NASA and the member teams of the NASA Astrobiology Institute. Like the NPP, the NAI Postdoctoral Program is administered by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). Note that the NAI does not participate in every application/award cycle, so check the ORAU post-doc page for details.

The NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP): One to three year post-doctoral fellowships for highly talented national and international individuals to engage in research at NASA Centers, or at a NASA-affiliated research institution. There are also opportunities via this program to perform science administration work at NASA Headquarters. Although primarily for recent doctoral graduates, ‘senior’ NPP fellowships can also be awarded to researchers who have been active in their field for a substantial amount of time.

Hubble Fellowships: The Hubble Postdoctoral Fellowship Program supports outstanding postdoctoral scientists whose research is broadly related to NASA Cosmic Origins scientific goals as addressed by any of the missions in that program. The research supported by the Hubble Fellowship Program may be theoretical, observational, or instrumental. The fellowships are tenable at U.S. host institutions of the fellows' choice, subject to a maximum of one new fellow per host institution per year. The duration of the fellowship is up to three years: an initial one-year appointment, and two annual renewals contingent on satisfactory performance and availability of NASA funds.

Sagan Fellowship Program: The Sagan Fellowship Program supports outstanding recent postdoctoral scientists to conduct independent research that is broadly related to the science goals of the NASA Exoplanet Exploration area. The primary goal of missions within this program is to discover and characterize planetary systems and Earth-like planets around nearby stars. Fellowship recipients receive financial support to conduct research at a host institution in the US for a period of up to three years (subject to annual review and availability of funds from NASA).

Einstein Fellowship: The Einstein Postdoctoral Fellowship program awards Fellowships to recent Ph.D.s in astronomy, physics, and related disciplines. Einstein Fellows hold their appointments at a Host Institution in the U.S. for research that is broadly related to the science goals of the NASA Physics of the Cosmos program. The proposed research may be observational, instrumental, theoretical, archival or study sources from these missions at other wavelengths. The Fellowship duration is three years (subject to review after the second year and to availability of funds from NASA).

Roman Fellowship: The Roman Technology Fellowship in Astrophysics (RTF) program provides early career researchers the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to lead astrophysics flight instruments/projects and become principal investigators (PIs) of future astrophysics missions; to develop innovative technologies that have the potential to enable major scientific breakthroughs; and to foster new talent by putting early-career instrument builders on a trajectory towards long-term positions. The Fellowship duration is one to five years (subject to a peer review process and availability of funds from NASA).

NASA call for National Space Biomedical Research Institute Postdoctoral Fellowships.

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Graduate Opportunities

NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) program: A program that supports graduate students in basic and applied research in Earth science and space science. Awards of $30,000 per year are made for up to three years. More information and application instructions can be found at the NSPIRES NESSF solicitation page.

NASA Space Technology Research Fellowships (NSTRF): U.S. citizen or permanent resident students that have applied to, have been admitted to, or are already enrolled in, a full-time Master’s or Doctoral degree program at accredited U.S. universities are eligible to apply. More information and application instructions can be found at the NSPIRES NSTRF solicitation page.

Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology (GEST) Graduate Student Fellowship: An up to $34,000 one-year fellowship renewable for one additional year for full-time degree-seeking graduate student in an earth, biological, physical or computer science, mathematics or engineering discipline whose thesis research is aligned with similar research conducted within the GEST Center and NASA Goddard’s Earth Sciences Division.

NASA Science and Technology Institute Summer Scholars Program (NSTI-SSP): A ten-week summer research experience for graduate and undergraduates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines at Minority Institutions.

NASA Harriett G. Jenkins Predoctoral Fellowship Project (JPFP): For members of underrepresented groups (women, minorities, and/or persons with disabilities) pursuing a doctorate and/or master's degree in NASA-related fields.

NASA Planetary Biology Internship Program (PBI): Each year the PBI Program sponsors ten graduate student interns who undertake research at NASA Research Centers or NASA-sponsored laboratories and academic institutions. Students accepted in the PBI program will be expected to carry out research with a NASA-sponsored investigator for eight weeks usually during the summer months. Typical programs in which interns may become involved include: global ecology and remote sensing; microbial ecology and bio-mineralization; advanced life support; origin and early evolution of life.

The National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, Inc. Fellowship: GEM assists underrepresented minority students in obtaining M.S. degrees in engineering and Ph.D. degrees in engineering and the natural and physical sciences.

The National Space Grant College and Fellowship Project: 
The project contributes to the nation's science enterprise by funding research, education, and public service projects through a national network of 52 university-based Space Grant consortia. The consortia fund graduate fellowships and undergraduate scholarships for students pursuing careers in science, mathematics, engineering and technology, or STEM, as well as curriculum enhancement and faculty development.

