NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF)

Funding Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Through this NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) solicitation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Science Mission Directorate (SMD) invites applications for 2018-2019 Academic Year fellowships from accredited U.S. universities on behalf of their students pursuing Masters or Doctoral (Ph.D.) degrees in Earth and space sciences or related disciplines. The purpose of the NESSF is to ensure continued training of a highly qualified workforce in disciplines needed to achieve NASA’s scientific goals outlined above by performing research projects. Awards resulting from the competitive selection will be made in the form of training grants to the respective universities with the advisor serving as the principal investigator.

Deadline:  Feb. 1, 2018

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

All applications to NESSF must address the goals and objectives of one of the four SMD research programs:

  • Earth Science
  • Heliophysics
  • Planetary Science
  • Astrophysics.

Eligibility Requirements

This call for graduate fellowship proposals, entitled NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) Program – 2018-2019 Academic Year, solicits applications from accredited U.S. universities on behalf of individuals pursuing Masters or Ph.D. degrees in Earth and space sciences, or related disciplines, at respective institutions. Students admitted to, or already enrolled in, a full-time Masters and/or Ph.D. program at accredited U.S. universities are eligible to apply. Students may enter the fellowship program at any time during their graduate work. Students may also apply in their senior year prior to receiving their baccalaureate degree, but must be admitted and enrolled in a Masters and/or Ph.D. program at a U.S. university at the time of the award. 

An individual accepting this award may not concurrently receive any other Federal fellowship or traineeship. NESSF applicants are strongly encouraged to inform NASA immediately, if they received/accepted a Federal fellowship or traineeship from another agency. If the annual cost on campus is more than the amount of the NASA fellowship, the NESSF may be partially supplemented by other forms of employment (i.e., a teaching or research assistant) other than by another Federal fellowship or traineeship. However, NASA may allow an applicant to receive supplements from other U.S. Federal agencies to cover expenses not covered by NASA's graduate fellowships; for example, the purchase of equipment, which is not permitted through a NASA fellowship. 

The NESSF is open to all students enrolled full-time at accredited U.S. institutions. Students with disabilities and/or from underrepresented minority groups are urged to apply. No applicant shall be denied consideration or appointment as a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellow on the grounds of race, color, age, ethnicity, religion, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, marital status, disability, or status as a U.S. Veteran. NASA recognizes and supports the benefits of having diverse and inclusive scientific, engineering, and technology communities and fully expects that such values will be reflected in the composition of all proposal teams as well as peer review panels (science, engineering, and technology), and mission and instrument teams.



Amount Description

The maximum amount of a NESSF award is $45,000 per year. Not all awards require $45,000 per year. NASA’s guideline for the student stipend is $35K per calendar year; however, the stipend should be comparable with the prevailing rate on the student’s campus. An allowance of $10,000 is provided for tuition, fees, and other expenses described in the paragraph below. The amounts in these two budget categories may be exchanged if valid justification is provided. Students are encouraged to work with their advisor and their institution’s Office of Sponsored Research to determine the appropriate allocation in each budget category. 

Funding Type



Grad/Prof Students
Minorities encouraged


Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences

External Deadline

February 1, 2018