President Obama Announces Intent to Appoint New Members of his Advisory Board on HBCUs

WASHINGTON, DC – On May 25, 2016, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities :

  • Phyliss Craig-Taylor – Member, President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • Marian Wright Edelman – Member, President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • Lillian Lowery – Member, President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Phyliss Craig-Taylor, Appointee for Member, President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Phyliss Craig-Taylor is Dean of North Carolina Central  School of Law.  Prior to this, she served as an associate dean of academics at North Carolina Central School of Law. Ms. Craig-Taylor served as a faculty member at the University of Tennessee, the University of Florida, North Carolina Central University, as well as a visiting scholar at the University of Warsaw Center for American Law.  She became a member of the Coalition for Racial and Ethnic Justice for the American Bar Association in 2015 and she was appointed by the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court to serve on the North Carolina Commission for the Administration of Law and Justice. Ms. Craig-Taylor is a past Vice President of the North Carolina Bar Association and a past member of  both the Council for the American Bar Association Section of Litigation and the Ethics Advisory Committee of the North Carolina State Bar.  Before entering academia, she spent several years in private practice and served as a law clerk to the Alabama Supreme Court.  Ms. Craig- Taylor received a B.A. and J.D. from the University of Alabama and an L.L.M. from Columbia University.

Marian Wright Edelman, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Board on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Marian Wright Edelman is President of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), a position she has held since co-founding CDF in 1973.  From 1971 to 1973, she served as Director of the Center for Law and Education at Harvard University.  From 1968 to 1973, Ms. Edelman worked as a Field Foundation Fellow and Founder of the Washington Research Project of the Southern Center for Public Policy.  In 1968, Ms. Edelman was a Congressional and Federal Agency Liaison for the Poor People’s Campaign.  From 1964 to 1968, Ms. Edelman served as the Director of the Jackson, Mississippi chapter of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.  Earlier in her career, she served as a Staff Attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in New York.  Ms. Edelman received a B.A. from Spelman College and an LL.B. from Yale Law School.

Dr. Lillian Lowery, Appointee for Member, President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Dr. Lillian Lowery is President and CEO of FutureReady Columbus, a position she has held since September 2015.  Dr. Lowery served as a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans from 2014 to 2015.  From 2012 to 2015, she served as Superintendent of the Maryland State Department of Education.  From 2009 to 2012, Dr. Lowery was Secretary of Education for the State of Delaware and from 2006 and 2009, she was Superintendent of the Christina School District in New Castle County, Delaware.  Dr. Lowery was the Assistant Superintendent of Cluster VII for Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia from 2004 to 2006.  She also served for two years as an Area Administrator for Fort Wayne Community Schools in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Dr. Lowery began her career as a middle school teacher in the North Carolina Public Schools, where she worked from 1978 to 1984.  Dr. Lowery has held leadership positions on the Board of Directors of Boys and Girls Club of America and Stop Child Abuse and Neglect. Dr. Lowery received a B.A. from North Carolina Central University, an M.A. from The University of North Carolina, and an Ed.D. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

President Obama Announces Intent to Appoint New Members of his Advisory Board on HBCUs

WASHINGTON, DC – On May 5, 2016, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities :

  • Wayne A. I. Frederick – Member
  • Janice Bryant Howroyd – Member

Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, Appointee for Member, President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick is the President of Howard University, a position he has held since 2014.  Prior to becoming the President, Dr. Frederick held several leadership positions at Howard University, including Interim President, Associate Dean in the College of Medicine, Division Chief in the Department of Surgery, Director of the Cancer Center, and Deputy Provost for Health Sciences.  Before joining the administration at Howard University, Dr. Frederick served as the Associate Director of the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Director of Surgical Oncology, and as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Connecticut Health Center.  Dr. Frederick received a B.S., M.B.A. and M.D. from Howard University.

