Propose a Program

Guidelines for Proposals to MDSGC

Anyone may propose at any time. There is no prescribed format for proposals, and they should be no longer than necessary. Proposals may be in any area of education, public understanding of NASA objectives, space-based research, and the like, that address NASA’s major education goals:

  • Strengthen NASA and the nation’s future workforce.
  • Attract and retain students, especially women and members of under-represented minority groups, in STEM disciplines.
  • Engage Americans in NASA’s mission.

Proposals must include a detailed budget with identification of any non-Federal matching funds. Student support may be requested in the form of stipends or as hourly wages and number of hours. Non-student salary support (e.g. partial faculty summer support) requires additional justification that must explain why these funds are essential to the execution of the project, including certification that the effort committed is in addition to that compensated by any other sources of funds to the project. Sufficient detail must be provided to make clear (1) the fraction of FTE and duration of effort and/or the number of hours being committed (2) the distribution of funds between salary and fringe rate (3) that no charges for F&A are included.

Proposals should specify clear, realistic goals and the path to accomplishing them, including intermediate milestones. They should include projections of the number of participants in planned activities and a description/itemization of objectives and any deliverables, with associated deadlines.

A set of guidelines developed to encourage proposals to support summer interns can be viewed here.

Proposal Best Practices

A proposal’s probability of being accepted is enhanced if:

  • The proposal is from a Maryland institution or individual.
  • The proposer’s CV is included and demonstrates relevant competencies.
  • The proposal is for less than about $20,000, the smaller the better.
  • You already have half of what you need from non-Federal funds, so you are making a 100% non-Federal match to what you are requesting. The match can be in-kind, and can include regular staff salaries.
  • The proposal has a strong emphasis on diversity: involvement of members of groups under-represented in STEM.
  • The proposal involves support for STEM students and/or aims at attracting or retaining such students. STEM is “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.”
  • The proposal has a NASA Center connection, especially Goddard Space Flight Center.
  • The proposal involves more than one Maryland institution.
  • The proposal includes a well-founded Evaluation Plan; see the Project Evaluation Guidelines.


  • No overhead may be charged. MDSGC does not charge overhead to NASA.
  • Regular staff salary funds should generally not be requested.
  • MDSGC generally cannot provide support for international travel.
  • For certain activities such as internships/fellowships/scholarships, only U.S. citizens may receive direct NASA Space Grant support.

Proposals are reviewed by the MDSGC Program Committee. We pride ourselves on quick action and minimal bureaucracy. The proposer may be asked to present their proposal in person at a Program Committee meeting, and/or to report back results at a meeting following the conclusion of the project. A final report is usually required.

The Document Center contains additional resources for proposers.

How to Submit a Proposal

Email your proposal to the Deputy Director

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