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. 


A full description of calls for research proposals can all be found in the SMD omnibus solicitation called Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Science (ROSES). ROSES, other solicitations, and community announcements are available on the Funding Opportunities Page, including an RSS feed for the latest clarifications, corrections, and amendments to ROSES. Additionally, there are periodic updates in the form of a letter from SARA. To simplify the process for proposers, there is a How to Guide and useful links found in the For Researchers Library. Early career researchers are encouraged to volunteer to serve as a reviewer, either using the Volunteer for Review Panels form or by sending an email to SARA. Research program specific questions should be directed to the relevant program officer on the Program Officers List.

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 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