NASA Graduate Research Fellowship Programs

  • NASA Space Technology Research Fellowships (NSTRF
  • NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) Program

Tuition:  MIT is required to pay the difference between the grad student’s annual tuition cost and the tuition allowance provided by the award.   

See solicitation for current information regarding tuition allowance and institutional commitments. At time of proposal submission RAS will confirm DLC is aware of the obligation to pay the difference between the annual tuition cost to the graduate student fellow and the tuition allowance provided by the award.

Supplementation of NASA graduate research fellowships:  Other forms of compensation for activities on campus, such as a graduate RA appointment may be allowed, subject to the terms and conditions contained in the fellowship award document.

NASA considers fellowships to be full-time. The fellowship recipient is a full-time student taking classes and working on his/her research proposed under the fellowship. NASA does not permit supplementation by another Federal fellowship or traineeship. An outside job is not appropriate supplementation as this indicates the student is part-time. However there is some flexibility for graduate research Fellows to receive other compensation as it relates to activities on campus. The allowability of other compensation will be confirmed at time of award per the terms and conditions stated in the award document.

Sample award term:

Any individual accepting a NSTRF award may not concurrently hold any other federal fellowship or traineeship. If the annual cost on campus is more than the amount of the NASA fellowship, the NSTRF award may be partially supplemented by other forms of employment other than by another federal fellowship or traineeship. NASA may allow an applicant to receive supplements from other U.S. federal agencies to cover expenses not covered by NASA's graduate fellowships, such as the purchase of equipment, which is not permitted through a NASA fellowship. In this instance confirmation/approval from the U.S. federal agencies covering such expenses is required.

In all cases, the RA appointment or source of other compensation must be related the Fellow’s NASA fellowship research. A justification describing the relatedness should be approved by the Fellow’s NSTRF faculty sponsor and placed in the DLC’s award record in the event of audit.

We have contacted NASA for clarification regarding use of RA appointments as a source of other compensation in conjunction with NASA NSTRF graduate fellowship awards. The NSTRF program director confirmed we can expect RA appointments to continue to be allowable, although this is not articulated in the NSTRF 2016 program description as it was in 2015. The RA appointment must be related the Fellow’s NASA fellowship research.