Early-career scientists are encouraged to apply to any research program relevant to their research interests, and to contact the appropriate program officers if they have any questions. In addition to relevant research programs, NASA offers a variety of awards to support early- career scientists, such as:

FINESST: Graduate students working towards a Masters or PhD and interested in astrobiology research fields (including the core context, ‘Searing for Life Elsewhere’ in NASA’s 2018 Strategic Plan) can apply to the Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINESST) program.

NPP: The Astrobiology NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) is available for applicants working with Principal Investigators funded by any program under the Astrobiology Program. This includes Exobiology, Habitable Worlds, PSTAR, PICASSO, MatISSE, and ICAR awards.

ECA: The Planetary Science Division’s Early Career Awards (ECA) program (formerly Early Career Fellowship, ECF) is intended to help promising young scientists play an increased and meaningful role in the planetary science community and pursue professional development in areas relevant to the Planetary Science Division (PSD). The applicant must be the Principal Investigator (PI), or a Co-investigator designated as the Science-PI, in an active award from a participating program element solicited in ROSES. The applicant must have received their terminal degree (held at the time of the parent award) within the past ten years.

Astrobiology FAQ