Janice Bryant Howroyd, Appointee for Member, President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Janice Bryant Howroyd is the CEO of ACT-1 Group, an employment and management company that offers a range of services from employee background checks to executive travel management.  She founded the organization in 1978.  Ms. Bryant Howroyd is an Ambassador of the Department of Energy’s Minorities in Energy Initiative, a Board Member of the Department of Labor’s Workforce Initiative Board, and a Member of the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Services and Finance Industries of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Department of Commerce.  She has also served on the Women’s Leadership Board at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and the Board of Directors for North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

DOE-NE Releases FOA for Radiochemistry Traineeships

The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy has released an FOA that will establish DOE-sponsored Institution of High Education (IHE)-led traineeships as a mechanism for graduate-level training critical to DOE mission-driven workforce needs. This will be accomplished through a focused academic graduate program that delivers unique, innovative curriculum, coupled with a rigorous thesis or dissertation research requirement in the area of radiochemistry. The total Government funding available for any single award under this FOA shall not exceed $3 million over five (5) years, subject to availability of funds.

Applications are due March 28, 2016.

DOE Traineeship in Nuclear Radiochemistry (DE-FOA-0001369)

A copy of the application package can be found here.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) Letter of Intent Due July 26, 2016

Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP)


The National Science Foundation’s updated Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) solicitation was released on Friday, February 12, 2016.   HBCU-UP is committed to enhancing the quality of undergraduate STEM education and research at HBCUs as a means to broaden participation in the nation’s STEM workforce. To this end, HBCU-UP provides awards to develop, implement, and study evidence-based innovative models and approaches for improving the preparation and success of HBCU undergraduate students so that they may pursue STEM graduate programs and/or careers. Support is available for Targeted Infusion Projects, Broadening Participation Research Projects, Research Initiation Awards, Implementation Projects, Achieving Competitive Excellence Implementation Projects, and Broadening Participation Research Centers; as well as other funding opportunities.


Below is a link to the solicitation.


Available Formats: HTML: Document Number: nsf16538



Announcing the Computer Science for All Initiative

Last year, President Obama became the first President to write a line of code, and today, in his Weekly Address, the President announced his plan to give all students across the country the chance to learn computer science (CS) in school.

By some estimates, just one quarter of all the K-12 schools in the United States offer CS with programming and coding, and only 28 states allow CS courses to count towards high-school graduation. The President’s Computer Science for All Initiative builds on these efforts by providing $4 billion in funding for states and $100 million directly for districts in his upcoming budget; investing more than $135 million beginning this year by the National Science Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service to support and train CS teachers; and calling on even more Governors, Mayors, education leaders, CEOs, philanthropists, creative media and technology professionals, and others to get involved in the efforts.


We know there are leaders across the country who are bringing computer science opportunities to their communities and we want to hear from you about the work that you are doing. If you want to help expand CS in your community, you can submit your commitment here. You can also participate by using the hashtag #CSforAll and sharing your stories:

Post photos of you, your class, your family, your workplace, or your community learning to code.

  • If you are a teacher or other leader who has solutions for learning that are already working tell us about those innovations so others can adopt them and build on your success.
  • If you are a professional coder or techie already in fields that rely on computer science, share how you got into this work and thank those people who helped you get where you are today!
  • Share your stories about Computer Science Heroes past and present so that the next generation can see the range of things computer science is a part of.

To learn more about today’s announcements from the Federal Government, private sector, and non-profit organizations, click here or check out the attached fact sheet!

