STEM Engagement – Biological and Physical Sciences

Launching the Next Generation of Scientists

We are committed to providing educational opportunities for students interested in pursuing professional experiences in the life science disciplines. Our programs range from intensive on-site programs for high school students to fellowships made available in our postdoctoral research programs designed to advance NASA missions in Space Biology.

Group of students assembled in a spacious control center.

The Space Life Sciences Training Program (SLSTP)

At NASA we have a commitment to educate and inspire the next generation of scientists.
The Space Life Sciences Training Program (SLSTP) enables 10 college students a year to join us on the NASA Ames where they can get hands-on, real world experience working on scientific investigations. Each summer, junior and senior college students solicit research partners, work with mentors, and design a personal research project to explore over a 10-week period. Please note: SLSTP study opportunities are available to US citizens, only.

NPP: the NASA Postdoctoral Program

For international and US research scientists who have completed their doctoral programs, the NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) offers unique research opportunities to engage in ongoing NASA research projects with NASA senior scientists at a NASA Center, NASA Headquarters, or at a NASA-affiliated research institute. NPP fellowships are administered by USRA. These one-year fellowships are renewable in one-year increments, for up to three years.
Learn more about applying for an NPP Fellowship


For high school and college students interested in pursuing internship and research fellowships, check out the opportunities at NASA on OSSI, our one-stop shopping initiative.

GL4HS: GeneLab for High School Students

Next-gen tools for the next generation of scientists. Each year 10 Bay Area juniors and seniors have the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge omics research using open science data on GeneLab. Over the course of three weeks, NASA scientists mentor high school students as they come up with a hypothesis, analyze GeneLab databases, and research the results. Students gain invaluable experience performing real science while collecting and analyzing complex biological data such as genetic codes, using methods including computational biology and bioinformatics.
For more information or to participate visit the GeneLab for High School Students

Blue Marble

Scientists interested in pursuing advanced degrees following their first four years of college are invited to participate in NASA’s post-baccalaureate research program, Blue Marble. After earning their bachelors degree, and prior to enrolling in a Masters program, students have the opportunity to perform guided research with NASA scientists, acquire real-world lab experience, contribute to published research, and earn publication citations.

Space Radiation Studies

Scientists studying the effects of radiation on human space flight can conduct research on radiation interactions at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory in Brookhaven, Long Island.

NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest

It takes a bold vision to turn the idea of space settlement into a reality. Each year NASA sponsors a Space Settlement Contest for students from around the world to develop their ideas for space settlement designs. Grand prize-winners receive $3000.

For more information about educational opportunities ranging from internships for college undergraduates to postdoctoral fellowships, visit the Space Biosciences education page.

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