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NSF/CASIS Collaboration Solicitation (window opens)

Program Title:

NSF/CASIS Collaboration on Tissue Engineering and Mechanobiology on the International Space Station (ISS) to Benefit Life on Earth

Synopsis of Program:

The Divisions of Chemical, Bioengineering and Environmental Transport (CBET) and Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Infrastructure (CMMI) in the Engineering Directorate of the National Science Foundation (NSF) are partnering with The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) to solicit research projects in the general fields of tissue engineering and mechanobiology that can utilize the International Space Station (ISS) National Lab to conduct research that will benefit life on Earth. Only U.S. entities including academic investigators, non-profit independent research laboratories and academic-commercial teams are eligible to apply.

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

Please note that the following information is current at the time of publishing. See program website for any updates to the points of contact.


Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s):

  • 43.007 — Center for the Advancement of Science in Space
  • 47.041 — Engineering

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award: Standard Grant

Estimated Number of Awards: 5

Anticipated Funding Amount: $2,000,000

NSF Funding (total) available under this solicitation is up to $2.0 million to be distributed in FY 2020. Budget requests may be for up to $400,000 total, direct and indirect costs, and up to three years in duration. The award size and duration should be consistent with the project scope. Collaborative proposals from multiple organizations are accepted, according to standard NSF procedures. Proposals with budgets significantly outside of the guidelines should be discussed with the NSF Program Director prior to submission, or the proposal may be returned without review.

Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds.

Funding for ISS Experiments

NSF awards under this solicitation will provide PIs with support to conduct fundamental and translational research, to prepare experiments for execution onboard the ISS, to collaborate with service providers as necessary, to provide preliminary analysis to conduct the experiment, to analyze and interpret data, and to disseminate results broadly. CASIS will assist grantees in translating ground-based experiments and technologies into the space-appropriate hardware offered in this solicitation where possible. All costs associated with the translation of the proposed experiments to flight experiments onboard the ISS, including training of ISS crews, hauling equipment to the ISS, and conducting experiments at the ISS, will be covered by CASIS. CASIS, via their cooperative agreement with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), will provide funding to Implementation Partners to utilize existing hardware and capabilities but not necessarily to make significant modifications or develop new capabilities. For information on available flight hardware for this solicitation, please contact representatives from the different Implementation Partners offering services and hardware through this proposal. Please contact the CASIS operations team (NSFCASIS@iss-casis.org) if you have any questions or concerns.

Eligibility Information

Who May Submit Proposals:

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:

  • Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) – Two- and four-year IHEs (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the US, acting on behalf of their faculty members. Special Instructions for International Branch Campuses of US IHEs: If the proposal includes funding to be provided to an international branch campus of a US institution of higher education (including through use of subawards and consultant arrangements), the proposer must explain the benefit(s) to the project of performance at the international branch campus, and justify why the project activities cannot be performed at the US campus.
  • Non-profit, non-academic organizations: Independent museums, observatories, research labs, professional societies and similar organizations in the U.S. associated with educational or research activities.
  • For-profit organizations: U.S. commercial organizations, especially small businesses with strong capabilities in scientific or engineering research or education.

Who May Serve as PI:

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization:

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI: 1

The PI and co-PI(s) may participate in only one proposal submitted under this solicitation. It is the responsibility of the submitting organization to ensure that the PI and all co-PI(s) are participating in only one proposal. If more than one proposal is submitted by the PI or co-PI(s) in response to this solicitation, then NSF reserves the right to return without review the last proposal received.