New Science Plan Released

All members of the community are encouraged to read the new Science Plan, Science 2020-2024: A Vision for Scientific Excellence, which may be downloaded at https://science.nasa.gov/about-us/science-strategy.

NASA leads the nation on a great journey of discovery, seeking new knowledge and understanding of our planet Earth, our Sun and solar system, and the universe out to its farthest reaches and back to its earliest moments of existence. NASA recognizes the scientists and engineers who utilize science data, are at the center of it all.

The For Researchers section of the Science website hosts the Science Data webpage, the home for NASA’s Science data and computing resources. Researchers will also find information on resources for the Research and Analysis Program, solicitation, submission, and the ROSES peer review process.

The following webpages are designed for NASA researchers who use NASA science data and plan to propose or have submitted a proposal to a research solicitation from the Science Mission Directorate (SMD).

Cosmic starlet known as the Helix Nebula that resembles a teal eye with a red pupil.
This is a Spitzer image of the Helix Nebula, a cosmic starlet often photographed by amateur astronomers for its vivid colors and eerie resemblance to a giant eye.

NAC Science Committee

The NASA Advisory Council Science Committee is a standing committee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC), supporting the advisory needs of the NASA Administrator, SMD, and other NASA Mission Directorates, as required. The scope of the Committee includes all NASA Earth and space science-related programs, projects, activities and facilities. 

Science Data

Currently, SMD stores over 100 Petabytes (PB) of observational and model data. Within 5 years, all four Science Divisions are projected to generate over 100PB of data per year and continue to grow rapidly as new missions are launched and new models are run. This anticipated growth of SMD's science archives presents unique opportunities for new scientific discovery as well as significant challenges for data management, curation, access, analysis, maintenance of provenance, and computing.

Research and Analysis Program

SMD Research, Analysis and technology development is being conducted by scientists, engineers, and educators from NASA centers, universities, nonprofits, other Government laboratories, and for profit corporations all across the U.S. SMD solicits proposals for projects covering a very wide range of subjects and evaluates proposals by peer review. On these pages you may learn more about funding opportunities, information about prior proposals that were selected, and find points of contact for our various research programs. For information about the research opportunities for the NASA Postdoctoral Program, please see the NASA Postdoctoral Program page. 


SMD funds research and technology development primarily through the omnibus solicitation called Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Science (ROSES), which is made up of many different calls for proposals, each with its own topics and due date. Starting in mid February of 2021 http://solicitation.nasaprs.com/ROSES2021table3 will display all of the ROSES-21 calls for proposals, organized by science "division" and the titles are hypertext links that will take you to the NSPIRES page for that particular call for proposals. We have a FAQ for ROSES, some ROSES selection statistics, and a blog for amendments, clarifications, and corrections to ROSES. ROSES, other solicitations, and community announcements may be found on the Funding Opportunities Page. You may want to visit the "library" which has PDFs of SMD policies and links to talks about proposal writing, good resources for early career folks and/or people who have less experience writing proposals for NASA. Early career researchers are encouraged to volunteer as a peer reviewer, visit the New PI resources page, and the "how to" guide may be useful. Questions about the technical content of ROSES program elements should be directed to the relevant program officer on the Program Officers List. For those new to the NSPIRES web interface for submitting proposals, there are some walk throughs on the NSPIRES hints page and we now have web pages devoted to Dual-Anonymous Peer Review  (DAPR) and the programs in planetary science with No Due Date (NoDD).

What is "SARA"?

On occasion people ask what does "SARA" stand for? The history is this: back in 2007 when Alan Stern became the Associate Administrator (AA) for Science he decided a single person should be devoted exclusively to the research program and called that position the Senior Advisor for Research and Analysis (acronym SARA). Given his proclivity for nicknames, Alan started referring to the first person to hold this position, Yvonne Pendleton, by the acronym, e.g., "Write to SARA". While this could occasionally cause confusion, since people thought that was her name, one suspects that just amused him. There have been many AAs since then and things have been rearranged a bit, now there is a "Deputy Associate Administrator for Research" (Michael New) and Max Bernstein is the SMD "Lead for Research" (i.e., SARA), but the email address and URL had become known, so they were not changed. Using the generic "SARA" rather than naming an individual has the advantage that when someone else takes over this position nothing need change.

Please direct questions or corrections on this page to SARA@nasa.gov