NASA Graduate Research Fellowship Programs

Requesting FINESST Funding

FINESST awards are research grants and are like a "fixed amount award." Typically, $50,000 is the total cost per year.

Proposers may request FINESST funding in one or more ways: 


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 DLCI 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 NSTGRO 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 NSTGRO 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 NSTGRO faculty sponsor and placed in the DLCI’s award record in the event of audit.