Fae M. Jencks

Senior Policy Advisor for Public Engagement

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

@whitehouseostp | #CSforAll

Funding Opportunity Announcement — College Sexual Assault Policy and Prevention Initiative

The Office on Women’s Health announces the College Sexual Assault Policy and Prevention Initiative (Funding Opportunity Number – WH-AST-16-001), awarding up to 10 cooperative agreements totaling $2 million for a 3-year period.  Applications should focus on implementing policies and practices at post-secondary schools (colleges, universities, technical schools, community college, and trade schools) to prevent sexual assault on their campuses. Those awarded will partner with organizations and post-secondary schools to provide technical assistance and support to influence and implement policies and prevention strategies based on the recommendations from the White House Task Force on Campus Sexual Assault – Not Alone and It’s On Us Campaigns.  For more information, please visit

DOE-EM Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program Internships

The MSIPP Internships is a new program to promote the education and development of the next generation workforce in critical science, engineering, technology, and mathematics (STEM) for full time students currently enrolled at an accredited Minority Serving Institution (MSI). These programs assist current missions of the DOE efforts in environmental management. The MSIPP Internships is designed to provide an enhanced training environment for the next generation scientists and engineers by exposing them to research challenges unique to our mission.

The website link is Students can find information on how to apply, as well as contact information on this site.  The deadline for applications is February 28.

How HBCUs Can Get Federal Sponsorship from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

By: La’Shanda Holmes, Danielle Wood & Ivory Toldson

“I am 100 percent committed to the mission of NASA and its future. Because broadening our capabilities in space will continue to serve our society in ways that we can scarcely imagine. Because exploration will once more inspire wonder in a new generation — sparking passions and launching careers. And because, ultimately, if we fail to press forward in the pursuit of discovery, we are ceding our future and we are ceding that essential element of the American character.” – President Barack Obama


This series is designed to expand federal support of HBCU research, programs, and outreach through competitive grants and contracts. The White House Initiative on HBCUs (WHIHBCUs) believes that increasing revenue to HBCUs from federal grants and contracts is vital to the long term sustainability of these institutions. By developing innovative proposals, working with HBCU liaisons at federal agencies and taking advantage of federal funding opportunities, HBCUs can increase the resources necessary to initiate and sustain vital programs.


  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) selected 10 Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) for cooperative agreement awards valued at almost $47 million incrementally funded over five years. This award promotes STEM literacy, and enhances and sustains the capabilities of MSIs to perform NASA-related research and education. Five of the 10 MSIs were HBCUs.
  • In FY 2015 MUREP provided oversight to 111 active MSI awards across the United States, which help contribute to MUREP’s goals: enhancing the research, academic, and technological capabilities of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).
  • NASA selected 20 students from across the nation to receive the agency’s Aeronautics Scholarship for the 2014-2015 school year. Undergraduate scholarship winners received $15,000 a year to cover tuition costs for two years and a $10,000 stipend during a summer internship with NASA. Graduate scholarship winners received approximately $45,000 a year for two years and $10,000 stipends for two summer internships.
  • In FY 2012, over 24,000 Space Grant-supported undergraduate and graduate students participated in scholarships, fellowships, internships and authentic hands-on research and engineering challenges.


The Office of Education is strengthening involvement with higher education institutions to ensure that The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) can meet future workforce needs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Participation in NASA projects and research increases the number of students who continue their studies at all levels of the higher education continuum and earn advanced degrees in these fields.

In 2013, NASA awarded over $23 million to HBCUs. Of that, $18 million went toward research and development, $1.5 million toward training, and over $600 thousand to student financial assistance. For fiscal year (FY) 15 NASA proposed a $56 million budget for the STEM Education and Accountability (SEA) program to support the Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) and STEM Education and Accountability Projects (SEAP); $30 million will support MUREP and $26 million towards SEAP.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration Overview

NASA is the federal agency responsible for the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958, NASA pursues its vision of reaching new heights and revealing the unknown to benefit humankind through four Mission Directorates: Aeronautics Research, Space Technology, Science and Human Exploration and Operations. NASA science focuses on understanding the Earth through the Earth Observing System, advancing heliophysics through the Science Mission Directorate’s Heliophysics Research Program, exploring the Solar System with advanced robotic spacecraft missions such as New Horizons, and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories and associated programs. NASA shares data with various national and international organizations such as from the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite.

