The Planetary Science Division solicits Interdisciplinary Consortia for Astrobiology Research (ICAR) to support the goal of the NASA’s Astrobiology program in the study of the origins, evolution, and distribution of life in the Universe. Principal Investigators selected as a result of proposals to this program element will become members of the Astrobiology Program Research Coordination Networks that are relevant to their selected research.

The Planetary Science Division intends to solicit ICAR proposals every other year, either as a program element in Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) or as a separate Cooperative Agreement Notice. Proposals for ICAR must describe an interdisciplinary approach to a single compelling question in astrobiology, and address at least one aspect of the NASA Astrobiology Science Strategy. Team size and resources requested should be appropriate to the scale of the proposed research. There is no ideal size of an ICAR Team. Because this is an opportunity for larger teams and for five years of support, the scope of the research, and subsequently the resources needed, should exceed those typically considered in a ROSES program element (e.g., Exobiology, Habitable Worlds).

Click here to view the ROSES 2019 call for this program.


Areas of Research:
The current Astrobiology RCNs include:

Prebiotic Chemistry and Early Earth Environments (PCE3)
A network that fosters innovation across the origins of life community and gives rise to novel research avenues and encourages out-of-the-box thinking.

The Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS)
Researches the determination of compositions, dynamics, energetics and chemical behaviors of extrasolar planets, and the detection and characterization of other planetary systems. (shared with the Astrophysics Division)

Network for Life Detection (NFoLD)
Investigates life detection research, including biosignature creation and preservation, as well as related technology development. This RCN supports the next step in Planetary Science Division’s strategy for life detection in building and managing the Ladder of Life Detection and will be responsive to the Congressionally mandated 2018 National Academy study on NASA’s strategy in the search for life.

Network for Ocean Worlds (NOW)
This network advances comparative studies to characterize Earth and other ocean worlds across their interiors, oceans, and cryospheres; to investigate their habitability; to search for biosignatures; and to understand life—in relevant ocean world analogues and beyond.

Further information on the Astrobiology RCNs can be found at: Astrobiology@NASA