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NSF 22-123

Dear Colleague Letter: Supplemental Funding for Space-Related Preparation and Awareness for Career Equity (SPACE)

September 19, 2022

Dear Colleagues:

Space-related programs, projects and activities are of great importance to the economy, national security, and to understanding the Earth and Universe. NSF is poised to support the United States Space Priorities Framework by providing supplemental funding to active NSF awardees with projects at the intersection of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and space ecosystems, that aim to improve diversity in the space workforce. The space workforce represents a wide range of careers; some example careers can be seen in solar and space physics research, aerospace, advanced manufacturing, quantum computing, communication, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence. The promotion of this diverse set of career paths and related activities is a government wide initiative (e.g., the CHIPS and Science Act, a historic investment in the production of American-made semiconductors, the supply chain, and scientific research and technological leadership).

For the purpose of this DCL, space-related is defined as one or more of the following:

  • Space-Direct: Programs, activities and/or projects that are used either in the space environment or directly support goods and services used in space (e.g., space vehicles, launch pads, communications, etc.).
  • Space-Enabled: Programs, activities and/or projects that require direct input from space to function (e.g., satellite telecommunications and observations, global positioning, navigation, and timing equipment, etc.).
  • Space-Research: Programs, activities, and/or projects that are associated with studying space (e.g., research and development, educational services, planetariums, observatories, etc.).

Competitive supplemental funding requests will clearly detail how the request offers a unique opportunity for preparing the space workforce of the future, are space-related, and indicate how one or both of the following goals are met:

Goal 1: Awareness - To increase the awareness of space related career opportunities in communities underrepresented in the space workforce by increasing the participation of under-engaged communities (PreK-adults), institutions (e.g., HBCUs, HSIs, TCUs and other MSIs, two-year colleges, and trade/vocational schools), and geographic regions.

Goal 2: Preparation - To increase preparation and enhance capacity throughout the nation, in support of a diverse space workforce through activities and projects that include but are not limited to faculty development, formal education, informal education, and community-based activities.


Principal Investigators (PIs) with active NSF awards are eligible to submit supplemental funding requests through their respective NSF programs following the guidance specified in Chapter VI.E.5 of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) and this DCL. The first line of the Summary of Proposed Work section must include "Supplemental Funding for Space-Related Preparation and Awareness for Career Equity (SPACE)" followed by a description of the proposed activities. In the Justification for Supplement section, include details that indicate how the supplemental funding request aligns with the goals of this DCL. Budgets should not exceed 20% of the underlying award and are subject to availability of funds. The budgets and project duration should be determined by the scope of the activities and in accordance with the PAPPG. Principal Investigators should consult with their cognizant NSF Program Director prior to submitting a supplemental funding request for program specific questions and may contact with questions specific to this DCL. Supplemental funding requests may be submitted at any time; there is no fixed deadline date.


James L. Moore III, Assistant Director
Directorate for Education and Human Resources

Susan S. Margulies, Assistant Director
Directorate for Engineering

Alexandra R. Isern, Assistant Director
Directorate for Geoscience

Erwin Gianchandani, Assistant Director
Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships

Joanne S. Tornow, Assistant Director
Directorate for Biological Sciences

Margaret Martonosi, Assistant Director
Directorate of Computer and Information Science and Engineering

Sean Jones, Assistant Director
Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Kellina Craig-Henderson, Assistant Director
Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences

Kendra Sharp, Office Head
Office of International Science and Engineering

Alicia J. Knoedler, Office Head
Office of Integrative Activities