White House Initiative on HBCUs’ Liaison to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

As the liaison between the White House Initiative on HBCUs (WHI-HBCUs) and NASA, Joeletta Patrick works with the WHIHBCUs to organize efforts to strengthen the capacity of HBCUs through increased participation in appropriate Federal programs and initiatives.

Specifically, Ms. Patrick helps further the mission of WHIHBCU by:

  • Hosting a series of webinars and conferences to educate HBCUs on funding opportunities available to them throughout the federal government;
  • Helping award multiyear grants to assist Minority Serving Institution’s faculty and students in research of pertinent missions;
  • Recruiting underrepresented and underserved students in STEM disciplines through completion of undergraduate or graduate degrees to support their entry into the scientific and technical workforce; and
  • Encouraging institutions to collaborate with teacher preparation programs that improve the quality and diversity of STEM teachers.

Ms. Patrick serves as the manager for MUREP at NASA Headquarters in the Office of Education. The MUREP team at NASA is responsible for developing agency-wide policies, procedures, and guidelines that enhance the involvement of all minority-serving education institutions in NASA’s mission through MUREP-related activities.

NASA Funding Opportunities for HBCUs

The following list provides information about organizations and entities within NASA that provide funding or services for which HBCUs and MSIs are eligible to apply. Some programs target HBCUs, while some are available to all institutions of higher education.

  • NASA National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program (Space Grant)
  • Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP)
  • Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)
  • STEM Education and Accountability Projects (SEAP)
  • NASA Mission Directorates
  • NASA Internships, Fellowships and Scholarships
  • NASA Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR)
  • NASA Office of Small Business Programs Mentor/Protégée Program
  • NASA Education Offices

Space Grant

The NASA National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program (Space Grant) supports competitive grants to 52 consortia in 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Space Grant supports and enhances science and engineering education and research efforts by leveraging the resource capabilities and technologies of over 900 affiliates from universities, colleges, industry, museums, science centers, and state and local agencies. Training grants with each consortium align their work with the nation’s STEM education priorities and the annual performance goals of the agency.

Space Grant enables NASA to provide opportunities for students to gain research and hands-on engineering experience on a variety of authentic flight platforms, including high-altitude balloons, sounding rockets, aircraft, and space satellites. Space Grant leverages agency investments in STEM education through collaborations with other NASA projects, including those conducted by NASA Mission Directorates, NASA Centers, and facilities. Space Grant also supports student participants in internship experiences at NASA Centers and facilities.

NASA Office of Education solicits proposals for Space Grant. Each funded proposal is expected to increase the understanding, assessment, development, and use of space and aeronautics resources. The program promotes partnerships and cooperation among universities, federal, state, and local governments, and aerospace industries to encourage and facilitate the application of university resources to aerospace and related fields.

Interesting in applying? Visit:

Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP)

The Office of Education strives to ensure that underrepresented and underserved students participate in NASA education and research projects to help these students pursue STEM careers. The MUREP investments enhance the research, academic, and technology capabilities of MSIs through multi-year awards. Awards assist faculty and students in research and provide authentic STEM engagement related to NASA missions. In addition, the Office of Education encourages these institutions to collaborate with teacher preparation programs that improve the quality and diversity of STEM teachers.

Through MUREP, NASA provides financial assistance via competitive awards to HBCUs, Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), American Indian and Alaskan Native Serving Institutions (AIANSIs), Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs) and eligible community colleges, as reflected by the five MSI focused Executive Orders. These institutions recruit and retain underrepresented and underserved students, including women and girls, and persons with disabilities, into STEM fields.

NASA projects and research focuses on increasing the number of learners who complete their studies at all education levels and encourages students to earn advanced degrees in STEM fields that are critical to NASA and the Nation. MUREP investments assist NASA in meeting the goal of a diverse workforce through student participation in internships, fellowships, and scholarships at NASA Centers and JPL.

Projects at HBUCs that have been funded through MUREP include: Delaware State University; Elizabeth City State University; Hampton University; Howard University; Langston University; Morgan State University; Tennessee State University; University of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas; and Xavier University.

