Space Grant FAQ
See also EPSCoR FAQ and Awards FAQ.
Space Grant Citizenship Eligibility Questions
- Are Permanent Residents eligible for Space Grant and/or NASA EPSCoR funding? NASA Space Grant programs require US Citizenship. Permanent Residents are not eligible for direct support. NASA EPSCoR programs do not have any citizenship requirements.
- Can non-US citizens be mentors of supported US students (as long as the mentor does not receive direct support)? Yes.
- Can non-US citizen time be used as match (since they are not allowed to receive direct support)? No, match funds must meet the same criteria as the grant funds.
- Can non-US citizens be co-PIs (as long as they do not receive direct support)? Yes. To clarify, non-U.S. citizens can participate in any activities as long as they do not receive any direct support or their efforts are not counted as match. The citizenship requirement only applies to Space Grant. There are no such restrictions on EPSCoR.
- In the eligibility section it says US citizenship is required. Is the requirement for the fellowship only or for all Space Grant proposals? Recipients of direct support for all proposals under Space Grant Consortium programs must be US Citizens. NASA EPSCoR programs do not have any citizenship requirements.
- I expect to receive my permanent residency next year, but it will take another 5 years before I can apply for citizenship. Is it possible for the recipient of a graduate fellowship or undergraduate scholarship to be a US citizen, with a non-US PI/mentor? Recipients of direct support for all proposals under Space Grant Consortium programs must be US Citizens.
- Is it possible for non-US faculty to submit a joint proposal with another Faculty? Yes, non-US faculty may be PIs or Co-PIs on proposals. However, recipients of direct support for all proposals under Space Grant Consortium programs must be US Citizens.
General Space Grant Questions
- I am a graduate student at XYZ University. I am very interested in doing research that directly relates to NASA projects, however, I am unaware of any program at XYZU that supports this. The NASA KY website lists KY Space Grant Affiliate Institutions and Representatives on the Space Grant webpage (nasa.engr.uky.edu/space-grant/). Please contact your campus representative to help you connect with faculty involved in NASA-related research at your institution.
Proposals for Graduate Fellowships are submitted by a faculty PI who will mentor/advise the student. You will need to work together to define a research plan and assemble the required proposal elements.
- Does XYZU need to be a member of the Space Consortium in order for me to apply for a Grant or do I need to have the Research Grant office at XYZU contact the Consortium? For NASA KY Space Grant programs, only KY Space Grant Affiliate Institutions may apply for funding. Non-affiliates may partner with Affiliates to submit joint proposals. The list of Affiliates and Representatives is on the KY Space Grant webpage. Institutions interested in becoming Affiliates should contact Dr. Suzanne Smith at email@example.com.
For NASA EPSCoR programs, any institution of higher education in Kentucky may apply for funding.
- I am a teacher at ABC K-12 school interested in adding space related materials to my clubs and classes. Does ABC need to be a member of the Space Consortium in order for me to apply for a grant? For NASA KY Space Grant programs, only KY Space Grant Affiliate Institutions may apply for funding. Non-affiliates may partner with Affiliates to submit joint proposals. The list of Affiliates and Representatives is on the KY Space Grant webpage. Institutions interested in becoming Affiliates should contact Dr. Suzanne Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For NASA EPSCoR programs, only institutions of higher education in Kentucky may apply for funding.
- Does a match of 0.5:1 mean NASA Kentucky will fund $0.50 for every $1.00 my institution provides, or vice versa? 0.5:1 ($CS:$Award) means that $0.50 of cost-share (non-federal funds, in-kind, etc.) will be provided by the proposing institution for every $1.00 of funding awarded.
- One of our faculty is planning to submit a RIA proposal. What indirect cost rate will these grants allow? For the Space Grant programs where indirect costs are allowed (including RIA), full indirect costs may be included or reduced indirect costs may be negotiated with your institution (and any unrecovered amount can be used as cost-share).
- Are any indirect costs allowed on GF, US, TP? For Space Grant programs where indirect costs are not allowed, they may not be included. For these programs, the indirect costs are precluded by NASA, so they may not be used as match. However, unrecovered indirect costs on subrecipient direct cost-share may be used as cost-share.
