19 September 2019

The PI Launchpad: From Science Idea to NASA Mission

This post is adapted from a NASA Science Mission Directorate email message:

NASA SMD, Univ. of Arizona, Heising-Simons FoundationNASA, the University of Arizona, and the Heising-Simons Foundation are organizing a workshop entitled "The PI Launchpad: From Science Idea to NASA Mission" in Tucson, Arizona, for researchers and engineers who would like to submit a NASA space mission proposal in the next few years but don't know where to start.

Important Dates

  • Applications due on NSPIRES: 4 October 2019
  • Selections made no later than 21 October 2019
  • Workshop dates: 18-20 November 2019

Workshop Description

Are you thinking about developing your first flight mission proposal in the next few years but have no idea where to start? If you are a researcher in any NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) discipline who wants to take your career to the next level but have not yet held a leadership position on mission proposals or large science teams, this is the workshop for you. Join us 18-20 November 2019 in Tucson, AZ, for Launchpad: an expenses-paid three-day workshop that will teach you the skills to get your mission idea off the ground.

NASA SMD, in partnership with the University of Arizona and the Heising-Simons Foundation, will host Launchpad to guide participants through turning their science question into a mission concept. Participants will go step-by-step through the process of developing a science case, defining requirements, building a team, securing partnerships, and obtaining support from the home institution. Participants will also have time for networking and personal reflection as they mature their mission concepts.

We are interested in broadening the pool of potential NASA space mission principal investigators (PI's). People with potentially intersecting marginalized identities are strongly encouraged to apply. There is no cost to attend the workshop, and travel, meals, and lodging for non-NASA participants will be covered by the Heising-Simons Foundation.

We will select between 35-40 participants from the pool of applicants. For those not selected, we are planning to hold additional Launchpads in 2020 and beyond. Applicants should be currently at US institutions.

More details to come. Please email questions to hq-smd-piworkshop@nasa.gov and watch https://science.nasa.gov/researchers/pi-launchpad for new announcements and an application form.

Ellen Gertsen, Erika Hamden, Michael New, Nicole Cabrera Salazar