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Active fellows who obtain a tenure-track, career civil servant, or equivalent position at an institution of their choice during their four-year Development Effort may request up to $200K (inclusive of indirect costs) in laboratory start-up funds (this is in addition to the $300K included in the development effort request). This funding is not guaranteed and is subject to peer review.

The start-up support is intended to aid Fellows in establishing a research group and/or laboratory in their new position, enabling Fellows to continue their NASA-funded investigation. The funds may be used to purchase laboratory equipment, provide salary for the Fellow, as well as students and research associates, and cover other expenses associated with establishing research efforts.  Requests for start-up funds may not include expenses for personnel or activities at collaborating institutions, nor salary costs for other senior personnel.

To request start-up funds, Fellows should provide a short proposal detailing the research group they plan to establish upon starting a tenure-track, career civil servant, or equivalent position. Fellows should submit their proposals for start-up funds through NSPIRES under the sponsorship of the institution at which they have obtained their new position (instructions will be provided to the PI).  The proposal must describe any needed equipment and facilities and anticipated staffing plans (including the role of undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers). The proposal must contain a strategy describing how the Fellow plans to sustain the research group or laboratory over the long term. A detailed budget with a narrative justification is required as part of the proposal. Fellows should also describe how the planned research group would benefit NASA and further its goals.

NASA strongly encourages, but does not require, that the submitting institution contribute to the cost of the proposed project.  Of special interest is support by the employing institution that would provide release time to enable the applicant to concentrate more fully on the activities related to the proposal.  Institutional support of equipment purchase and co-funding of student and/or postdoctoral support would also be recognized as a valuable contribution.  Institutional commitments for laboratory space, matching or startup funds, and other institutional resources required for the proposed work should be included in the proposal.

Proposals for start-up funds may be submitted at any time the Fellow meets the requirements described above.