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)–2023”, solicits applied research in support of NASA’s Human Research Program (HRP). The research will fall into one or more categories corresponding to 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.   Details of the solicited research opportunities are given in the HERO appendices of this NRA, and it is anticipated that several response area appendices will be issued throughout the year as needed. Unless otherwise specified, appendices will use a two-step solicitation process requiring that a compliant and relevant Step-1 proposal be submitted and considered in order to be invited to submit a Step-2 proposal.

Close:  November 29, 2023 


Agency Website

Areas of Interest

HERO Appendix A: NASA Human Research Program Omnibus Opportunity

Step-1 Proposals Due: January 6, 2023

 To expedite progress in various research areas in a short period of time, NASA is requesting proposals for short-term investigations or technology development projects that provide innovative approaches to any of the risks and associated knowledge gaps contained in the Human Research Program (HRP) Integrated Research Plan (IRP). Proposers may access the most current Web-based version of the IRP at the Human Research Roadmap (HRR) Web site at The results of these short-term investigations are anticipated to deliver new tools, techniques, or knowledge that could lead to novel breakthroughs addressing one or more of the risks and gaps in the IRP. These short-term investigations may provide initial results testing a new scientific approach, or they may provide the initial proof-ofconcept for a new technology or method that has not yet been proven as a means to address a risk or gap in the IRP. All short-term investigations are expected to produce novel scientific knowledge or technology development that can stand alone to address a risk or gap in the IRP, but these investigations may also provide the necessary preliminary results to justify a full proposal to a future NASA solicitation. Proposers that request NASA archived data should fill out the Retrospective Data Request Study Feasibility Assessment Form posted alongside this Appendix. 

Grants issued in response to this Omnibus opportunity are expected to last one year and cost no more than $150,000 total per award. Due to the fact that these Omnibus investigations are expected to last for only one year and the total funding is limited, the proposed scope of work must accurately conform to the reduced cost and the accelerated schedule intended to expedite progress toward risk and gap closure for the HRP.

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



Junior Faculty


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

External Deadline

November 29, 2023