Upcoming Opportunities 

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.

MSGC’s Virtual Learning Program
Applications open 4/1 and close 4/30
To support non-profit STEM Education partners, MSGC is once again offering a program to help with the development, implementation and assessment of Virtual Programming. To ensure a quick turnaround, applications are due April 30th, 2021 with acceptance letters being sent out in early to mid may.

Video Project for Elementary Students
Art, Science, Space! MSGC is seeking two artists to collaborate on a YouTube video project for elementary students grades 3-5, that explores the connection between art and science.

Save the Date: July 30, 2021 for the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Apollo 15!
Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC), Michigan Space Institute and Space Physics Research Laboratory (SPRL) are organizing a 50th Anniversary celebration of the Apollo 15th moon landing on July 30, 2021. Apollo 15 was an “All Michigan Crew” as all three astronauts attended the University of Michigan.

Counterterrorism and Forensic Science Research Opportunity
Open Until Filled
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is accepting applications from graduating students and post graduates interested in participating in forensic research initiatives using state-of-the-art equipment under the mentorship of scientists in the Counterterrorism and Forensic Science Research Unit. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and undergo an extensive FBI background investigation. Participants will receive a competitive stipend, and will be eligible to receive relocation and travel expense allowances.


Angling for Data on Michigan Fishes
This new project from the University of Michigan and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources asks volunteers to help transcribe more than a century’s worth of fish observation records, captured on a variety of paper cards, from lakes throughout Michigan. Volunteer contributions to the project will allow researchers and resource managers to better understand how factors such as development, invasive species, deforestation, and climate change have affected fish populations over the last hundred years. In addition, we’ll utilize the latest in data science to combine data on fish, habitat characteristics and management approaches from a variety of historical surveys in new ways, allowing us to build models that explain how and why fish populations have changed over recent decades, predict what changes are likely to occur in the future, and test which management strategies will improve the resilience of fish populations.


Principal Investigator Workshop: From Science Idea to NASA Mission
Applications Due March 22, 2021
Are you thinking about developing your first flight mission proposal but have no idea where to start? The PI Launchpad workshop will guide participants through turning a science question into a mission concept. Participants will go step-by-step through the process of developing a science case, defining requirements, building a team, securing partnerships and obtaining support from their home institutions. Participants will also have time for networking and reflecting as they mature their mission concepts.

People with marginalized identities are strongly encouraged to apply. The workshop is free and will take place virtually. The first week will be at your own pace while the second week will be interactive.


Watts on the Moon Challenge
Closes March 25, 2021
As NASA works to extend human exploration of the solar system, unprecedented capacity for energy distribution, management, and storage will be needed to support a sustained human presence and the beginning of industrial activity. NASA’s Watts on the Moon Challenge seeks solutions for energy distribution, management, and/or storage that address NASA technology gaps and can be further developed for space flight and future operation on the lunar surface. Not only could novel solutions make a difference in lunar and space exploration, but technologies discovered during this Centennial Challenge could help facilitate new power options on Earth.


Research Announcement: Leveraging the ISS National Lab to Enable Digital Engagement and Higher Education
Summaries due March 29, 2021
The ISS National Lab seeks to establish or expand programs and products related to STEM education for students of all ages. Proposals must focus on educational objectives related to the ISS National Lab. Concepts should state specifically how proposed initiatives would target and reach underrepresented demographics. This research announcement will follow a two-step proposal submission process. Step 1 concept summaries are due March 29.


Growing Beyond Earth Maker Challenge – Autonomous Plant Systems
Entries Due April 14th
Astronauts have busy schedules when they’re living and working in space. Current plant-growing systems require human intervention for watering, adjusting lighting and maintaining systems. Fully autonomous systems could make food production easier and less time-consuming for astronauts.

Teams of innovators in high school and college are challenged to design, build and test a smart system that can grow plants without human interaction over a 30-day period. Finalists will receive stipends to cover the building costs of their final prototypes. Visit the challenge website for full details and FAQs.


Artemis LEAPFROG Lander Competition
Registration due April 15th
The Artemis Lunar Entry and Approach Platform for Research On Ground, or LEAPFROG, competition is a national software and flight-based challenge for university level students to gain understanding and training on lunar landing vehicle technology and innovation. Coordinated by the California Space Grant Consortium, the software challenge will be conducted in a virtual environment that simulates obstacles on the lunar surface. The challenge is designed to test students’ understanding of control theory, flight dynamics modeling and simulation for flight systems. Winners will receive a full lander kit to assemble through a summer boot camp supported by the LEAPFROG team. Challenge Dates: May 15 – June 15


Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP)
Applications due May 14, 2021
The ACRP (Airport Cooperative Research Program) Graduate Research Award (GRA) is intended to stimulate thought, discussion, and research by those who may become the future airport managers, operators, designers, and policymakers in aviation. The focus of this graduate student research program is on applied research on airport and related aviation system issues to help the public sector continue to improve the quality, reliability, safety, and security of the U.S. civil aviation system well into the foreseeable future. Ten awards are anticipated for the 2021 – 2022 Academic Year. The program is managed for the Airport Cooperative Research Program by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium based in Hampton, VA.


