29 May 2019

NASA Colloquium: Writing Successful Mission Proposals

This announcement is based on a PDF flyer from the University of Colorado, Boulder:

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NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) supports the US scientific community and its partners to discover the secrets of the universe, to seek extraterrestrial life, and to protect and improve life on Earth. In this pursuit, NASA relies heavily on the innovation and excellence of the science community to develop new mission concepts that expand our capabilities and grow our portfolio.

Based on guidance from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, and given the demonstrated successes of this approach, most NASA missions are initiated in response to proposals from teams led by principal investigators (PIs). For such proposing teams, this is a challenging and highly competitive process, composed of multiple phases.

To address this challenge, Thomas H. Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for SMD, will present a colloquium entitled "Writing Successful Mission Proposals: Observations from NASA" on Wednesday, 5 June 2019, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm MDT (20:00 to 22:00 UTC).

Dr. Zurbuchen will first describe the mission proposal process and relevant stakeholders along the way. He will then examine the characteristics of proposals submitted during the past 20 years — both the ones that were selected for flight and the ones that were not — to share lessons learned about what makes a proposal successful, common mistakes, and experiences from the point of view of both proposers and the NASA selection official. He will also provide a brief update on how the mission review process has changed over the past two to three years and how it may evolve in the near future. The target audience for this talk are researchers who are thinking about being a PI or joining a proposal team.

The colloquium is based on a study done by Zurbuchen and his NASA SMD colleagues Michael H. New, Deputy Associate Administrator for Research; Paul Hertz, Astrophysics Division Director; and Ellen Gertsen, Executive Officer.

If you're in Boulder, Colorado, you can attend in person at the Old Main Chapel in the Heritage Center on the University of Colorado campus (1600 Pleasant St., Boulder, CO 80303). Admission is free, but please RSVP.

If you're anywhere else, you can watch the live stream. (See the instructions on how to ask a question during the live stream.) The event will be recorded and made available for viewing afterward.