Interesting in applying? Visit:

Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)

EPSCoR provides competitive grants that establish partnerships among government, higher education, and industry, and promotes lasting improvements in the research and development capacity of an eligible state or region. The intent is to improve a jurisdiction’s research infrastructure, which has the potential to contribute to its research and development competitiveness and economy. EPSCoR supports academic research projects to establish long-term, self-sustaining, and nationally competitive activities in jurisdictions with modest research infrastructure, so they can become more competitive in attracting non-EPSCoR funding. EPSCoR funds jurisdictions that have not historically participated competitively in federal aerospace-related research grants and contracts. EPSCoR also provides research and technology development opportunities for faculty and research teams. NASA actively seeks to integrate the research conducted by EPSCoR jurisdictions with the scientific and technical priorities pursued by the agency. EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Development awards are $125,000 per year for three years. EPSCoR Research Awards are up to $750,000 for a three-year performance period.

Interesting in applying? Visit:

STEM Education and Accountability Projects (SEAP)

STEM Education and Accountability Projects (SEAP) fund competitive grants cooperative agreements to formal and informal education institutions, such as science museums. In addition, SEAP funds contribute to professional development activities at NASA Centers and facilities, including internships, fellowships, and scholarships for high school and college students, K-12 educators, and higher education faculty.

SEAP also connects NASA’s partners, including youth-serving organizations, higher education institutions, minority serving institutions, community colleges, NASA Visitor Centers, museums, and planetaria to the broad scientific discoveries, aeronautics research, and exploration missions of the agency.

SEAP investments reflect the following portfolio priorities: focus on NASA-unique STEM engagement experiences and activities; represent all NASA mission directorates; engage with underserved and underrepresented communities/institutions; and support key NASA infrastructure components to enable portfolio coordination approaches.

Below is a partial list of SEAP’s competitively selected activities aligned to the Federal STEM Education 5-Year Strategic Plan

  1. STEM Engagement: The selected priorities for STEM Engagement contribute to the Federal Priority Investment Area: Increase and Sustain Youth and Public Engagement in STEM.
  2. NASA Internships, Fellowships, and Scholarships: The selected priorities for NASA Internships Fellowships, and Scholarships contribute to three of the Federal Priority Investment Areas: Enhance STEM Experience of Undergraduate Students; Better Serve Groups Historically Underrepresented in STEM Fields; and Design Graduate Education for Tomorrow’s STEM Workforce.
  3. Institutional Engagement: The selected priority for Institutional Engagement contributes to two of the Federal Priority Investment Areas: Increase and Sustain Youth and Public Engagement in STEM; and Improve STEM Instruction.
  4. Educator Professional Development: The selected priorities for Educator Professional Development contribute to the Federal Priority Investment Area: Improve STEM Instruction.

Interesting in applying? Visit:

NASA Mission Directorates

The Mission Directorates of Aeronautics Research (ARMD), Human Exploration and Operations (HEOMD), Science (SMD), and Space Technology (STMD), as well as other headquarters organizations, are encouraged to integrate education components into their research and development programs and flight missions to stimulate meaningful strategic partnerships between NASA and the education community. The Mission Directorates may provide discipline-specific content and/or human resources toward selected educational projects with the primary objective of stimulating innovation in a manner that has potential to advance NASA’s mission through the collaboration with educational institutions and students. Additionally, Mission Directorates and other headquarters organizations may develop educational partnerships and collaborations specific to their disciplines and needs, including discipline-specific interactions with other federal agencies. Each Mission Directorate identifies an Education Lead, who works for the Mission Directorate and represents its Associate Administrator to the Office of Education and serves on the Education Coordinating Council (ECC) with the authority to commit resources. Education Leads are responsible for coordinating with the Office of Education and the Centers/JPL, facilitating evaluation of proposed activities using ECC-approved criteria, and facilitating data submission to the agency education data collection system.

