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Call for Letters of Application for Membership on NASA’s Science Definition Team for the Real-Time Protein Crystal Growth 2 Project

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Friday, April 27, 2018

To date, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has conducted macromolecular crystallization experiments in space using methods that differ significantly from the methods commonly used in terrestrial laboratories. Now NASA and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) are partnering together in the Real-Time Protein Crystal Growth - 2 (RTPCG-2) project to develop methods on the International Space Station (ISS) that more closely mimic terrestrial methods and that allow crystallization conditions to be optimized on orbit with an iterative process. For a given flight opportunity, a final set of crystallization experiments will be set up at a time that allows fresh crystals to be produced for the return of the samples to Earth.

NASA invites members of the structural biology research community to apply for membership in the Science Definition Team (SDT) that will guide the RTPCG-2 project. The SDT will:
Advise the project team on the selection of flight hardware to be used in the RTPCG-2 project;
Advise the project team on the choice of test solutions and procedure development for Phase 1;
Advise the project team on the choice of model crystallization targets and procedure development for Phase 2;
Advise the project team on the choice of novel crystallization targets and procedure development for Phase 3, for up to three flight opportunities. The number of flight of opportunities is at the discretion of NASA.

Responses to this Call for Letters of Application shall include a Summary Letter and the applicant’s curriculum vitae (CV). The Summary Letter shall provide clearly defined evidence of the candidate’s relevant experience, research interests, and how the candidate can contribute to the success of the RTPCG-2 project. The Summary Letter shall also contain a statement confirming the applicant’s time availability during the 18 months of the operation of the SDT to participate in the project team’s activities. The Summary Letter is limited to one page with standard 12-point font and one-inch margins. The CV shall detail the applicant’s education, work experience, and publications list. The CV is limited to five pages with standard 12-point font and one-inch margins. The Letters of Application are due no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on May 25, 2018, via the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System (NSPIRES).
 
The SDT is expected to be formed within two months of the issuance of this Call for Letters of Application, and it is expected to be disbanded after 18 months of operation. The SDT will operate as a subordinate group under the Human Exploration and Operations Research Advisory Committee (HEORAC). All reports and output materials of the study will be made publicly available. NASA will provide no funding for the SDT members to participate in the SDT activities, except reimbursement of authorized travel expenses as needed.
 
Applying for participation in the RTPCG-2 SDT is open to all qualified and interested individuals. Group applications will not be considered. In addition, collaborations and teams will not be considered.
 
This Call for Letters of Application is issued as a NASA Request for Information (RFI) NNH18ZTT001L in NSPIRES. The full text of the Call is available on the NASA Research Opportunities homepage at http://nspires.nasaprs.com under menu listing "Open Solicitations.” The direct link to the RFI is https://tinyurl.com/NASA-RTPCG-2. Questions with regard to responding to this Call for Letters of Application may be addressed to the contacts referenced in the full RFI document.
 
The issuance of this Call for Letters of Application does not obligate NASA to select any of the applications. Any costs incurred by prospective investigators in preparing their applications are incurred completely at the applicant’s own risk.

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