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NASA Releases Solicitations for the
University Student Research Challenge
University Leadership Initiative
Dear Members and Friends of Women in Aerospace,
We would like to share that NASA Aeronautics has two funding opportunities provided by The University Student Research Challenge and the University Leadership Initiative. If you are or know university faculty or students that have aeronautics-related project ideas and have the passion to develop them, these opportunities are for you! To read more about what the funding opportunities entail and how to apply, please keep reading.
The University Student Research Challenge (USRC) seeks to challenge students to propose new aeronautics ideas/concepts that are relevant to NASA Aeronautics. USRC will provide students, from accredited U.S. colleges or universities, with grants for their projects and it includes the challenge of raising a modest amount of cost share funds through crowdfunding platform.
The process of creating and preparing a crowdfunding campaign acts as a teaching accelerator - requiring students to act like entrepreneurs and taking action. Crowdfunding also raises awareness about students’ research among the public. The solicitation goal can be accomplished through project ideas such as advancing the design, developing technology or capabilities in support of aviation, by demonstrating a novel concept, or enabling advancement of aeronautics-related technologies.
Notices of Intent (NOIs) are not required for this solicitation. Three-page proposals can be submitted on NSPIRES for USRC's third solicitation cycle with a due date of June 24, 2021.                     
University Leadership Initiative (ULI) provides the opportunity for university teams to exercise technical and organizational leadership in proposing unique technical challenges in aeronautics, defining multi-disciplinary solutions, establishing peer review mechanisms, and applying innovative teaming strategies to strengthen the research impact.
Research proposals are sought in seven ULI topic areas:
Topic 1: Safe, Efficient Growth in Global Operations (Strategic Thrust 1)
Topic 2: Innovation in Commercial Supersonic Aircraft (Strategic Thrust 2)
Topic 3: Ultra-Efficient Subsonic Transports (Strategic Thrust 3)
Topic 4: Safe, Quiet, and Affordable Vertical Lift Air Vehicles (Strategic Thrust 4)
Topic 5: In-Time System-Wide Safety Assurance (Strategic Thrust 5)
Topic 6: Assured Autonomy for Aviation Transformation (Strategic Thrust 6)
Topic 7: Zero Emission Aviation
This NRA will utilize a two-step proposal submission and evaluation process. The initial step is a short mandatory Step-A proposal due June 22, 2021. Those offerors submitting the most highly rated Step-A proposals will be invited to submit a Step-B proposal. All proposals must be submitted electronically through NSPIRES.
An Applicant’s Workshop was held on April 15, 2021. The recording can be viewed online at:
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