Interesting in applying? Visit:

NASA Internships, Fellowships and Scholarships

NASA Internships, Fellowships, and Scholarships (NIFS) leverage NASA’s unique missions and programs to enhance and increase the capability, diversity, and size of the Nation’s future STEM workforce. NASA continues to invest in the nation’s STEM learners by providing opportunities that will launch a new era of learning, innovation, and achievement. NASA Internships are competitive awards to support educational work opportunities that provide unique NASA-related experiences for educators and high school, undergraduate, and graduate students. These opportunities engage students with real-world experiences while contributing to the operation of a NASA facility or the advancement of NASA’s missions.

NASA Fellowships are designed to support independently conceived or designed research, or senior design projects by highly qualified faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students, in disciplines needed to help advance NASA’s missions, thus affording them the opportunity to directly contribute to advancements in STEM-related areas of study. Our fellowship opportunities are focused on innovation and generate measurable research results that contribute to NASA’s current and future science and technology goals.

NASA Scholarships provide financial support to undergraduate and graduate students for studies in STEM disciplines to inspire and support the next generation of STEM professionals.

Interesting in applying? Visit:

One Stop Shopping Initiatives

OSSI is a NASA-wide system for the recruitment, application, selection and career development of undergraduate and graduate students primarily in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. Opportunities for students in other disciplines are available. OSSI allows students to apply for NASA Internships, Fellowships and Scholarships.

Interesting in applying? Visit:

NASA Student Ambassador Virtual Community

The NASA Student Ambassadors Virtual Community (NSAVC) is an online community network designed to foster greater interaction and mentorship among outstanding interns of NASA’s higher education projects. The goal is to provide participants with access to tools needed to serve as a NASA Student Ambassador, increase retention throughout the NASA educational pipeline into the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) workforce, and provide strategic communication opportunities.

Becoming a member of the NASA Student Ambassadors Virtual Community (NSAVC) has many benefits for current and former student interns at NASA. There are numerous resources available at your fingertips and you will become a part of a growing community of NASA Student Ambassadors’ Cohorts. NSAVC participants will enjoy the latest NASA news, science and technology updates, blogs, announcements, and forums. Additionally, Student Ambassadors have access to member profiles, networking opportunities, and links to Agency mission-related communications research and career resources.

Interesting in applying? Visit:

Pathways Programs at NASA

The NASA Pathways Intern Employment Program (IEP) is for current students and individuals accepted for enrollment in a qualifying educational program. The NASA Pathways IEP provides students enrolled in a variety of educational institutions with paid opportunities to work in agencies and explore Federal careers while still in school. This program exposes students to jobs in the Federal civil service by providing meaningful development work at the beginning of their career, before their career paths are fully established.

Interesting in applying? Visit:

NASA Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR)

The NASA SBIR and STTR programs fund the research, development, and demonstration of innovative technologies that fulfill NASA needs as described in the annual Solicitations and have significant potential for successful commercialization. If you are a small business concern (SBC) with 500 or fewer employees or a non-profit RI such as a university or a research laboratory with ties to an SBC, then NASA encourages you to learn more about the SBIR and STTR programs as a potential source of seed funding for the development of your innovations.  The SBIR and STTR programs have 3 phases:

  • Phase I is the opportunity to establish the scientific, technical, commercial merit and feasibility of the proposed innovation, and the quality of the SBC’s performance.

Phase I work and results should provide a sound basis for the continued development, demonstration and delivery of the proposed innovation in Phase II and follow-on efforts. Successful completion of Phase I objectives is a prerequisite to consideration for a Phase II award.

The SBIR Phase I contracts last for 6 months and STTR Phase I contracts last for 12 months, both with a maximum funding of $125,000.

  • Phase II is focused on the development, demonstration and delivery of the innovation. Only SBCs awarded a Phase I contract are eligible to submit a proposal for a Phase II funding agreement. Phase II projects are chosen as a result of competitive evaluations and based on selection criteria provided in the Solicitation.

