MOSAICS – formerly known as the SMD Bridge Program

We have a new name, that more accurately captures the full range of our program. MOSAICS—formerly known as the SMD Bridge Program

Leads with Mentoring
Offers and Expands Funded Research Opportunities
Covers SMD-relevant STEM topics broadly
Academic Institutions are key partners 
Defines Community Success via shared goals of faculty-, student- and NASA- collaborators

MOSAICS are created from many smaller elements, greater than the sum of their parts.

To learn more, please see our Latest Updates

Previous Planning Information

The information below is preserved here for historical reasons now, and will be refreshed when this Website is redesigned (anticipated Summer 2024). For now, please refer to the “Latest Updates” section for accurate information on the current call for proposals.

This page contains Planning Information for the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) Bridge Program Call for Proposals, which is anticipated to appear as a ROSES-24 New Program. The page is organized as follows:

This web page is for information and planning only. The Bridge opportunity and all of its parameters (including eligibility, other requirements, budgets, etc.) will be released as part of ROSES-2024 and that text may differ from what appears here.


The NASA SMD Bridge Program is a new initiative to improve diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) within 1) the NASA workforce and 2) the broader U.S. science and engineering communities.

The program’s primary goal is to develop sustainable partnerships among institutions historically under-resourced by NASA, e.g., Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs)), Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs), Primarily Black Institutions (PBIs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and Community Colleges; and very highly research-intensive universities and NASA Centers or Facilities. These partnerships are expected to focus on paid research and engineering student positions at participating institutions with the goal of transitioning science and engineering students from undergraduate studies into graduate schools and/or employment by NASA or related institutions.

A community workshop was held in October 2022 to engage NASA and potential Bridge partners to understand the current landscape at a variety of under-resourced institutions (URIs) and to co-create the program. Findings from the workshop have provided a foundation for establishing funding opportunities in the Bridge Program.

In addition to strong support for NASA’s intention to solicit full Bridge Partnership proposals via an upcoming call in ROSES-2024 (see planning information), a common theme from the workshop was the need for NASA to also facilitate new potential Bridge partnerships where no NASA collaboration currently exists, through seed funding. Another key theme from the workshop was the importance of strong positive mentorship in developing students into STEM professionals, as well as the impacts of poor mentorship on retention of STEM students. A report from the workshop will be made public in the near future, and be made available on the SMD Bridge Website. Workshop content, including agenda, recordings and presentations may be reviewed at:

In response to this theme, NASA has released the SMD Bridge Seed Funding call for proposals as F.23 in ROSES-2023.

A mentoring plan describing overarching goals for the students, and roles and responsibilities of mentors at the partner institutions, is required. Mentoring models that involve collaboration between faculty and NASA scientists and engineers that engage faculty, as well as students, in current or future Science Mission Directorate (SMD)-funded research are encouraged. Proposals also may include capacity-building efforts at those partner institutions historically under-resourced in the NASA research and engineering enterprise. The student experiences may focus on science, engineering, technology development or computational methods/modeling projects in any science area of relevance to SMD.


Bridge teams that focus on the goal to develop sustainable partnerships among institutions historically under-resourced by NASA may include faculty, students and NASA Center or Project mentors (scientists and/or engineers engaged in NASA research, missions, and/or instrument or technology development). The NASA Center or Project Mentor(s) may play a key, critical role in the mentorship of the students during research experiences, including creating and maintaining a positive, safe and inclusive work environment, partnering with faculty mentors, and connecting students with relevant resources at the Centers.

While research involvement of faculty at under-resourced institutions is encouraged in Bridge proposals, this is not a requirement, since expanding research opportunities to students is the primary focus of the Bridge program. The faculty member may, for example, serve as the member of the mentor cohort responsible for ensuring that the student research experience is well aligned with the academic goals of the student, and that the student makes adequate progress towards graduation.


SMD expects to award ~$5M per year to successful Bridge teams. Proposals can be submitted in four broad funding categories (Small, Medium, Large or Key program), with Small proposal budgets requesting <$70K per year; Medium <$150K per year; and Large < $500K per year. “Key Program” proposals must propose to build a consortium of partner institutions whose goals include increasing the research capacity across multiple participating institutions, with a higher funding level (<$2M per year). For all cost categories, funding duration can range from one to five years.

Funded SMD Bridge teams may support faculty and students in paid research and engineering opportunities appropriate to their career levels, from apprenticeships and internships to graduate research to postdoctoral opportunities to PUI faculty researcher partnerships.

The SMD Bridge Program is multifaceted. Proposals relevant to a specific SMD division, or multiple divisions are eligible. Partnerships may involve any NASA Center or facility or a NASA Science mission. Research experiences eligible for Bridge funding may align with any element(s) described in ROSES, including Divisional research and analysis (R&A) programs, Data Science, technology (e.g., instrument) development, and missions outside of ROSES.

While partnerships with NASA Centers are encouraged, proposals to bridge with a significant NASA-funded project led by a non-NASA organization (such as a Principal Investigator (PI)-led mission with a University) are allowable.

Notional Breakdown of Awards:

ROSES-2023 F.23 SMD Bridge Program Seed Funding

SMD Bridge Program Seed Funding awards are expected to have a budget up to ~$300,000 for a duration of 24 months. These awards are not intended to be a form of long-term support, but to facilitate the development or continuation of partnerships that will lead to future proposals to NASA, such as a full Bridge Partnership proposal, (see in the next one to three years. The expected total program budget for new awards ~$2-4M/Year, to be awarded to up to 30 teams, pending adequate proposals of merit.

ROSES-2024 F.20 SMD Bridge Program Seed Funding

We anticipate continued support for seed funding in 2024 as ROSES-2024 F.20 (please note the change from F.23 in 2023 to F.20 in 2024).

ROSES-2024 SMD Bridge Program (Due dates TBD)

Please check back for more information on the Full Bridge Program.


Proposals must be relevant to a science objective(s) of one or more SMD Divisions, Offices, and/or missions. Bridge teams may include scientists and engineers supporting archived, operational and/or developing NASA flight missions to provide authentic student work experiences with NASA experts, facilities and resources. Bridge teams may include scientists and engineers who support instrument and technology development for future NASA missions.

Additional Information:

A yearly symposium or similar event, to bring together current as well as potential Bridge participants is anticipated. This event may be fully virtual, in person or hybrid depending on circumstances. The first symposium may occur shortly after selectable Bridge programs begin to receive funding. The goals of the symposium will be to connect Bridge teams to each other and offer opportunities for faculty, students and NASA Center or Project mentors to network, share experiences, foster new collaborations and communicate with each other.

Questions and Updates:

Questions may be addressed via email to the SMD Bridge Program. Address emails to Dr. Patricia “Padi” Boyd, Bridge Program Director, Science Mission Directorate, NASA, Washington, DC 20546. Emails may be acknowledged individually, and when appropriate responses will be posted a Questions and Answers (Q&A) on this site. Anonymity of persons or institutions submitting questions will be preserved.

Updates to this information will be posted on this site.

Questions about the SMD Bridge Program should be directed to Padi Boyd via the SMD Bridge Program and please cc

Keep Exploring

Discover More Topics From NASA