1. Statement of Intent to Release a Cooperative Agreement Notice for the NASA Astrobiology Institute

    The NASA Science Mission Directorate Planetary Science Division intends to release a Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) soliciting team-based proposals for membership in the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) in January 2017. Step-1 proposals will be due around March 15, 2017, and Step-2 proposals will be due in early June 2017.

    The NASA Astrobiology Institute was established in 1998 as an institution of scientific collaboration across disciplines, across organizations, and within and among its participating Teams irrespective of their geographic distribution. A large amount of reference material is available at the Institute’s website, http://nai.nasa.gov, which provides proposers with details of the research suite, activities, and administrative history of the NAI.

    The upcoming CAN represents Cycle 8 of the NAI team-based proposal opportunities. The goal of CAN 8 is to maintain a multidisciplinary institute by selecting focused, interdisciplinary teams that complement without replicating the strengths of the continuing teams. The teams selected in Cycle 8 will replace the teams selected in Cycle 6, whose five-year Cooperative Agreements are expiring. It is anticipated that the number of teams selected in Cycle 8 will be about the same number selected in Cycle 6 (five teams).

    CAN 8 will require a brief Step-1 proposal be submitted eight weeks after the release of the CAN. Based on a programmatic review of these Step-1 proposals, proposers will be encouraged to or discouraged from submitting a full Step-2 proposal.

    The time line for the CAN 8 solicitation is intended to be:

    Release of CAN………………………………… January 2017

    Preproposal conference…………………… ~2 weeks after CAN release

    Step-1 proposal due………………………… ~8 weeks after final CAN release

    Proposal due…………………………………… ~18 weeks after CAN release

    Selection of CAN 8 teams………………… September 2017 (target)

    Start of new awards………………………… January 2018

    NASA has not approved the issuance of the CAN and this notification does not obligate NASA to issue the CAN and solicit proposals. Any costs incurred by prospective investigators in preparing submission in response to this notification or the planned CAN are incurred completely at the submitters own risk.

    Further information will be posted through the NSPIRES system (http://nspires.nasaprs.com) as it becomes available. Those individuals registered through NSPIRES should also receive automated E-mail notices.

    Questions and comments related to this announcement should be addressed to:

    Mary Voytek

    NASA Astrobiology Institute Program Scientist

    Science Mission Directorate, NASA

    Washington DC 20546

    E-mail: mary.voytek-1@nasa.gov

    Please note that all information that can be released at this time has already been released through this notice.