The 2016 NASA HBCU/MSI Technology Infusion Road Tour

The Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) in collaboration with the Office of Education and the Space Technology Mission Directorate is pleased to announce a new Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Minority Serving Institutions (HBCU/MSI) initiative. This initiative is referred to as the “NASA HBCU/MSI Technology Infusion Road Tour” and is a pilot designed to assist NASA and Large Prime Contractors meet and/or exceed the Agency mandated HBCUs/MSI goals.  In addition, the Road Tour will provide HBCUs/MSIs an introduction and a platform to seek NASA and Large Prime Contractors to pursue non-grant funding.

In order to help HBCUs/MSIs and Large Prime Contractors, NASA will provide an open platform for HBCU/MSI representatives to get an overview of the NASA Mentor-Protégé Program, the Office of Education grants and co-op opportunities and the SBIR/STTR program, along with processes on how to become involved in acquisition opportunities.  Your participation, and the participation of our Procurement and Technical personnel is critical to the success of this initiative and we hope you will be a part of this exciting journey!

We plan to achieve the purpose and objectives within 2 1Ž2 days; through various workshops, and matchmaking sessions. As of right now, 4 Universities have expressed interested including, North Carolina Central University, the University of Texas-El Paso, Morgan State University and Florida A&M University.  We have gathered tentative dates and are working on the outline of the workshops.

If you are interested in supporting and participating in the Road Tour, please Contact


Tabisa Kalisa

Program Manager

Tel: 202-358-1818

Fax: 202-358-3261



Job Announcement: Education Program Specialist at Stennis Space Center

The position is located at NASA Stennis Space Center and is open to current Federal employees serving on a career or career-conditional appointment, former Federal employees eligible for reinstatement, or those eligible for non-competitive appointment under special authorities. NASA term employees with term conversion eligibility under P.L. 108-201 may also apply. Veterans who are preference eligibles or who have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions after 3 or more years of continuous active service may apply.

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

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

WHIHBCU Webinar: Federal Funding Opportunities at National Endowment of the Humanities! Feb. 11, 2:00PM-3:30PM EST

The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (WHIHBCU) will be hosting a series of webinars to educate Historically Black Colleges and Universities on the grants and opportunities available to them throughout the federal government.

This webinar will provide participants with information about federal funding opportunities at the National Endowment for the Humanities. NEH staff will describe selected NEH grant programs in the areas of education, research, public programs, challenge, and preservation and access. Additional topics to be addressed include application-writing strategies, and the application submission and review process. Faculty, staff, and administrators from the HBCU community are invited to view the webinar live and ask questions.

Please register for the White House Initiative for HBCUs: Federal Funding Opportunities at NEH webinar at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar!


Helping More Americans Complete College: New Proposals For Success

Helping More Americans Complete College: New Proposals For Success

“We agree that real opportunity requires every American to get the education and training they need to land a good-paying job.” —President Barack Obama, State of the Union, January 12, 2016

At a time when the economy is changing faster than ever before, real opportunity requires that every American get the postsecondary education and training they need to find a good-paying job. President Obama believes that we must help many more Americans graduate from college. Still, far too many students never complete their degree – only 60 percent of those enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program complete their education. Even for those who do complete, at least a third take longer than expected to graduate, forcing them to carry additional costs and leave school with higher debt burdens. The consequences of not completing college are especially severe for students who leave school with debt; borrowers who drop out of college face a three times greater risk of defaulting on their student loans compared with those who graduate.

Since 2009, the Obama Administration has made historic investments in student financial aid that have helped ensure college stays within the reach of American families. It has increased the maximum Pell Grant by more than $1,000, and created the American Opportunity Tax Credit, worth $10,000 over four years of college. It has cut student loan interest rates, saving students up to $1,000 this year, and allowed more borrowers to cap their loan payments at 10 percent of their income through the President’s Pay As You Earn and related income-driven repayment plans. In total, the Obama Administration has increased total aid available to students by over $50 billion from 2008 to 2016, and selected tax benefits by over $12 billion, which has helped our Nation ensure more students are graduating college than ever before. At the same time, the Administration has sought to drive innovations that increase college completion, value and affordability by investing $135 million over the past two years under the First in the World program to scale evidenced-based practices to improve student outcomes and bring down college costs.

Building on this record of progress, today the Administration is announcing significant new investments in the federal Pell Grant program – the cornerstone of college affordability. The two new Pell proposals will help students to accelerate progress towards their degrees by attending school year-round and encourage students to take more credits per term, increasing their likelihood of on-time completion. In fiscal year 2017, these changes would mean an additional $2 billion in Pell Grants for students working toward their degrees.


