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Education Mini-Grants

Program Status: Open
Program type(s): education, mini-grant, outreach

Jimmy Acevedo, a NASA Solar Ambassador and previous mini-grant recipient, presents NASA material to a group of students.


NC Space Grant strives to inspire and engage North Carolinians to explore the universe and our own planet by capitalizing on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) unique contributions in exploration and discovery. Our program aims to support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) research, education, and public understanding that support current and future success at NASA and across North Carolina. 

To better respond to statewide needs, NC Space Grant will conduct a rolling call for requests for proposals (RFPs) to support education and/or public outreach efforts from organizations across North Carolina that wish to engage in innovative projects and programs in STEM disciplines. Proposals should be for the development innovative projects relevant to community needs that are aligned with one or more of NASA’s Mission Directorates. NASA Mission Directorates include: 

  • Aeronautics Research 
  • Human Exploration and Operations 
  • Science 
  • Space Technology 

Mini-grant proposals must also respond to one or more of NC Space Grant’s strategic goals: 

  1. Support new knowledge generation to meet NASA-relevant interdisciplinary research and educational needs.
  2. Prepare the next generation of STEM workers with the technical and professional skills to address current and future workforce needs. 
  3. Provide access to information and training in NASA-relevant subject matter to formal and informal educators, as well as to the general public, to inspire and educate. 
  4. Increase North Carolinians’ awareness of, and opportunities for engagement with, NASA-related research, education, and outreach products and opportunities. 

Find more information about NC Space Grant’s Mission and Strategic Plan here.


Mini-grants must be used to cultivate new activities and not support ongoing programs. Innovative ideas and new approaches, particularly if they have the potential to lead to sustained activities beyond the duration of the grant, are particularly encouraged. Special consideration will be given to those proposals that are exceptionally innovative and/or have the potential for high impact. 

Examples of eligible projects include but are not limited to: exhibits (permanent, traveling or virtual); STEM programs serving educators, students and the general public; partnerships with informal education providers (e.g., youth groups, after-school programs); staff professional development; informal education programs; and curriculum support for informal science education (e.g. technology development). 

Award Level

  • The maximum award level is $3,000. 
  • There is no deadline to submit a proposal. However, proposals will be processed and peer reviewed on a rolling basis in the order in which they are received. 
  • Awards will be made to ensure statewide reach and are subject to availability of NASA funding and the quality of submitted proposals. 
  • All awardees will be required to submit a final report. 

Eligibility Requirements

  • Proposals will be accepted from the following: accredited institutions of higher education in the state of NC, industry, public/private schools/districts, museums, and other not-for-profit educational organizations. 
  • Proposals that serve underserved and underrepresented communities are strongly encouraged. 

Proposal Requirements

A. Title Page (1 page) 

The cover page must include the following items: project title, name of the applicant who will lead the project, job title, name of the institution (on behalf of which the proposal is being submitted), address, phone number, and email. University-affiliated applicants must have approval from their office of sponsored programs prior to submitting a mini grant proposal to NC Space Grant. 

B. Project Description (4 pages maximum) 

Provide a detailed description of the proposed project that addresses the following items: 

  1. Purpose: Define the education and/or public outreach need that is being addressed. 
  2. Design and Methodology: Provide a descriptive overview of the proposed project. Provide a rationale for the education methodology that will be used. 
  3. Relevance: Clearly describe how the proposed project is related to a NASA Mission Directorate and addresses at least one NC Space Grant strategic priorities. Describe the utilization of any NASA education materials, expertise, and/or ways in which NASA’s unique contributions to exploration and discovery are addressed by the project. 
  4. Output and Outcomes: Describe the intended beneficiaries/ participants/ audience (e.g., basic demographics), estimated target numbers, and plan to collect data for final reporting purposes. Describe how the program will actively seek the involvement of women, underrepresented populations, and persons with disabilities. 
  5. Dissemination: Discuss plans for disseminating information about the project to the broader community. 
  6. Management: Describe roles and responsibilities, as well as the relevant qualifications and experience of the Project Lead. Identify other key personnel and/or partners that play key technical or operational roles, and describe their experience, roles and responsibilities. 
  7. Timeline: Identify significant benchmarks, milestones, deadlines, and dates. A chart or a narrative are acceptable formats. 

C. Applicant/Project Lead Bio (2 pages) 

The applicant/project lead must include a short biographical sketch or resume (not to exceed two pages) that includes his/her/their applicable education and professional experience. 

D. Budget and Budget Narrative (2 pages) 

Provide a detailed budget in the format outlined in Appendix A along with a budget narrative. 

Unallowable expenses include: 

  • Equipment 
  • Food and beverages 
  • Facility renovations 
  • Promotional materials (e.g. T-shirts, etc.) 

Proposal Format

The following guidelines and restrictions apply to all proposals. Proposals not meeting these requirements may not be considered. 

  • Proposals must be submitted as one PDF file. 
  • Proposals should be one-sided, single-spaced on standard 8 ½ x 11 paper, no smaller than 12 point font and with no less than one inch margins throughout. Text restrictions are inclusive of all illustrations, tables, charts, exhibits, etc. 
  • All pages must be numbered sequentially. 
  • Proposals should contain only appendix specifically requested. Other appendices and attachments are not allowed and will not be evaluated. 
  • All information you wish for reviewers to consider should be included in your proposal. It is not acceptable to refer reviewers to websites or other external sources for additional information or as evidence for your narrative. 

Proposal Submission

  • Electronically submitted proposals must contain all required signatures (university-based proposals). 
  • Submit completed proposals at the link below:

Request for Proposals

The full RFP is available as a PDF for download here: Education Mini-Grant RFP with appendix.


Questions regarding this announcement, including applicability of your proposal ideas, please contact Ms. Jobi Cook, NC Space Grant Associate Director, at or (919) 515-5933.