Human Exploration Research Opportunities (HERO)

Funding Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

This National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Research Announcement (NRA), entitled “Human Exploration Research Opportunities (HERO)–2024”, solicits applied research in support of NASA’s Human Research Program (HRP). The research will fall into one or more categories corresponding to the HRP’s five Elements: Space Radiation, Human Health Countermeasures, Exploration Medical Capability, Human Factors and Behavioral Performance, and Research Operations and Integration. This NRA covers all aspects of research to provide human health and performance countermeasures, knowledge, technologies, and tools to enable safe, reliable, and productive human space exploration. 

Promoting the full and open sharing of data with research communities, private industry, academia, and the general public is one of NASA’s longstanding core values. Sharing and preserving data are central to protecting the integrity of science by facilitating validation of results and to advancing science by broadening the value of research data to other disciplines and society at large (NASA Plan for Increasing Access to the Results of Scientific Research). There is a growing realization that collaboration and the aggregation and sharing of data is the best way to tackle extremely large and interesting science questions, including those related to human spaceflight, that more and more frequently rely on big data and advanced data science and analytic techniques. Research data collected during the conduct of NASA’s funded research projects represent a unique, valuable, and not easily replicable national resource and long-term research asset. Data management is viewed as an important part of research activities and includes NASA’s right to review interim data and/or obtain delivery of data to a NASA archive.  

The goal of the HRP is to provide human health and performance countermeasures, knowledge, technologies, and tools to enable safe, reliable, and productive human space exploration. The scope of this goal includes both the successful completion of exploration missions and the preservation of health over the astronaut’s lifetime. The HRP contains five Elements: Space Radiation, Human Health Countermeasures, Exploration Medical Capability, Human Factors and Behavioral Performance, and Research Operations and Integration. 

Details of the solicited research opportunities, including proposal due dates, are provided in appendices to this NRA, which will be posted through the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System (NSPIRES). It is anticipated that several response area appendices will be issued throughout the year as needed.

Close:  Sep. 30, 2024

REFER TO APPENDICES FOR EXACT DUE DATES.

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

2024 HERO Appendix A: NASA Human Research Program Flagship Opportunity

Step-1 Proposals Due: Nov. 1, 2023

Step-2 Proposals Due: Jan. 30, 2024

To be responsive to this research solicitation, proposed studies should lead to specific products that address at least one of the three specific objectives outlined in the HERO Overview document, section A.2.b Goal and Specific Objectives. The proposed studies should lead to new knowledge within accepted scientific standards. Proposals should consider the impact of sex, age, nutrition, stress, genetic predisposition, or sensitivity on other factors of importance. A thorough statistical section must be included which includes a power analysis for the estimate of sample size. When archival samples are available, the comparison of males and females should be included in the statistical section unless compelling evidence is presented that shows that no sex differences are expected. Please see the Sample Size Specification Guidelines posted alongside the HERO Overview document for additional information concerning sample size calculations. Proposers that request NASA archived data should fill out the Retrospective Data Request Study Feasibility Assessment Form posted alongside the HERO Overview document. 

 

2024 HERO Appendix B: NASA Human Research Program Omnibus Opportunity

Step-1 Proposals Due: Nov. 1, 2023

Step-2 Proposals Due: Jan. 30, 2024

NASA is soliciting investigations lasting no more than one year that provide innovative approaches to any of the risks and gaps contained in the Integrated Research Plan (https://humanresearchroadmap.nasa.gov) of the Human Research Program. NASA is also soliciting novel research ideas that might not be directly aligned with HRP’s identified risks from new investigators or early career investigators who have not received funding from NASA HRP, NASA Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, or the Translational Research Institute for Space Health in the last ten years. Early career investigators must additionally be no more than ten years from their terminal research degree or clinical training. See the solicitation for details.

 

2024 HERO Appendix C: NASA Human Research Program NSCOR Opportunity

Step-1 Proposals Due: Nov. 1, 2023

Step-2 Proposals Due: Jan. 30, 2024

This National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Human Exploration Research Opportunities (HERO) Appendix solicits proposals for NASA Specialized Centers of Research (NSCOR) in support of the Human Research Program (HRP) Space Radiation Element (SRE). An NSCOR consists of a team of investigators who have complementary skills and who work together to answer a closely focused set of research questions with the goal of achieving overall research progress that is greater than the sum of the progress achievable by each project individually. The home laboratories of NSCOR team members may be geographically contiguous or dispersed, as long as the team members have a mechanism for working together. The research will be conducted using the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory (NSRL), a groundbased irradiation facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory, in Upton, NY. Additional radiation sources can be used for initial assessment prior to using NSRL with appropriate justification. Proposals received outside the stated research emphasis specific to this solicitation (Section A.2), will be considered non-responsive and will be returned without review. NASA reserves the right to act in the best interests of the Federal Government in the matter of acceptance and evaluation of all proposals.  

 

2024 HERO Appendix D: NASA Human Research Program Bedrest Opportunity

Proposal Response Period: December 7, 2023 – January 30, 2024

 

Eligibility Requirements

 All categories of United States (U.S.) institutions are eligible to submit proposals in response to this NRA. Principal Investigators may collaborate with universities, Federal Government laboratories, the private sector, non-profits, 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. 

Funding Type

Grant

Eligibility

Faculty
Junior Faculty

Category

Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences
Medical
Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

September 30, 2024