Funding Opportunities: Grant Solicitations



Future Solicitations


Community Announcements

Spitzer Space Telescope Extended Operations Request for Information

The Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is seeking information from parties who are interested in operating the Spitzer Space Telescope, including defining and executing a Spitzer science program, beyond the timeframe of the NASA-funded mission not using NASA funding. The Astrophysics Division of SMD has committed support for Spitzer operations through March 2019. If no engineering impediments arise we expect that current Spitzer operations could continue through September 2019 and operations beyond September 2020 should be possible for the lowest data volume observing modes. The FY18 cost of Spitzer operations, without direct science data analysis funding for the Guest Observer (GO) program and Deep Space Network (DSN) support, is $14 million. Responses to this Request for Information are sought from all interested domestic parties.

The full text of the Request for Information (RFI), including instructions for submitting a response, may be found at

Responses must be sent by 4 pm eastern time on November 17, 2017 to Jeffrey Hayes at

NASA SMD seeks Nominations for COPAG Executive Committee

SMD’s Astrophysics Division has issued an open call for nominations, including self-nominations, to serve on the Executive Committee of NASA’s Cosmic Origins Program Analysis Group, or COPAG. In the coming months, NASA anticipates making at least three new appointments to the COPAG Executive Committee to replace current members who will be rotating off the committee. Appointments will be for a period of three years for each selected candidate.

The current NASA Cosmic Origins (COR) mission portfolio includes: Hubble, Spitzer, SOFIA, Herschel, and a variety of missions with rich archival data holdings. In about one year, the James Webb Space Telescope will be added to this portfolio. COR also has strong thematic interest in the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) mission, currently in formulation. In addition, several of the ongoing mission concept studies in preparation for the 2020 Decadal Survey are relevant to COR science objectives.

The COPAG is an open, interdisciplinary forum that provides a conduit for community input into NASA’s COR Program and for conducting analyses in support of science objectives and their implications for planning of Program activities. All interested members of the community are invited to participate in the COPAG. The COPAG is led by an Executive Committee (EC), whose membership is chosen to reflect the range of scientific disciplines and interests represented in COR. The current EC Chair serves on the Astrophysics Subcommittee. Together, the COPAG EC and the Chair are responsible for capturing and organizing community input, overseeing COPAG analyses, identifying and prioritizing technology needs for future missions, reporting COPAG findings and inputs to the Astrophysics Subcommittee, and keeping the scientific community apprised of ongoing activities and opportunities within NASA’s Cosmic Origins Program. Detailed information about the structure and function of the COPAG can be found on the web at

Nominations, including self-nominations, must be submitted via Email to Nominations must include both a cover letter and a one-page curriculum vitae summarizing the nominee’s relevant background and current COPAG-related interests, both bound in a single PDF file. The cover letter should provide a description of the nominee’s area of relevant interests, area(s) of expertise, and qualifications for service on the COPAG EC. The deadline for receipt of nominations is November 3, 2017, with announcement of selections anticipated by early December 2017.

Nominations will only be accepted for scientists who reside at a U.S. Institution for the period of the service. There is no restriction on citizenship. For fall 2017, nominations from highly qualified individuals who are in the early stages of their careers are strongly encouraged.

Request for Information: Possible NASA Astrophysics SmallSats

Response due: November 30, 2017

Through RFI NNH17ZDA010L the Astrophysics Division seeks SmallSats mission concepts in two separate topic areas that could fulfill NASA astrophysics science goals as described in the 2014 NASA Science Plan.

Topic 1 ("Science Mission Concepts"), would capitalize on the creativity in the astrophysics community to envision compelling missions advancing compelling astrophysics science that can be realized involving small satellites (SmallSats) at a cost between that of Astrophysics CubeSats, which are currently solicited through the Astrophysics Research and Analysis (APRA) element of the Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) NASA Research Announcement, and Astrophysics Explorers Small Complete Missions, which are currently solicited as Astrophysics Explorers Missions of Opportunity.

Topic 2 ("Advanced Technology Concepts"), solicits ideas for advanced mission concepts advancing compelling astrophysics science and involving SmallSats for which significant investments in instrument and/or spacecraft technologies would be required. Advanced concept missions are defined to be beyond the horizon of near-term solicitations. Such mission concepts are not limited by cost but rather by their realization using small satellites.

The information in response to Topic 1 will be used to inform NASA’s program planning, including consideration of whether to competitively solicit NASA-funded U.S. SmallSats as astrophysics science missions. In addition, the information in response to both Topics 1 and 2 will be used to help craft new topics for future technology solicitations in the Science Mission Directorate and the Space Technology Mission Directorate.

Responses to this RFI may be provided by November 30, 2017 as PDF of no more than 5 pages uploaded via NSPIRES in response to NNH17ZDA010L. For more information about this RFI and detailed instructions on how to respond please download the Request for Information: Possible NASA Astrophysics SmallSats (.PDF)

After reading the full text of NNH17ZDA010L, questions may be directed to Dr. Michael R. Garcia at (subject line to read "Question on Astrophysics SmallSat RFI"). Responses to all inquiries will be answered via Email and also posted to a FAQ under "Other documents" on the NSPIRES page for this RFI. Anonymity of persons/institutions who submit questions will be preserved.

Visiting Astrophysics Program Scientists at NASA Headquarters – by December 1, 2017

The Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. is seeking one or more visiting Ph.D.-level scientists to serve as Program Scientists. NASA Program Scientists have broad responsibility for developing and maintaining scientific research grants programs; serving as the Headquarters science lead for one or more missions; and overseeing NASA’s concept studies for the 2020 Decadal Survey. They have substantial influence over high-level strategic planning, as well as over shaping the long-term scientific direction of missions and programs that they oversee. These visiting appointments, which last two years with renewals up to six years, offer a tremendous opportunity to gain insight into Federal astrophysics policy and programs, to better understand the proposal review process, and to run scientific programs with multimillion-dollar budgets.

The time spent at NASA Headquarters allows visiting scientists excellent career growth: some return to their home institutions to continue academic research, while others move on to management and leadership positions in the Federal government, academia, at observatories, or in the non-profit sector. Training and mentoring programs are available, on both a formal and informal basis, which further enables our visiting scientists to advance their careers. NASA also offers its visiting scientists regular travel back to their home institutions.

Most Program Scientists in the Astrophysics Division have at least 6 years of post-PhD experience. The ideal candidate will be skilled at working in a collaborative team environment; will be able to adapt to work simultaneously on numerous programs and missions; and will be able to foster productive relationships with staff working on the space missions they oversee, and with the US astrophysics community at large. Disciplinary expertise in one or more areas of the astrophysics program (e.g., theory, data analysis, technology and instrument development, mission development) is essential, but the ability to place this knowledge in the broad context of US astrophysics is equally important for the success of the Division’s programs.

Visiting appointments are most often filled via the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) which requires current employment with an eligible US institution for at least 90 days. Individual research time while serving as a visiting scientist is negotiable. Positions are available from May 2018, though the start date is flexible. Applicants should email a curriculum vitae and cover letter as a single PDF file by December 1, 2017 to For more information about the position, please contact Dr. Daniel Evans at