Apr 13, 2009

April 13, 2009

Dear Colleagues,

This is the letter from SARA, a short update for NASA scientists.  A web version of this email, with hypertext links, can be found at and you can also subscribe to the web version of this letter via RSS feed.

In this email I tell you 1) the big thing to watch out for in ROSES 09, 2) warn that submissions through may not be possible, 3) give the latest on NASA spending on conferences, 4) invite you to provide input to an SSB NRC study, and 5) highlight a call for scientists to participate in ESMD field campaigns.

1) Team member participation: I have posted a short FAQ on ROSES 2009, and the solicitation is out, but in particular I really want you to note that in ROSES 2009 we require that investigators confirm their participation via the NSPIRES web page. This will permit us to perform automatic conflict of interest checking. Both proposer and team member will get emails from NSPIRES reminding them that this must be done, and when the participant logs into NSPIRES they will see a prominent link to the page that will allow them to confirm their participation on the proposal.


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2), not: As of June 27th you will not be able to submit ROSES proposals through the website. In fact, many other NASA solicitations will not be appearing on this year, so read your NASA solicitation carefully. This change is being made because the Office of Management and Budget has asked agencies like NASA to employ alternative electronic proposal submission systems to reduce the burden at during the period when proposals associated with the stimulus package are being processed. For more information see Amendment 3 to ROSES 09.

3) The congressional language with the NASA appropriations gave us some relief with regards to our spending cap on conferences.  The limit has been lifted for the participation of NASA civil servants and contractors (and grantees were always exempt) in science and technology conferences, but these expenditures are still being tracked.  Thus, SMD civil servants and contractors will be able to attend appropriate meetings, but SMD is still crafting the policy on the sponsorship of conferences and exhibits.  Stay tuned.

4) The National Academies committee is currently engaged in a study of 'The Role and Scope of Mission-Enabling Activities in NASA's Space and Earth Science Missions' in which they include '... much of NASA’s research and analysis (R&A) programs...theory, modeling, and data analysis; sub-orbital flights and complementary ground-based programs...' so of course SARA is interested and has provided data. You are encouraged to offer input to this group.  Information about the participants can be found on the national academies web page for this committee.

5) Finally, I would like to draw your attention to a special short turn-around call from SMD for field scientists to participate in ESMD field campaigns to study hardware & procedures being developed for human exploration of the moon and Mars. A goal of this program is to test operations and systems for human lunar exploration to help optimize scientific investigations.  NASA is in need of data to support surface science and operations scenarios as it moves forward in its architecture and requirements definition processes for human lunar exploration. Proposals will be due May 11, 2009.  For more information, please see the FSAT call on the SARA solicitations page.

As always, many updates have been made to the SARA web page, including dozens of things on the list of program officer contact information, the latest grant statistics, and grant solicitations. You can now easily keep track of all Amendments, clarifications, and corrections to ROSES 2009 through a convenient ROSES 2009 RSS feed.  For more information on what has changed on the SARA site see:

Max (a.k.a. the SARA)