  • Pell for Accelerated Completion would allow full-time students the opportunity to earn a third semester of Pell Grants in an academic year, enabling them to finish faster by taking additional courses year-round and better meeting the diverse needs of today’s students. Many full-time students exhaust their annual Pell eligibility after just two semesters and, as a result, are unable to pay for summer courses and must wait until the beginning of the next academic year to continue their studies. This proposal will provide nearly 700,000 students next year who are making real progress toward on time graduation with an additional $1,915 on average to help pay for college and complete their degrees faster.


  • On-Track Pell Bonus would create an incentive for students to stay on track or accelerate their progress towards a degree through an increase in the maximum Pell Grant award of $300 for students who take 15 credits per semester in an academic year. The bonus would encourage students to take the credits needed to finish an associate degree in two years (60 credits) or a bachelor’s degree in four years (120 credits). Finishing faster means more students will complete their education at a lower cost and likely with less student debt. This proposal would help an estimated 2.3 million students next year as they work to finish their degrees faster.

Key Administration Proposals to Support College Access and Success:

 Today’s new initiatives would complement existing Administration proposals designed to help more students from all backgrounds succeed in college, by helping to improve student outcomes and increase the number of students who graduate, accelerate degree completion time, make college more affordable, help lower student debt, and ensure students graduate with the knowledge and skills needed in today’s economy. Those include:


  • Making two years of high-quality community college free for responsible students through America’s College Promise, letting millions of responsible students earn the first half of a bachelor’s degree and the skills needed to succeed in the workforce at no cost. America’s College Promise would create a new partnership with states and would require everyone to do their part: Community colleges must strengthen their programs and increase the share of students who graduate, states must invest more in higher education and training, and students must take responsibility for their educations, earn good grades, and stay on track to graduate.


  • Ensure Pell Grants keep pace with rising costs by continuing to index the Pell Grant to inflation beyond 2017 with mandatory funding to protect and sustain its value into the future. The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act signed by the President increased the maximum award by the Consumer Price Index from 2013 to 2017. Without permanent CPI indexing, the purchasing power of Pell will erode, making it harder for students and families to afford college. Indexing the Pell Grant means that, compared with current law, the maximum Pell Grant award will increase by $1,300 in the 2026-2027 award year, resulting in larger awards for 9.2 million students.


  • Rewarding colleges that successfully enroll and graduate students from all backgrounds. The College Opportunity and Graduation Bonus program would recognize and provide a bonus to high-performing colleges that enroll and graduate a significant number of low- and moderate-income students, as demonstrated by high graduation rates for Pell Grant recipients and low cohort default rates, and encourage all institutions to improve their performance.


  • Building effective community college programs in high-demand fields through the American Technical Training Fund. The program would provide competitive grants to support the development, operation, and expansion of innovative, evidence-based, and tuition-free job training programs in high-demand fields. It will enable youth and adults, particularly from low- and moderate-income families, to complete education and training that lead to jobs in high-demand industries and occupations.

Webinar, Jan. 21st: Federal Funding Opportunities at the U.S. Department of Agriculture!!

White House Initiative on HBCUs: Federal Funding Opportunities at United State Department of Agriculture

The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (WHIHBCU) will be hosting a series of webinars to educate Historically Black Colleges and Universities on the grants and opportunities available to them throughout the federal government.

The WHIHBCU will co-host a webinar with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on January 21, 2016 from 1:30PM-3:30PM EST.

This webinar will feature a presentation by Departmental programs for both Rural Development and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture at the Department of Agriculture highlighting their funding opportunities for HBCUs. Faculty and administrators from the HBCU community are invited to view the webinar live and ask questions.

The conference begins at 1:30 PM Eastern Time on January 21, 2016; you may join 10 minutes prior.

  1. Connect to
  2. Instructions for connecting to conference audio will then be presented on your computer

You will be connected to the conference with the AT&T Connect Web Participant Application – there is no software download or installation required.

If you are unable to connect to the conference by computer, you may listen by telephone only at 1-877-369-5243 or 1-617-668-3633 using 0169417#

If you need technical assistance, call the Help Desk at 1-888-796-6118 or 1-847-562-7015

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.

NAFSA’s Diversity Impact Program

NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the largest association of professionals committed exclusively to advancing international higher education and in recent years we have been striving to find ways to give more underrepresented students access to international education.

The NAFSA Diversity Impact Program provides international education professionals working with underrepresented students complimentary NAFSA membership and annual conference registration, as well as yearlong mentoring and professional learning opportunities. This program specifically targets professionals at tribal colleges; historically black colleges and universities; Hispanic-serving institutions; and community colleges and associates colleges. The applications for the 2016 program just opened and  are due in April and you can find more detailed information here.