- Mini-Grants (MG) – in the past Teacher Workshops were a category, now the emphasis seems to be on pre-college students? MG category is meant to be broad enough to cover what the Campus Objective Grants (COGs) used to cover including teacher workshops and recruiting activities. For example, bringing a group of teachers and students to campus and to a NASA-related scientific site. Involve institution recruiters as needed. Could be observatory upgrade combined with outreach program. NASA current emphasis is on reaching middle school students and teachers. We are open to any K-12 outreach.
- Mission Directorates and Office of the Chief Technologist (MD/OCT) – how do we know what is aligned with a particular MD/OCT? General descriptions of the Mission Directorates and Office of the Chief Technologist are available on nasa.engr.uky.edu/space-grant/ under Additional Resources, or go to NASA Mission Directorates and explore each MD or OCT. Research topics do not need to be aligned with a specific mission. Identify the MD or OCT umbrella that includes the proposed research area. Please note the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) is newly created and NASA proposal guidance does not yet reflect this change. Refer to NASA Mission Directorates for description of STMD.
- GF – stipend limit of $18k lower than usual PhD candidate stipend at my institution? Support the student for less than 12 months or the institution may submit documentation supporting the higher stipend as consistent with the institution’s policies and practices. The total GF may not exceed $30,000.
- Equipment – not allowed on any Space Grant programs as direct cost or cost share? Equipment is not allowed as direct cost or cost share. NASA federal guidelines consider anything more than $5000 to be equipment and less than $5000 to be materials and supplies. The proposing institution may set lower limits defining equipment vs. materials and supplies. Submitted proposals must be consistent with the PI institution’s policies and practices.
- Is a letter from a NASA Collaborator required for a GF proposal? A main goal of all NASA Kentucky programs is to establish connections with NASA researchers. The graduate student fellowship proposal should include a plan to visit your collaborator at NASA or at a conference to discuss the project. The letter you include from them will confirm their interest in the research and commitment to such a visit/meeting. In order to be a competitive submission, a letter should be included. Letters that indicate support are preferred. See below for the difference between letters of support and letters of endorsement.
- What is the difference between a letter of endorsement and a letter of support from a NASA Collaborator? A letter of support should include a substantive commitment to participate in the proposed research project, specific plans for regular communications, and an invitation to visit the NASA center or facility. For the Space Grant programs, letters of affirmation or endorsement – “I am familiar with the Professor’s work and I think the proposed research is a great idea” – are accepted but viewed less favorably than letters of support.
- How do I find a NASA Collaborator if I do not already have one? Each NASA Center has a University Affairs Officer (UAO) who is available to help connect faculty with NASA researchers. Links to the list of contacts are at the bottom of the NASA KY Space Grant and EPSCoR webpages.
On NSPIRES, where NASA research and award announcements are made, you can enter keywords from your area and find NASA technical researchers who share your interests. Calling them to talk about your research may lead to the support letter you need for a submission. When talking to researchers there – if it’s not their particular area – they can recommend others who are more aligned with your work.
- For GF and US proposals, is a student letter or essay on NASA interests required? No.
- Is there a Space Grant Abstract word count limit? 200-300 words.
- The guidelines list NASA KY SG strategic themes and NASA areas of emphasis. Should submissions address how they will be aligned with these (or any applicable ones) as well? The strategic themes and current areas of emphasis are provided as additional information, not requirements. Discussion of how the proposed activities align with these themes will strengthen a proposal if the fit is naturally occurring as opposed to a forced fit.
- Are pre-award costs allowed? Pre-award costs are possible, but are not automatic. Pre-award costs up to 90 days, must be requested and approved in advance, and approved by the NASA Kentucky Director prior to the start of any pre-award expenditures. Institutions that incur pre-award costs/expenses are responsible for all costs/expenses if the proposal is not selected or if pre-award requests are not approved.
Dr. Suzanne Weaver Smith, Director
Dr. Janet K. Lumpp, Associate Director
Jacob Owen, Assistant Director
Mark Pittman, Program Manager
NASA Kentucky Space Grant Consortium and EPSCoR Programs
University of Kentucky College of Engineering
112 Robotics Bldg (RMB)
Lexington, KY 40506-0108
Phone: 859-218-6272 (859-218-NASA)