MSGC Updates

There are quite a few upcoming opportunities happening over the next couple of months and the MSGC team wants to make sure that you are updated on the latest challenges, programs, internships, contests etc. 

Let the MSGC team know if you plan on participating by sending an email to mispacegrant@umich.edu

Sign up for the UM Space Institute Newsletter!
Subscribe to our new email newsletter from the U-M Space Institute to receive space news, events, media, funding opportunities and more! Founded in 2019, the University of Michigan Space Institute is the central focal point of all space-related research and academic activities at the University of Michigan. The Space Institute empowers the university to advance its world leadership in space by offering funding for innovative space projects, partnerships with specialized labs, and opportunities to connect through its affiliate program.

Higher Education Opportunities

NASA TechLeap Prize – Universal Payload Interface Challenge
Registration Deadline: Thursday, Feb. 1, at 5 p.m. EST
As NASA increases the use of commercial vehicles to explore the unknown, the agency seeks to find a reliable process to ensure payloads can properly interface with host vehicles. The NASA TechLeap Prize’s Universal Payload Interface Challenge invites applicants to propose an optimized “system of systems” to enable easy integration of diverse technology payloads onto various commercial suborbital vehicles, orbital platforms, and planetary landers. The proposed universal payload interfaces should seamlessly adapt a wide range of small space payloads – such as technologies, laboratory instruments, and scientific experiments – for flight testing.


Student Suborbital Flight Opportunity: RockOn! 2024 Workshop
Registration Deadline: Feb. 2, 2024
Workshop Dates: June 14-20, 2024
NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia invites teams to a weeklong, hands-on workshop to learn how to build a scientific experiment and launch it into space. During the week, RockOn! Workshop participants will work together in teams of three (two students and one faculty member) to construct and integrate a sounding rocket payload from a kit. On the fifth day of the workshop, the experiments will fly on a sounding rocket expected to reach an altitude of more than 70 miles.

NASA’s Space Life Sciences Training Program
Application Deadline: Friday, Feb. 2
NASA’s Space Life Sciences Training Program (SLSTP) is a challenging 10-week experience at NASA’s Ames Research Center that pairs students with NASA scientists and engineers working on cutting-edge bioscience research. SLSTP Summer 2024 will include Ames Space Biology-related projects ranging from the effects of spaceflight on living systems to advanced biotechnologies to enable exploration of distant destinations. Applicants must be U.S. citizens who are at least 18 years old in high academic standing (GPA of 3.2 or higher).

Europa ICONS
Applications are due Feb 2nd 2024.
The new Inspiring Clipper: Opportunities for Next-generation Scientists (ICONS) internships will bring members of the Europa Clipper mission team together with undergraduate students for 10-week programs that give students the opportunity to conduct original scientific research. Internships may be in-person at the mentor’s institution, virtual, or hybrid, depending on the research project and needs of the mentor and intern. Near the end of the 10 weeks, students and mentors will convene for a two-day conference. Interns will receive a $12,000 stipend for the duration of the program, and may be eligible for travel, housing, and relocation allowances, depending on the location of their research activities. The first Europa ICON internship will run June 3-Aug. 9, 2024.

NASA Space Tech Catalyst Prize
Registration Deadline: Thursday, Feb. 8
NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate is seeking to expand the agency’s network of proposers and foster effective approaches and methods to successfully engage underrepresented and diverse space technology innovators, researchers, technologists, and entrepreneurs. The Space Tech Catalyst Prize will award $25,000 to selected individuals and teams engaging underrepresented audiences. Winners will be invited to an in-person event at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and will influence NASA practices for engaging the next generation of STEM students.

2024 U.S. Department of Energy Scholars Program
Application Deadline: Feb. 15, 2024
The DOE Scholars Program is a department-wide program designed to create a pipeline of highly qualified talent in disciplinary fields that support mission critical areas of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The DOE Scholars Program provides opportunities designed to introduce DOE missions, functions, and operations to talented undergraduate and graduate students, as well as recent graduates. These opportunities will help prepare Scholars towards the full range of entry and mid-level research, technical and professional positions within DOE and other organizations that support the DOE mission.

NASA’s Explore Stennis Briefing for Students: Virtual Participation

Registration Deadline: Thursday, Feb. 15
Event Date: Thursday, Feb. 22
NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, is hosting an Explore Stennis Briefing for Students and registration is open for virtual participation. This unique learning opportunity will immerse students in NASA’s work and provide a chance to directly connect with the space agency. During this live broadcast, a panel of NASA experts will discuss how the agency uses computer science to achieve its mission goals. They will also respond to questions submitted by students.

