NASA’s latest Research Announcement (NRA) titled “Human Exploration Research Opportunities (HERO)” solicits research in support of the administration’s Human Research Program (HRP).  The HRP contains various elements and disciplines concerning human health and space exploration, and is partnered through a Cooperative Agreement with the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI).  More detailed information on this opportunity below:

“The HRP contains six Elements: Space Radiation, Human Health and Countermeasures, Exploration Medical Capability, Behavioral Health and Performance, Space Human Factors and Habitability, and International Space Station Medical Project. Fourteen disciplines or areas support the Program: Behavioral Health and Performance, Bone, Cardiovascular, Extravehicular Activity, Immunology, Medical Capabilities, Muscle, Nutrition, Pharmacology, Radiation, Sensorimotor, Advanced Food Technology, Advanced Environmental Health, and Space Human Factors Engineering.


The National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) is a non-profit organization competitively selected by NASA that uses an integrated team approach to advance biomedical research and countermeasure development. NSBRI works in close partnership with the HRP through a Cooperative Agreement. The NRA will cover all aspects of research to provide human health and performance countermeasures, knowledge, technologies, and tools to enable safe, reliable, and productive human space exploration, and to ensure safe and productive human spaceflight.


Awards generally range from under $100K per year for focused, limited efforts (e.g., data analysis) to $450K per year for extensive activities (e.g., development of scientific hardware). The funds available for awards in each program element offered in the NRA range from less than one to several million dollars, which allow selection from a few to as many as a dozen proposals depending on the program objectives and the submission of proposals of merit. Awards will be made as grants. The period of performance for an award will be one to five years. Any changes or modifications to any of these guidelines will be specified in the descriptions of the relevant program elements in the solicited research response area appendices of this solicitation.


Details of the solicited research opportunities will be given in the solicited research response area appendices of the NRA. Most research opportunities will use a two-step proposal submission process though some research opportunities may use a one-step submission process.


Proposal due dates will be staggered throughout the HERO open period of July 31, 2015 to July 2016. The first proposal due date is September 4, 2015. The electronic submission of each is required by the due date for proposal submission.


Proposal due dates are given in the NRA and the solicited research response area appendices, which will be posted at Interested proposers should monitor or register and subscribe to the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) electronic notifications system through the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System (NSPIRES) account subscription services. New solicited research opportunities or amendments to this NRA through July 2016 will be posted in NSPIRES, after which time release of a subsequent HERO NRA is planned.


All categories of United States (U.S.) institutions are eligible to submit proposals in response to the NRA. Principal Investigators may collaborate with universities, Federal Government laboratories, the private sector, and state and local government laboratories. In all such arrangements, the applying entity is expected to be responsible for administering the project according to the management approach presented in the proposal. NASA’s policy is to conduct research with non-U.S. organizations on a cooperative, no exchange-of-funds basis.”