Phase II contracts last for 24 months with a maximum funding of $750,000.

  • Phase III is the commercialization of innovative technologies, products, and services resulting from either a Phase I or Phase II contract. Phase III contracts are funded from sources other than the SBIR and STTR programs.

Interesting in applying? Visit:

NASA Office of Small Business Programs Mentor/Protégé Program

The NASA Mentor-Protégé Program encourages NASA prime contractors to assist eligible protégés, thereby enhancing the protégés’ capabilities to perform on NASA contracts and subcontracts, fostering the establishment of long-term business relationships between these entities and NASA prime contractors, and increasing the overall number of these entities that receive NASA contract and subcontract awards


To participate as a protégé, an entity must meet one of the eligibility requirements as defined in NFS 1819.72 and must maintain that status for the life of the agreement. If the protégé self-certifies that it meets the eligibility requirements, a separate written self-certification of its small business status must be provided with the MPA. (Note: If protégé eligibility expires prior to the end of the agreement period, the agreement may still be approved for the remaining duration of the POP but must include the condition that any credit received is subject to the protégé’s recertification.)

A protégé may not participate in the NASA MPP more than twice. In addition, a protégé may have only one NASA mentor at any given time. In accordance with NFS 1819.72, the following entities are eligible to be chosen as protégés:

  1. Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDBs)
  2. Woman-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs)
  3. Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) concerns
  4. Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSBs)
  5. Service-Disabled Veteran–Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs)
  6. Historically Black College or University (HBCUs)
  7. Minority Servicing Institutions (MSIs)
  8. Small businesses with an active NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II contract
  9. Companies participating in the AbilityOne program

Interesting in applying? Visit:


  • Ames Research Center
  • Armstrong Flight Research Center
  • Glenn Research Center
  • Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Johnson Space Center
  • Kennedy Space Center
  • Langley Research Center
  • Marshall Space Flight Center
  • Stennis Space Center

Please visit for more information about the above education centers.


Today, HBCUs have opportunities to collaborate with NASA to enhance their research, academic, and technological capabilities, as well as provide their students with scholarships, fellowships, internships and authentic hands-on research and engineering challenges. The information contained in this report is designed to give HBCUs an overview of the specific programs within NASA that could benefit their institutions. From this information, HBCUs should further assess the opportunities through NASA program websites, establish a relationship with the program officers, and establish a plan to apply.

For more than half of a century, NASA has been an essential aspect of our national pride and identity. During President Obama’s Final State of the Union Address, he stated “60 years ago, when the Russians beat us into space, we didn’t deny Sputnik was up there. We didn’t argue about the science, or shrink our research and development budget. We built a space program almost overnight, and twelve years later, we were walking on the moon.” Therefore, broadening the participation of HBCUs in NASA programs does more than connect schools to valuable resources. Meaningful partnerships between HBCUs and NASA keep HBCUs well-positioned to be in the epicenter our national priority to lead the world in space exploration.

Additional Links

  1. NASA Higher Education Contacts:
  2. NASA Education:
  3. NASA Jobs:
  4. Current Opportunities:
  5. Sign up for updates from NASA and STEM associates about workshops, internships, and fellowships; applications for grants or collaborations; promotions for student and educator opportunities; online professional development; and other announcements. NASA education EXPRESS:

La’Shanda Holmes is a special assistant to the administrator of NASA. She is a 2015-2016 White House Fellow placed at NASA for the year. She is also an active duty Coast Guard pilot and graduate of Spelman College.

Danielle Wood is a special assistant to the deputy administrator of NASA. Prior to this role, she worked a systems engineer with the Aerospace Corporation and as a researcher with Johns Hopkins University. She earned her doctoral degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she studied aerospace engineering, technology policy and international development.

Ivory A. Toldson is the executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He is currently on leave from his position as associate professor at Howard University.