The NASA Postdoctoral Program
The NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) provides early-career and more senior scientists the opportunity to share in NASA's mission, to reach for new heights and reveal the unknown so that what we do and learn will benefit all humankind.
NASA Postdoctoral Fellows work on 1 to 3 year assignments with NASA scientists and engineers at NASA centers and institutes to advance NASA's missions in earth science, heliophysics, planetary science, astrophysics, space bioscience, aeronautics, engineering,human exploration and space operations, astrobiology, and science management.
NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellows contribute to our national scientific exploration, confirm NASA's leadership in fundamental research, and complement the efforts of NASA's partners in the national science community.
- You must have completed the requirements for a Ph.D. or an equivalent doctorate degree before beginning the fellowship.
- Eligibility for the July 2021 NPP application cycle will be limited to:
- U.S. Citizens;
- U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents;
- Foreign nationals who are in the U.S. at the time of application and on a valid J1 visa; and,
- Foreign nationals, asylees or refugees in the U.S. at the time of application with a valid EAD card and pending I-485 or I-589 forms.
- Since each NPP Fellowship is tied to a specific research opportunity located at a NASA Center or program institute, you must relocate to the Center or program institute that supports the opportunity to which you were accepted. In the case of virtual Centers such as the NASA Astrobiology Institute, you must relocate to the university location of your advisor as listed on the research opportunity. Establishing and maintaining residency at the Center or at the location of the advisor is required to begin the appointment and to remain in the program.
- You must not have held an NPP appointment for five years prior to applying. NPP Fellows are eligible for another award five years after the end of the previous appointment.
- Some NASA Centers may require a security or visitation clearance before you start your appointment. The NPP Center Representative will notify you in advance if a clearance is required.
- You cannot start your NPP appointment until all appointment requirements are met. This includes completing and returning all required forms and documentation to USRA. USRA will not issue an advance stipend check, start stipend payments, or approve relocation travel until all requirements are met.
NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellows must meet the following program requirements:
- Fellows must have fulfilled all the eligibility requirements in order to receive their award.
- Fellows are stipend recipients and not employees of either NASA or USRA or of their host institution.
- Fellows must provide proof of health insurance, either through the Aetna plan offered by USRA, or from another qualified plan. If insured under another qualified plan, the Fellow must provide USRA with the insurer name, policy number, and copies of the front and back of the insurance card.
- The Fellow is required to maintain all safety, security, IT security and other training requirements of the host Center at which they are residing.
- Relocation costs must be pre-approved by USRA 60 days prior to travel.
- The Fellow must commit to resident participation at an approved NASA site for the duration of the appointment, and avoid obligations that will interrupt the research during the appointment.
- Fellows are required to adhere to the host institution's requirements for prior review and approval of all material to be published. This includes material that will appear in print (including poster presentations at meetings) or material prepared for oral presentation.
- The Fellow is required to report all inventions made as a result of the appointment promptly to the director or patent counsel of his/her host institution and also to USRA.
- USRA does not assert any rights to inventions made during the appointment.
- NASA requires that the Fellow be fully involved in the research and educational opportunities available in the NPP appointment; the Fellow may not provide services for compensation to a third party, or supplement their stipends through simultaneous employment, grants, or other sources of income that compete with the Fellowship.
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