Student Suborbital Flight Opportunity – Cubes in Space
Registration Deadline: Monday, Feb. 19
NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility and iEDU invite educators to register for the free Cubes in Space program. Participants receive a course of activities that guide students to design experiments or technologies that connect to a real-world Earth or space-based problem or need. Selected experiments will be launched via a sounding rocket from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia as part of RockSat-C in late June 2024, or from a high-altitude scientific balloon in New Mexico by NASA’s Balloon Program Office in late August 2024.

2024 Summer Internship Program
Applications close February 29
We have launched our application for the National Air and Space Museum’s 2024 Summer Internship Program. Each year, our summer interns learn from knowledgeable mentors in a variety of disciplines across the museum field, all in the dynamic atmosphere of Washington, DC. Interns work with distinguished scholars, accomplished professionals, and iconic artifacts in an immersive experience as multifaceted as the Museum itself. The traditional summer internship period lasts for 10 weeks, from early-June through early-August. Most projects will be full-time with a requirement for either onsite or hybrid work at one of our locations in the DC area and interns receive a stipend of $7,000. The 2024 Summer Internship Program application closes on February 29

Contact Opportunity: Amateur Radio on the International Space Station
Proposal Deadline: Feb. 29
ARISS-US is accepting proposals from U.S. schools, museums, and community youth organizations (working individually or together) to host an amateur radio contact with an astronaut aboard the International Space Station between July 1 and Dec. 31. To maximize these events, ARISS-US is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed education plan. Radio contacts are approximately 10 minutes.

NASA Human Lander Challenge 2024
Proposals Due March 4, 2024
The 2024 HuLC competition seeks near-term, innovative solutions for Human Landing System (HLS) challenge areas…specifically addressing the mitigation of lunar Plume-Surface Interaction (PSI). Interested teams have a full year to prepare and submit proposals by the deadline of March 4, 2024. HuLC solicits proposals for innovative, systems-level solutions that can help NASA understand, mitigate, and manage the impacts of lunar PSI – with the ability to be implemented within 3-5 years. HuLC is open to teams of undergraduate and graduate students at accredited colleges and universities in the United States. Based on a review of initial proposals received by March 2024, up to 12 teams will be selected to continue developing their proposed concepts. Each finalist team will receive a $7,000 stipend to facilitate full participation in a competitive design review at a Forum in Huntsville, Alabama in June 2024.

K-12 Opportunities

STEM in 30 Video – Inspiration Space: Art, Photography and the Universe
Available Now
Pics or it didn’t happen, a picture is worth a thousand words…… we’ve heard those phrases over and over. But do you have what it takes to take a good picture? In this episode we’re gathering some friends for some lessons in taking a good photo. We’ll talk to astronauts about their space photography and what it taught them about looking at Earth. We might even look at some art inspired by images from space.

Power to Explore Student Challenge
Entry Deadline: Friday, Feb. 9
The Power to Explore Student Challenge invites K-12 students to dream up a new space mission powered by a radioisotope power system (RPS) to a destination with limited light. The writing contest is open to individual students attending U.S. public, private, charter, or home schools – including those in U.S. territories and schools operated by the U.S. for American personnel overseas. Forty-five semifinalists will receive an RPS prize pack, nine finalists will receive an exclusive virtual session with a NASA expert, and three winners will be awarded a trip for two to NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Every student who enters will receive an invitation to a virtual event with NASA experts to learn about what powers the NASA workforce to dream big and explore.

2024 NASA STEM Enhancement in Earth and Space Science Internship
Application Deadline: February 24, 2024
NASA, the Texas Space Grant Consortium and The University of Texas at Austin Center for Space Research have joined forces to encourage high school students’ interest in STEM careers. The SEES project offers onsite internships at The University of Texas in Austin, Texas and virtual projects in June and July. Participants conduct authentic research with NASA subject matter experts while working with scientists and engineers in their chosen areas of work. Housing, transportation and meals will be provided.


Last Call to Host an imaginAviation 2024 Watch Party
Event Date: Feb. 27-29
Join the NASA Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program for “imaginAviation 2024,” a virtual event that will let participants experience the latest innovations in NASA aviation research.

NASA’s Astrophoto Challenge: Winter 2024
Entry Deadline: Feb. 29, 2024
Join NASA’s Universe of Learning for an exciting opportunity to use real astronomical data and tools to create your own beautiful images of the Crab Nebula. Explore how this dynamic dead star behaves across different types of light and how it is changing with time. Capture your own real-time telescope image using the Micro Observatory robotic telescope network. Or work with archival data files taken with multi-wavelength missions from NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency (Webb, Hubble, Chandra, and XMM-Newton). NASA experts may comment on creations highlighted as standout entries.

