NASA releases 2015 Competitive Program for Science Museums, Planetariums and NASA Visitor Centers

Status Report From:
Posted: Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The NASA Office of Education, in cooperation with NASA Headquarters’ Offices of Communications, Chief Scientist, and Chief Technologist, the Mission Directorates (i.e., Aeronautics Research, Human Exploration and Operations, Science, and Space Technology), and Mission Support Directorate is issuing this NASA Research Announcement (NRA or solicitation) to solicit proposals to support NASA-inspired S-STEM informal education projects, including exhibits, through partnerships with K-12 schools or districts, youth-serving organizations, higher education, and/or other agencies to support Federal STEM education goals. Successful proposals typically will be funded as grants or cooperative agreements depending on the size and complexity of the proposed project.

Organization Limit:

By submitting a proposal, organizations responding to this NRA (other than Appendix O), are certifying that they meet the following criteria to propose as a lead organization:

· legally recognized by a federal, state or local authority as a non-profit organization,
· located in the United States or its Territories, and
· provide S-STEM education programming, (such as but not limited to exhibits) through partnerships with K-12 schools or districts, youth-serving organizations, higher education, and/or other federal, state, or local agencies.

An organization that is operated by a K-12 school, district, higher education institution, or other entity such as a planetarium, museum, or youth-serving organization should refer to the special instructions in the NRA (Section III – Eligibility).

An organization selected for funding may be required to self-certify that it meets the definition of a:

1) museum (including planetarium) as defined in Federal Management Regulation (FMR) 102-37-C-1 Amendment Appendix C—Glossary Of Terms For Determining Eligibility Of Public Agencies And Nonprofit Organizations, or

2) youth-serving organization as defined by this NRA (see Section III.A).

An eligible institution is not required to have the words museum, visitor center, science, planetarium or youth in its name. All types of NASA Visitor Centers (e.g., private, state or federal entities) are eligible. A non-profit institution of informal education within a higher education organization is eligible as a lead organization only if it has its own DUNS number that is distinct from its controlling or operating education organization.

Principal Investigator Requirement

A Principal Investigator (PI) must be the President, Vice President, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chairman of the Board, Superintendent of Schools, Planetarium Director, Director of Sponsored Research, or similarly ranked executive from an eligible institution.

Technical Content Limitation

The only eligible technical subject areas are NASA-themed space exploration, aeronautics, space science, Earth science, or microgravity, or combinations of these themes. Proposals focused exclusively on non-NASA themes will be returned without peer review. Proposals shall align to NASA’s Mission Directorate programs, and/or offices of Education (OE) and/or Communications (OC).

Alignment with NASA and Federal STEM Education Goals - Proposals shall demonstrate how the activity will directly contribute to one or more of the priority STEM education investment areas of the Federal STEM education goals.


Organizations that do not meet eligibility criteria or whose proposals do not align with the thematic foci of this NRA should refer to Appendix O.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization. Organizations shall submit only one (1) proposal per DUNS number. If an organization submits more than one proposal using the same DUNS number, then none of the proposals will be evaluated. However, there is no limit on the number of times an entity may be proposed by another institution as an unfunded partner or as a sub-award. Eligible institutions may submit a proposal as a lead organization or be proposed for a sub-award as part of other organizations’ proposals, or both.

Required Registrations: No later than the due date for proposals, proposers to this NRA shall have:

1) a DUNS number,
2) a valid registration with the System for Award Management (SAM),
3) a valid Commercial And Government Entity (CAGE) Code, and
4) a valid registration with NSPIRES (including for any entities proposed to receive subawards or contracts).

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