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Informal Education Mini-Grants

Grants to Nebraska Nonprofits and IHE Faculty
for Informal STEM and Aerospace Education

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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NASA Nebraska Space Grant

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Grants of up to $3,000 to Nebraska nonprofits, community organizations, and IHE faculty to implement STEM or aerospace-related information educational programs. This program seeks to promote student interest in aerospace-related research, with an emphasis on women and underrepresented students.

NASA is increasingly interested in the development of the future aerospace workforce. The goal of the program is to recruit students to aerospace-related research, especially underrepresented students and females. To a lesser extent than Higher Education programs, Informal Education Mini-Grants are available for innovative projects and programs that will recruit and educate the public outside of the formal classroom. Projects and programs funded through the Informal Education Mini-Grant program are typically implemented in large public facilities, e.g. museums and planetariums, or at large events, e.g. Science Festival. It is the goal of these mini-grants to expose as many Nebraskans as possible to the aerospace-related fields.

An eligible project incorporates delivering NASA content such as lesson plans and NASA-developed materials for participants, or utilizes NASA trainers, NASA web-based education platforms (e.g. DLN), etc. in delivering NASA content to participants.

Proposal Evaluation:

Selected projects may be funded at lesser amounts based on the project’s alignment with the goals of the program or due to budget restrictions. The review panel uses a rubric based on NASA priorities for the program. The rubric is available on the NASA Nebraska Space Grant website.

Applicants should respond to the following key criteria in the proposal (criteria are listed in order of importance):
-Unique nature of the project to NASA
-Collaboration with NASA, the aerospace industry, and/or minority-serving institutions
-Promotes or supports diversity initiatives
-Use of NASA educational materials
-Use of standards-based educational materials
-Staff or facilitators trained or qualified in aerospace or STEM fields
-Incorporation of educational standards and/or learning objectives in developing content
-Projects that impact and benefit most Nebraskans
-Cost-share in excess of stated requirements

Furthermore, applicants are asked in the application to clearly state the objectives of the project and how they will evaluate against them. Applications should describe key metrics used for program evaluation, including a plan for acquiring and aggregating data to which the pre-award baseline data will be compared.  

It is important to take into account the metrics below which the NASA Nebraska Space Grant Consortium must achieve.

Metrics the Informal Education Mini-Grant Program Must Meet or Exceed This Year:
-21% or higher participation of underrepresented students.
-42% or higher participation of female students.
-Support at least 3 informal education activities per year that align with NASA’s informal education goals and required criteria, with priority to those activities that: 1) target underrepresented students, 2) provide professional development opportunities for informal education providers, or 3) incorporate NASA data or NASA materials for programs and exhibits.
-At least 50 families participate in the Native American Family Science program at Nebraska’s tribal schools to enhance learning and inspire higher performance in STEM-related studies.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 162132

Estimated Size of Grant:

Applicants may request NASA support in an amount no greater than $3,000.

Term of Contract:

The anticipated funding period is August 1, 2018 - February 28, 2019. It is important to note there are no extensions for these funds due to the grant expiration date. New proposals for funding will need to be made in the subsequent year.

Mini-grants are not intended to be sustaining funding; rather they are intended to support a project or program for one year, allowing the project or program to grow and obtain more permanent funding elsewhere.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Community and nonprofit organizations with an interest in implementing an aerospace or STEM-related project are eligible to apply for Informal Education Mini-Grants. Faculty and staff at Nebraska Space Grant college and university affiliates ( are also eligible to apply.

Applicants without NASA content will not be considered for funding.

Unallowable Costs:

NASA Space Grant does not allow the following:
-Foreign travel,
-Giveaways (t-shirts, door prizes, promotional items, etc.),
-Travel for NASA Civil Servants,
-Equipment (items costing more than $5,000 per unit), and
-Supplies totaling more than $3,000.

The following items are only allowed under special circumstances; therefore, they are strongly discouraged:
-Catering for events, and
-General computing supplies (computers, laptops, external hard drives, etc.).

Indirect costs (F&A) and faculty salary costs are not allowable in the request; however, waived (or contributed) indirects and faculty salary may be used as cost-share.

Only U.S. citizens are allowed to receive direct support from the NASA Space Grant program (e.g. salary & travel). Permanent residents are not allowed to receive funding.

Participation, collaboration, or coordination with China or any Chinese-owned company is strictly prohibited on these awards.

Pre-Application Information:

Cost-share may be in-kind or cash, but must be non-federal funds. Applicants are required to provide at least a 1:1.5 match or cost-share. For example, if the request to Space Grant is for $1,000, the applicant needs to provide $1,500 in cost-share. Salary and waived/contributed indirects (F&A) are the most common form of cost-share. Cost-share in excess of the stated requirements will strengthen a proposal. Contact your Sponsored Programs or Business Office for assistance in determining what is allowed at your institution.

NEW: Non-citizen faculty and staff time may now be used as cost share on these mini-grants.

Applications are due May 20 for funding period beginning August 1.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

(402) 554-3772

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Nebraska

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