Funding Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

This NASA Research Announcement (NRA), entitled RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES IN AERONAUTICS (ROA) – 2023, solicits foundational and system-level research in support of the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This NRA covers a variety of topics in aeronautics fundamental research that are being pursued by NASA personnel. Specific research thrusts are outlined in the Appendices.  A major focus of this NRA is to encourage collaboration between other organizations and NASA to help advance ARMD strategic goals. Details for award scope are provided for each project task area listed in the Appendices. Awards will be made as grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts, depending on the nature of the work proposed.  It is anticipated that the majority of awards will be cooperative agreements or grants due to the expected collaborative nature of the work specified in the technical appendices.


Agency Website

Areas of Interest

University Innovation (UI) Project 

The University Innovation (UI) project enriches the Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program (TACP) and Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) portfolio with university-led innovation to address system-level challenges, which are outlined in ARMD’s Strategic Implementation Plan.  UI seeks new, innovative ideas that can support the U.S. aviation community and ARMD portfolio.

In this Appendix, the UI project is soliciting for a new portfolio item, Future Aviation Maintenance Technical Challenges. 

The goal of Future Aviation Maintenance Technical Challenges is multi-fold:

a) First, perform a scientific inquiry into aviation’s future maintenance technical challenges, both holistically and with some technical specificity; (this is the scope of this solicitation) and

b) Eventually, develop aviation mechanic standards, training curriculum, required equipment and materials based on the findings of the first phase. 

For this solicitation, the proposing (lead) organization must be an accredited, degreegranting U.S. college or university.  Community colleges are encouraged to participate as either as the lead organization or as team members.  Proposing organizations are encouraged to include accredited AMTS as partners in their team, such that they can receive funds from the NASA award.  Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and other minority-serving institutions (MSI) are strongly encouraged to participate.  Industry partners can be funded or unfunded team members. 

Deadline: May 31, 2023


Advanced Air Vehicles Program (AAVP) Fellowship Opportunities

The AAVP Fellowship Opportunities includes the use of program elements, which allows greater flexibility in meeting the activity goals and objectives. Program elements are tied to projects or sub-projects within AAVP. Additional program elements may be added as new section to this Appendix to be issued later in the year. This approach provides flexibility, so that each program element has its unique expectations and selection criteria. Contingent upon available federal funding, AAVP will administer the fellowships until closeout, thereby fulfilling NASA’s responsibilities to its Fellows. 

The announcement solicits proposals from accredited U.S. institutions for research training grants to begin the academic year. This NOFO is designed to support independently-conceived research projects by highly qualified graduate students, in disciplines needed to help advance NASA’s mission, thus affording these students the opportunity to directly contribute to advancements in STEM-related areas of study. AAVP Fellowship Opportunities are focused on innovation and the generation of measurable research results that contribute to NASA’s current and future science and technology goals. 

The fellowship opportunity provides financial awards to institutions to support development and training of graduate researchers. Furthermore, this activity leverages the capabilities of academic research at institutions of higher education and includes professional development components, designed to provide experiences that enhance the Fellows with NASA’s best and promising practices for STEM workforce development. 

Deadline: May 31, 2023


University Leadership Initiative (ULI)

The University Leadership Initiative (ULI) is a portfolio item in NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate’s (ARMD) University Innovation (UI) Project. ARMD created ULI for universities to take the lead, build their own teams, and set their own research path.  ULI seeks new, innovative ideas that can complement the NASA ARMD portfolio and support the U.S. aviation community. 

In this solicitation, NASA’s University Innovation (UI) Project is seeking proposals for work in the following six topic areas:  

Topic 1: Safe, Efficient Growth in Global Operations (Strategic Thrust 1)

Topic 2: Innovation in Commercial Supersonic Aircraft (Strategic Thrust 2)

Topic 3: Ultra-Efficient Subsonic Transports (Strategic Thrust 3)

Topic 4: Safe, Quiet, and Affordable Vertical Lift Air Vehicles (Strategic Thrust 4)

Topic 5: In-Time System-Wide Safety Assurance (Strategic Thrust 5)

Topic 6: Assured Autonomy for Aviation Transformation (Strategic Thrust 6) 

Deadline: July 6, 2023


D.5 University Student Research Challenge (USRC)

USRC seeks to challenge students to propose new aeronautics ideas/concepts that are relevant to ARMD.  Apart from this, the students also have the challenge of raising cost share funds through crowdfunding1 platform.  The process of creating and preparing a crowdfunding campaign act as a teaching accelerator - requiring students to act like entrepreneurs.  Understanding the market, fundraising and execution are major skills for a future entrepreneur.  Crowdfunding also raises awareness in the general public about students’ research.  Finally, crowdfunding is being used to excite and bring new communities to NASA Aeronautics. 

USRC will provide students from accredited U.S. colleges or universities with grants for their aeronautics projects.  It will support cutting-edge research on emerging aviation technologies and the education of new researchers in various fields of study.  Additional beneficiaries are members of the aviation community who will receive new technology and concepts from USRC results. 

Graduate students should propose entrepreneurial work that is not related to their graduate research.  A more appropriate avenue for funding of graduate research is the NASA Fellowship Activities solicited in NSPIRES. 

NASA funding is available to all accredited U.S. institutions of higher education (e.g., universities, four-year colleges, community colleges, or other two-year institutions).  Students must be currently enrolled (part-time or full-time) at the institution.  Student citizenship status is not an eligibility criterion for USRC participation. NASA has no set expectations as to the team size.  The number of students participating in the investigation is to be determined by the scope of the project and the student Team Leader.  Faculty can serve as mentors for the project team. 

University Student Research Challenge (USRC) will evaluate all proposals submitted in each of four cycles: Cycle One Due Date is June 22, 2023; Cycle Two Due Date is November 9, 2023; Cycle Three Due Date is February 22, 2024; and Cycle Four Due Date is June 20, 2024

Eligibility Requirements

Unless noted otherwise in the relevant appendix, participation in this program is open to all categories of U.S. and non-U.S. organizations, including but not limited to, educational institutions, industry, and not-for-profit institutions. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Other Minority Universities (OMUs), small disadvantaged businesses (SDBs), veteran-owned small businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, HUBZone small businesses, and women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) are encouraged to apply. Except where noted otherwise in individual appendices, participation by eligible non-U.S. organizations in this program is welcome but subject to NASA’s policy of no exchange of funds, in which each government supports its own national participants and accounts for associated costs (further information on foreign participation is provided in paragraph (e) below and the NASA Guidebook for Proposers. 

Unless Appendices specify additional information or provide limitations, there is no restriction on the number of proposals that an organization may submit to this solicitation or on the teaming arrangements for any one proposal. However, each proposal must be a separate, stand-alone, complete document for evaluation purposes.

Funding Type



Grad/Prof Students


Curriculum Development
Engineering and Physical Sciences

External Deadline

January 31, 2024