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NASA STEM Engagement Budget Request Fact Sheet

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
June 4, 2021
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FY 2022 Budget Request
Office of STEM Engagement
($ Millions)

NASA makes investments in engaging students, educators, and educational institutions to: attract diverse groups of students to STEM through learning opportunities that spark interest and provide connections to NASA’s mission and work; create unique opportunities for a diverse set of students to contribute to NASA’s work; and build a diverse future STEM workforce. The Office of STEM Engagement (OSTEM) leads NASA’s STEM engagement function, providing strategic guidance and direction in partnership with the mission directorates.

In FY 2022, NASA will focus on increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM by bolstering internships and other direct student opportunities, enhancing Next Gen STEM’s K-12 portfolio of student learning opportunities, and expanding partnerships and networks to magnify their reach and impact. The STEM Engagement Program is comprised of four projects:

National Space Grant College Fellowship Project (Space Grant)

  • The Budget provides a $6 million increase to Space Grant, a national network of colleges and universities with 52 consortia in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and over1,000 affiliates. In FY 2022, Space Grant will issue awards for year three of a four-year competitive awards cycle, which will increase base awards to $820,000 for each consortium. Space Grant will also execute a competitive solicitation for multiple consortia to jointly propose learning opportunities for the 2023 and 2024 eclipses, with focus on serving underrepresented and underserved students.

Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP)

  • The Budget provides a $10 million increase to MUREP to enable a greater reach to Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and underrepresented minorities in geographical areas of the country will MUREP does not have investments, and to build MSI capacity and competitiveness with a focus on student success. In FY 2022, efforts will include leading the formation of a Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) focused element designed to address deficits in STEM research, faculty development, and student success. MUREP will also create competitive awards for Alaska Native and Native-Hawaiian, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and other Native Serving institutions to bolster STEM pathways.

Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)

  • NASA EPSCoR will execute its multiple competitive awards portfolio for eligible jurisdictions, with the aim of developing a broader academic research enterprise directed toward long-term, self-sustainable, nationally competitive capabilities in aerospace. In FY 2022, EPSCoR will conduct the Research, Rapid Response Research, Research Infrastructure Development, and ISS and Suborbital Flight Research Opportunities. EPSCoR, in partnership with the National Science Foundation, will support Fellows Advancing Science and Technology to enable Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs)within EPSCoR states to collaborate with NASA researchers and open new paths for them to compete for future research projects.

Next Generation STEM Project (Next Gen STEM)

  • NASA will allocate an additional $4 million towards strategic investments in informal education andK-12 through Next Gen STEM, which supports informal education and K-12 student engagement. In FY 2022, NASA will forge a competitive two-tiered awards program for museums and other informal education institutions: (1) traditional large awards for exhibits and programs (approximately $750,000 to $1 million) and (2) small “Community Anchor” awards to help build capacity with newer-to-NASA institutions (approximately $25,000). Next Gen STEM will also focus on engaging underserved and underrepresented student groups through NASA mission learning opportunities and content, including Artemis and the James Webb Space Telescope.

FY 2020 reflects funding amounts specified in Public Law 116-93, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, as adjusted in NASA’s FY 2021 Initial Operating Plan, except Exploration Ground System Development and Exploration CoF. Table does not reflect emergency supplemental funding provided for NASA and included in the Safety, Security, and Mission Services account, as specified in Public Law 116-136, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, totaling $60.0 million. FY 2021 reflects funding amounts specified in Public Law 116-260, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, as adjusted by NASA’s FY 2021 Initial Operating Plan.

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