Genes in Space 2024 – Design and Launch Your DNA Experiment to Space!
Event Dates: April 11-13, 2024
Calling all students in grades 7 through 12: Have you ever wondered how astronauts might survive a deep-space mission or how we might be able to use biology to transform new worlds? If so, Genes in Space is for you! Genes in Space is a science contest that challenges students to design original experiments that use biotechnology to explore the real-life challenges and opportunities of space exploration. The contest is free and does not require equipment. The winning experiment is conducted by astronauts aboard the International Space Station! Submission deadline is April 15th, 2024. Educators: The Genes in Space contest is a great way to engage students in authentic research. Genes in Space is a collaboration between miniPCR bio and Boeing with generous support from the ISS U.S. National Laboratory and New England Biolabs, Inc.

Educator Opportunities

Early Career Research Program
Applications due Feb 6
Another exiting opportunity is the Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINESST) for graduate students. The Future Investigator, with support and empowerment from their mentor (who serves as the Principal Investigator), designs and conducts research using NASA data to help answer some of the biggest challenges facing our planet.


NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement Mission “10 in 10” Webinar Series
Next Event Date: Thursday, Feb. 8, at 8 p.m. EST
Join NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission team for a series of webinars to celebrate ten years of Earth observations that have helped improve life around the globe and led to a better understanding of our water cycle. In the first webinar of the series, members of the GPM team will provide an overview of the mission’s science objectives, discuss the engineering behind the mission, and look ahead to the missions that will carry GPMs legacy forward. 


COSMIC, the Consortium for Space Mobility and ISAM Capabilities
COSMIC Academia Virtual Open House on Feb 9 at 12:00 pm ET
COSMIC is a NASA-funded consortium dedicated to fostering collaboration among academia, industry, and government to shape America’s future in space and make ISAM a routine part of space architectures and mission lifecycles. Recently, we held a kickoff with nearly 600 participants from across the space enterprise.  We are leveraging the power of collective efforts and the synergy created when diverse perspectives come together.


Summer Workshops: Teaching With Primary Sources From the Library of Congress
Registration Deadline: Friday, Feb. 16
Join us onsite at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. for a free three-day professional development workshop, where you’ll learn and practice strategies for using primary sources with K-12 students. Four sessions will be offered in the summer of 2024.


Plan to Attend the Roger That! Symposium 
February 16-17, 2024
Roger That! is a two-day public symposium, honoring the memory of Grand Rapids astronaut Roger B. Chaffee and promoting interest in STEM in general and space exploration specifically. This year’s theme is “Life in Space” and the keynote is retired astronaut Dr. Robert Satcher, an African-American oncologist at MD Anderson Medical Center in Houston.


Embedded Teacher Program
Applications Due February 19, 2024
The ETP invites applications for a year-long immersive space science project opportunity culminating in a parabolic flight. Dedicated middle school STEAM teachers are invited to apply for a spot in the 2024 cohort. Teachers from under-resourced schools and schools with traditionally underrepresented student communities are especially encouraged to apply.

2024 MSTA Conference
Feb 29th– Mar 2nd
Mark your calendars for Feb 29 – Mar 2 to join us at the 2024 MSTA Annual Conference! Stay tuned for further updates, including registration details, session highlights, and speaker announcements. In the meantime, save the date, spread the word, and start counting down the days!

ACCESS Lending Library and Professional Learning Program
Registration Deadline: March 5
The ACCESS Lending Library allows K-12 teachers in the D.C. Metro area to reserve and check out a variety of STEM resources for their classrooms. There is no cost to join, and we offer free professional learning sessions at the National Air and Space Museum for all of our members!

Call for Proposals: SMD Bridge Program Seed Funding
Proposal Deadline: Accepted on a rolling basis through March 29, 2024
NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is seeking proposals for seed funding awards to provide support for faculty investigators and their students to carry out NASA-relevant research. The goal of the SMD Bridge Program is to develop sustainable partnerships among institutions historically under-resourced by NASA. Each award is expected to have a budget of up to $300,000 for a duration of 24 months.

United States Patent and Trademark Office: National Summer Teacher Institute
Application Deadline: Sunday, March 31
The National Summer Teacher Institute (NSTI) is a free, multi-day professional development training opportunity designed to support elementary, middle, and high school teachers as they increase their knowledge of concepts of making, inventing, and intellectual property (IP) creation and protection.  NSTI is designed to help teachers inspire the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. The program is open to eligible K-12 teachers nationwide. It combines experiential training tools, practices, and project-based learning models.