National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program
Established by Congress in 1988 and implemented by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1989, the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program — also known as Space Grant — contributes to the nation’s science enterprise by funding research, education, and public service projects through a national network of 52 university-based Space Grant consortia. These consortia administer programs in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The consortia’s over 850 affiliates include academic institutions, research laboratories, and businesses. Other partners include state and local government agencies, other federal agencies, and nonprofit organizations. The program goals are to:
- Promote a strong science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education base from elementary through secondary levels while preparing teachers in these grade levels to become more effective at improving student academic outcomes.
- Establish and maintain a national network of universities with interests and capabilities in aeronautics, space and related fields.
- Encourage cooperative programs among universities, aerospace industry, and government.
- Encourage interdisciplinary training, research and public service programs related to aerospace.
- Recruit and train U.S. citizens, especially women, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities, for careers in aerospace science and technology.
NASA is charged with managing this program and funds Space Grant Consortia in all fifty states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. The Space Grant program, and Maryland Space Grant Consortium particularly, have always had a strong focus on support for historically underserved communities. This commitment remains in line with current federal government policies, as exemplified by this Executive Order from 2021, and also with local priorities, such as those embodied by the JHU Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
MDSGC History, Management, Member Institutions and Goals
Maryland was selected to participate in NASA’s National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program when it was formed in 1989. MDSGC is located in the Bloomberg Center for Physics and Astronomy on the Johns Hopkins University Homewood campus. Since its initiation, MDSGC has been under the leadership of Professor Richard C. Henry. A Deputy Director and Grants/Contracts Analyst comprise the supporting staff. A Program Committee consisting of an Associate Director from each of the member institutions oversees the program.
MDSGC consists of several member institutions which contribute to our programs in many important ways. Each institution provides one or more members of MDSGC’s Program and Scholarship Committees (for those institutions receiving scholarship funds). The Program Committee recommends specific program decisions to the Director for implementation. Scholarship Committee members recommend the selection of undergraduate Space Scholars to the Director. MDSGC also employs two permanent staff members, who manage the program and coordinate program activities.
Selected for their unique regional role in the Maryland educational system, our member institutions currently link MDSGC statewide. For names and contact information of MDSGC representatives at each institution, use the links below. We also collaborate closely with the Office of Education at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
- The Johns Hopkins University (Lead Institution)
- Capitol Technology University
- Hagerstown Community College
- Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
- Morgan State University
- National Center for Earth and Space Science Education
- Space Telescope Science Institute
- Towson University
- University of Maryland Baltimore County
- University of Maryland College Park
- University of Maryland Eastern Shore
- United States Naval Academy
Recognizing the need to support state and national educational goals for a diverse workforce and to strengthen the nation’s base of qualified scientists and engineers, MDSGC is committed to the following program goals:
- Increasing the representation within the space sciences of historically underrepresented groups and women;
- Fostering interdisciplinary and inter-institutional research and educational programs involving MDSGC members and affiliated industrial sponsors and NASA Centers;
- Promoting public interest in and awareness of opportunities in the space sciences;
- Increasing Maryland’s visibility as a center of earth and space science and engineering technology.