NASA Space Technology Research Institutes (STRI) Solicitation(Direct to Appendix)

ATTENTION: This opportunity requires the submission of a notice of intent (NOI) to apply. The NASA NOI deadline occurs before the limited submission deadline. If you are interested in applying to this opportunity, you are required to submit an NOI to the sponsor by July 2 regardless of whether you are granted CU Boulder’s slot to submit a preliminary proposal to this opportunity. There are no limits on the number of NOIs that CU Boulder may submit to this opportunity.

Program Summary 

The goal of an STRI is to strengthen NASA’s ties to the academic community through long-term, sustained investment in research and technology development critical to NASA’s future. An STRI is intended to research and exploit cutting-edge advances in technology with the potential for revolutionary impact on future aerospace capabilities. At the same time, it will expand the U.S. talent base in research and development. The announcement solicits STRIs in two technology areas described in the solicitation:

  1. Revolutionary Propulsion for Rapid Deep Space Transit: The objective of this solicitation topic is to form a multidisciplinary institute to advance the development of revolutionary space propulsion technologies that could substantially reduce mission trip times and fundamentally transform deep space transportation.
  2. Smart Deep Space Habitats (SmartHabs): The objective of this solicitation topic is to form a multidisciplinary institute to fundamentally change how deep space habitats are designed for resilient and autonomous operation.

Creative teaming arrangements (i.e., diverse, multidisciplinary, and multi-institutional teams) are sought. The lead university is encouraged to not only take advantage of existing partnerships but to establish new partnerships, keeping in mind that diversity of thinking and new approaches could lead to exciting new solutions and advances. Teaming among accredited U.S. universities is required, with a minimum of three participant universities (including the lead university), each receiving at least 15% of the overall research institute budget. Research institute leadership or participation from HBCUs or other MSIs is strongly encouraged.


Sponsor Notice of Intent to Propose: July 2, 2018

Internal Competition Deadline: 11:59pm MST July 5, 2018

Sponsor Preliminary Proposal Deadline: 3:00pm MST July 30, 2018

Sponsor Invited Full Proposal Deadline: 3:00pm MST November 5, 2018 (subject to change)

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Up to 4-page Proposal: This proposal should include (a) a vision statement and research objectives, (b) a list of the team (key personnel and associated organizations), and (c) a short description of project benefits (potential impact of successful research & wider benefits). The proposal should also (d) discuss relevance to NASA in the context of the selected topic area, (e) discuss the multidisciplinary nature of the research and why the institutes construct is vital to achieving the vision, (f) discuss how the proposed research is innovative, and (g) describe how the proposed research has a credible and strong basis in current and prior research programs.
  • Curriculum vitae or Biosketch of PI

To access the online application, visit:


The PI must be a tenured or tenure-track faculty member in an engineering or science department at the lead university.

An individual may serve as PI on only one proposal and may not participate as a PI or Co-Investigator on any other proposals submitted. A Co-I on one proposal may also participate in other proposals.

Limited Submission Guidelines

A university may be the lead on at most one proposal submitted under each topic area, however, a lead university can receive only one award. There is no limit on the number of proposals in which a university may participate in a non-lead capacity.

There is no limit on the number of notices of intent submitted by a university.

Award Information and Duration

Number of Awards: 2 (likely 1 per topic area)

Award Amount: Up to $3,000,000 per year ($15,000,000 total).

Project Period: Up to five years.