NASA Graduate Student Researchers Project: The project offers competitive fellowships to U.S. citizens who are pursuing graduate degrees at the Masters and Doctoral levels, at U. S. accredited colleges and universities in areas of science and engineering that support the NASA research and development mission.

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Undergraduate Opportunities

NASA's Planetary Geology and Geophysics Undergraduate Research Program: Undergraduates majoring in geology or related fields take part in an 8-week summer internship program, in which qualified students get to work with a NASA-funded planetary scientist at the scientist's home institution. In the past, sites have included NASA Ames Research Center, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the U.S.G.S. Astrogeology Branch in Flagstaff, Arizona, and many others. Link to application form.

NASA Undergraduate Student Research Program (USRP): Offering undergraduates across the United States mentored internship experiences at NASA Centers and research support facilities. Currently sponsored through the NASA Office of Education, this program is analogous in many ways to the NESSF program sponsored by the Science Mission Directorate.

NASA Science and Technology Institute Summer Scholars Program (NSTI-SSP): A ten-week summer research experience for graduate and undergraduates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines at Minority Institutions.

Motivating Undergraduates in Science and Technology Program (MUST): The MUST Program, which began in 2006, awards scholarships and internships to undergraduate students pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) degrees. Each year, 100 students receive one-year competitive scholarships of up to $10,000 and a paid internship relevant to their chosen field.

NASA Academy: A summer program for junior or senior undergraduates, or first or second year graduate students, at NASA centers (follow these links to the individual Academies at Ames, Glenn, Goddard and Marshall). The program’s goal is to "help guide future leaders of the U.S. Space Program by giving them a glimpse of how the whole system works." A strong network of Academy graduates over the past decade also supports new participants as they begin their careers. http://www.nasa-academy.org

Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program: A competitively selected program designed to support current sophomore and junior undergraduate students to work with scientists at the SETI Institute and at the nearby NASA Ames Research Center on projects spanning the field of astrobiology from microbiology to observational astronomy.

The Lunar and Planetary Science Summer Intern Program: The Lunar and Planetary Institute invites undergraduates with at least 50 semester hours of credit to experience cutting-edge research working one-on-one with a scientist at the LPI or at the NASA Johnson Space Center on a research project of current interest in lunar and planetary science.

The National Space Grant College and Fellowship Project: 
The project contributes to the nation's science enterprise by funding research, education, and public service projects through a national network of 52 university-based Space Grant consortia. The consortia fund graduate fellowships and undergraduate scholarships for students pursuing careers in science, mathematics, engineering and technology, or STEM, as well as curriculum enhancement and faculty development.

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Other

Interdisciplinary National Science Project Incorporating Research and Education Experience (INSPIRE): A multi-tiered year-round program designed for students in ninth- to 12th -grade who are interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM, education and careers. To be eligible applicants must be in ninth- through 12th-grade in the fall 2009 school year (e.g., student finishing eighth-grade in May 2009 can apply for the INSPIRE OLC that will start in the fall of 2009).  Due dates for applications is June 30th.

Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars (VASTS): A 10-week distance learning program for Virginia high school juniors. The 10-week course consists of NASA-based STEM-related curricula. The culmination of the online coursework is a six-day residential summer academy at NASA Langley Research Center.

NASA Academy: The NASA Academy is a unique summer experience at the university level for developing future leaders of the U.S. Space Program. The program is an intensive, resident, ten-week summer experience with laboratory research work, a group project, lectures, meetings with experts and administrators, visits to NASA Centers and space-related industries, technical writing, and presentations. Rising junior, senior undergraduate or at the early graduate level in accredited U.S. college or university as of May of the program year. Must be US citizen or permanent resident (as of May of the program year).

Planetary Science Summer School: This program seeks people who have a keen interest in planetary exploration, and who have completed their graduate work in science or engineering, to engage in an intensive one-week team exercise designed to teach the process of developing a robotic mission.

NASA Administrator’s Fellowship Program (NAFP): For full-time, tenure-track faculty members of a minority institution in a STEM field or those who have expertise in a NASA related field. See also the NASA NAFP page.

Fellowships for Early Career Researchers: To facilitate the integration of new planetary science researchers into the established research funding programs and to provide tools and experience useful when searching for a more advanced (i.e., tenure-track, civil servant, or equivalent) position. Selected Fellows have the opportunity to apply directly to the Early Career Fellowship program for up to 100K in start-up funds when they obtain a tenure-track or equivalent position. Participation is limited to proposers submitting research proposals to planetary science research programs. For more information see the PDF file describing these fellowships.

International Space University: The International Space University provides graduate-level training to the future leaders of the emerging global space community at its Central Campus in Strasbourg, France, and at locations around the world.

We are working to create one location where all programs can be found, but for now we will include additional links where we found more student programs:

http://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/about/index.html

http://university.gsfc.nasa.gov/programs/

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