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National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Categories of proposal personnel Biographical sketch Current and pending NASA ROSES FINESST No-cost extensions NASA templates

In this section you will find information regarding policies and procedures for submitting National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) grant applications , including information about the most common funding applied for in CEE, NASA’s ROSES solicitation. For complete policies and procedures for NASA awards, browse the NASA Proposers’ Guidebook.

Categories of proposal personnel

Every person who is expected to have a significant role (i.e. assigned responsibilities appropriate to a defined category of personnel) in the execution of the proposed effort must be registered in NSPIRES and identified on the proposal cover page using one of the following categories of personnel. Each individual proposed must also identify the organization through which they are participating in the investigation, which may differ from their primary employer or preferred mailing address, in order to facilitate organizational conflict of interest checks that must be considered in the evaluation process. Other than the category of Principal Investigator, some FAs may specifically disallow some or all of the below categories and/or may add other categories.

Categories (required on cover page)

  • Principal Investigator (PI)
  • Contact PI
  • Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI)
  • Co-Investigator (Co-I)
  • Postdoctoral associate
  • Other professional
  • Collaborator

Categories (not required on cover page)

  • Graduate and/or undergraduate students
  • Consultant

Biographical sketch

The proposal should demonstrate that the participants who will have critical management or technical roles have the appropriate qualifications, capabilities, and experience to provide confidence that the proposed objectives will be achieved.

  • PIs, Co-PIs, and any Co-I also serving in one of the three special Co-I categories defined in Categories of Personnel must include a biographical sketch (not to exceed two pages) that includes their professional experiences and positions and a bibliography of publications, especially those relevant to the proposed investigation, as well as, a description of scientific, technical and management performance on relevant prior research efforts.
  • Co-Is proposing to spend 10% or more of their time to the effort are limited to a one-page sketch.

Be sure to review program solicitation requirements, which may differ from the NASA Guidebook.

Current and pending

PIs and Co-PIs must provide all ongoing and pending projects and proposals (regardless of salary support) in which they are performing or will perform any part of the work. Co-Is proposing to spend 10% or more of their time to the proposed effort must provide ongoing and pending project and proposals (regardless of salary support) that require a significant share (more than 10%) of their time. Proposals need not include the current proposal on the list of pending proposals unless it was also submitted to another FA or funding opportunity (whether at NASA or another sponsor).

For those investigators for whom it is required (see above), the proposal shall provide the following information for each current and pending project:

  • Title of funded project or proposal title
  • Name of PI on award or proposal
  • Program name (if appropriate) and sponsoring agency or organization, including a point of contact with their telephone number and email address
  • Performance period
  • Total amount received by that investigator (including indirect costs) or the amount per year if uniform (e.g., $50 k/year)
  • Time commitment by the investigator for each year of the period of performance

The proposing PI must notify the NASA Program Officer identified for the FA immediately of any successful proposals that are awarded for substantially the same research as proposed to NASA, any time after the proposal due date and until the time that NASA’s selections are announced.

Current and pending support is not required for students or Co-Is at non-U.S. institutions.

Be sure to review program solicitation requirements, which may differ from the NASA Guidebook.


The most common proposal submitted through CEE, ROSES is an omnibus solicitation, with many individual program elements, each with its own due date and topic.

ROSES checklist

Refer to the NASA ROSES Checklist for proposal elements. There are three general components, detailed below

  • Cover sheet
  • Proposal PDF
  • Total budget PDF

NASA ROSES cover sheet elements

The NASA ROSES cover sheet combines the following elements. This is a web-based form in which all elements relevant to the proposal must be entered.

  • Project summary: 4,000 character limit
  • Data management plan: 4,000 character limit
  • Business data
  • Budget pages
    • Auto filled by completing budget web form. This will be redacted so that reviewers cannot see overhead and salary figures.
  • Program-specific data
  • Proposal team

NASA proposal PDF

NASA ROSES proposals are uploaded as a separate document (see individual programs for requirements as they may deviate from the following standard requirements):

  • The following elements are combined into a single paginated PDF and uploaded separately from the NASA ROSES cover sheet, see checklist for rules, format and document order:
    • Table of contents
    • Scientific Technical Management Section (typically 15 pages, verify with individual program elements)
    • References
    • Biographical sketches
    • Table of personnel and work effort
    • Current and pending
    • Letters (if allowed, see checklist for rules)
    • Budget justification
    • Facilities and equipment
    • Detailed budget

Total budget PDF

The total budget PDF is not seen by reviewers and includes all of the detailed budget information that is redacted on the cover page and in the Proposal PDF. It includes all costing details with justifications. Include separate total budgets for all subcontractors and interagency collaborators, as applicable. Should be uploaded as a single PDF.

Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINESST)

Through the Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINESST) solicitation, NASA solicits proposals for research grants that identify an individual pursuing a graduate degree in Earth and space sciences related disciplines, as the participating Future Investigator (FI). The purpose of the FINESST is to provide relevant research and/or technology development project training in disciplines needed to achieve the goals of NASA SMD. FINESST grants are for student-designed research projects that contribute to SMD's science, technology and exploration goals.

Please consult the FINESST solicitation announcement for specific requirements. In particular, the solicitation describes the goals and objectives of the four SMD Divisions. At the time of submission, you will have to choose the SMD division to which the proposal is being submitted. Please ensure that you select the correct "Option for Proposal Submission" for your proposal. After having chosen the primary division, proposers will have an opportunity to indicate the other division to which a proposal may be relevant.

Required FINESST components

The maximum amount of a FINESST award is $45,000 per 12-months and up to $135,000 total for a maximum of 36 months (not including a hiatus, if applicable). Stipend and allowances should be prorated if the projected schedule for completion is known to be less than 12 months.

Limitations on FINESST budget categories

Allowable costs (Participant Costs):

  • Stipend for graduate student
  • Subsistence allowance
  • Travel allowance
  • Registration fees paid to or on behalf of the student in connection with conferences

Unallowable costs:

  • PI/mentor salary
  • Equipment, including personal computers or devices such as mobile phones

FINESST budgets require a narrative justification in the proposal, which should be around one page and cover three broad cost categories.

  • Future Investigator stipend
  • Future Investigator allowance(s)
  • University fees/tuition

Shortfalls in tuition coverage

FINNEST graduate fellowships may not have enough funding to cover all of the student’s tuition. Faculty’s other research grants typically cannot cover this shortfall. Therefore, faculty advisors should have a plan in place to cover the shortfall, normally RCR or start-up funds.

No-cost extensions

1st and 2nd No-Cost Extension, Grantee-Approved Extension

The recipient may make a one-time no-cost extension, not to exceed 12 months, prior to the established expiration date. Written notification of such an extension, with supporting reasons and a progress report, must be received by the NASA Grant Officer at least ten days but no sooner than 60 days prior to the last day of the period of performance. Failure to submit the necessary documentation and progress report may result in non-acceptance of the request or other enforcement actions as provided in 2 CFR 200.338.

Student fellowships always require prior approval from the program officer.

1st and 2nd no-cost extension request

  • Should be submitted 10 days prior to the end date, but no sooner than 60 days prior to the last date of the period of performance
  • Limit reason for extension to 1,000 characters.
  • Need to submit the current progress report to be able to request no-cost extension

Provide grant manger with:

  • Justification for extension
  • If the balance is greater than 25%, provide a justification
  • Progress report

NASA templates