NASA’s Break the Ice Lunar Challenge
Registration due June 18, 2021
Break the Ice Lunar Challenge will offer Teams up to $500,000 in prize purses in Phase 1. The Challenge will have two phases, the initiation of Phase 2 is contingent on the emergence of promising submissions in Phase 1 that demonstrate a viable approach to achieving the Challenge goals. Phase 1 of the Break the Ice Lunar Challenge is focused on incentivizing new ideas and approaches to a system architecture for excavation and movement of icy regolith and water on the lunar surface. For Phase 1, the Challenge describes a hypothetical Mission Scenario and asks Teams to design a system architecture addressing necessary hardware, concept of operations, lunar environmental conditions, and specific performance analyses, as well as supporting materials that address credibility and feasibility of the system architecture.


NASA Aeronautics University Student Research Challenge
Proposals due June 24, 2021
NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate seeks proposals for new aeronautics ideas/concepts relevant to NASA aeronautics. Selected teams will receive grants for their projects, and will also be responsible for raising a modest amount of cost-share funds through a crowdfunding platform. The process of creating and preparing a crowdfunding campaign acts as a teaching accelerator, requiring students to develop entrepreneurial skills.


Deep Space Food Challenge
Submissions Due July 30, 2021
In coordination with the Canadian Space Agency, NASA has opened the Deep Space Food Challenge. The goal is to generate novel food production technologies or systems that require minimal resources and produce minimal waste, while providing safe, nutritious, and tasty food for long-duration human exploration missions.
Astronauts need hearty nutrients to maintain a healthy diet in space, but like any of us, they want their food to taste good, too! As NASA develops concepts for longer crewed missions to Mars and beyond, the agency will need innovative and sustainable food systems that check all the boxes. Additionally, advanced food systems will have benefits here on Earth, too. Solutions from this challenge could enable new avenues for food production around the world, especially in extreme environments, resource-scarce regions, and in new places like urban areas and in locations where disasters disrupt critical infrastructure.

Celebrate Spring Solar Week
March 22-26
Solar Week provides a series of online educational activities focusing on the star of our solar system, the Sun. Students can explore solar careers and learn about sunspots, solar energy and solar storms. The website features scavenger hunts, games and an online, interactive discussion board where students can submit questions to solar scientists. Students are invited to attend a 30-minute webinar, and solar scientists will be hanging out in a virtual meeting space throughout the week to answer questions.


NASA’s Glenn Research Center 80th Anniversary Student Essay Contest
Entries due March 31, 2021
For students in grades 4-12. To celebrate 80 years of pushing boundaries and breaking barriers, NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, is hosting an essay contest. Students can learn about NASA Glenn’s missions and people, and then write an essay explaining how Glenn’s explorations and discoveries inspire them and their career goals. Or, they may explain how exploration and discoveries could change the way we live and work in the future. Essays will be judged in three different age ranges, and winners will be invited to participate in a live, virtual recognition event with NASA scientists and engineers


Send a Pledge to the Moon!
Pledges are due April 2, 2021
NASA is turning the page to a new chapter of human space exploration. We’re going to land the first woman and next man on the Moon, and we need you to help us with a pledge of the Artemis Generation to explore. Send a recorded video pledge, and we’ll send it to the Moon aboard the Artemis I Mission. Pledges are due April 2.


Growing Beyond Earth Maker Challenge – Autonomous Plant Systems
Entries Due April 14th
Astronauts have busy schedules when they’re living and working in space. Current plant-growing systems require human intervention for watering, adjusting lighting and maintaining systems. Fully autonomous systems could make food production easier and less time-consuming for astronauts.

 Teams of innovators in high school and college are challenged to design, build and test a smart system that can grow plants without human interaction over a 30-day period. Finalists will receive stipends to cover the building costs of their final prototypes. Visit the challenge website for full details and FAQs.


National Marine Ecosystem Status Website
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Ecosystem website shows at-a-glance the status of seven major U.S. marine ecosystems as well as a national synthesis. The site provides a starting point to access and explore a multitude of NOAA websites with information and data that NOAA collects on specific themes and regions. The website benefits everyone with an interest in the health of U.S. marine ecosystems. Vast amounts of essential ocean data have been distilled into consistent easy-to-view presentations.


Contact Opportunity: Amateur Radio on the ISS
Proposals Due March 31, 2021
On Feb. 15, ARISS-US will begin 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 Jan. 1-June 30, 2022. To maximize the events, ARISS-US is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed STEAM education plan. Radio contacts are approximately 10 minutes. Visit the site for proposal guidelines and forms.


A Solar System Scale Model for Permanent Installation in your Community
Communities across the U.S. and Canada are invited to explore an opportunity to permanently install a Voyage Mark II Scale Model Solar System in a local park, along a walking path, on a college campus or along a downtown street. The exhibition is designed to serve as a community focal point for STEM education.

Installation may begin as early as summer 2021. Interested parties should inquire now. A $5,000 seed grant is available to the first five communities to commit to the project.


Call for Reviewers for Informal STEM Education Proposals
The NASA Teams Engaging Affiliated Museums and Informal Institutions (TEAM II) management team is recruiting qualified peer reviewers external to NASA to review NASA TEAM II proposals. Please submit your qualifications, interest and availability, or nominate qualified colleagues.

Although NASA cannot guarantee an invitation to review will result, we thank you for your consideration and/or referrals. Selected reviewers will be expected to disclose all conflicts of interest, including situations that may give the appearance of bias.