Skip to main content
Menu Icon

Early-Stage Investigator

Announcement of Opportunity


Academic Year
2024-2025 Programs

APPLICATIONS OPEN: November 1, 2023
AWARD CYCLE: June 1, 2024 - May 31, 2025

Early-Stage Investigator Program Announcement of Opportunity


up to $10,000**

*One award anticipated based upon the availability of funds.
**Based on the availability of funds.


The Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium (WSGC) Early-Stage Investigator (ESI) award supports faculty members in the development of research capacity and/or the pursuit of initial research data for subsequent proposals to the WSGC or other funding entity. Applicants must be 1) in the first five years of their first tenure-track** appointment and 2) a full-time faculty member at a WSGC affiliate university or college. Proposals must show explicit alignment with the goals of one or more NASA Mission Directorates.

NOTE: Full-time faculty members from colleges and universities that do not have tenure-track faculty may also apply. Applicants should include a statement regarding their faculty status and the relevant appointment policies of their institution.

Proposed Projects Should

  • Develop new or enhance existing lines of research
  • Involve or have the potential to involve undergraduate and/or graduate students
  • Quantitatively demonstrate impact (e.g., through number of students engaged, future funding opportunities pursued, or other institutional metric of faculty effectiveness)
  • Initiate or enhance research in line with the NASA Mission Directorates (For more information on NASA Directorates, see

Proposal Evaluation

Successful proposals will combine a robust, relevant research project with a plan that contextualizes the proposed project within a larger strategic plan for the research. Clear and measurable outcomes that are aligned with the project activities and a detailed budget with explicit alignment to project objectives are required.

Awards will be based on the proposal topic alignment with NASA Goals, the probability of success as measured by the coherence of the project objectives and proposed activities, the significance of the research, and the likely impact of the proposed project on the applicant’s professional development.

Work Period

Periods of performance must begin/end between July 1, 2024 - May 31, 2025.

To Apply:

    (applicants will be required to update profile information annually).
  • CREATE a WSGC account
    (applicants will be required to update profile information annually).
  • Sign into your WSGC account and submit an application and supporting documents to EARLY-STAGE INVESTIGATOR PROGRAM
    (applicants may apply to multiple funding programs).

NOTE: In the award field, please select Early-Stage Investigator: Up to $10,000.

Application Requirements:

  • Full-time faculty members within the first five years of their first tenure-track** appointment at WSGC Affiliate universities and colleges are eligible.
  • Students funded through this grant must be U.S. Citizens.
  • Affiliate member institutions must have affiliate award agreement documents on file with the WSGC Program Office.
  • Research initiatives must align with at least one of NASA’s Mission Directorates.
  • The Consortium especially encourages applications from women, minorities and persons with disabilities.
  • Minimum 1:1 match from an affiliate campus is required.

Supporting Materials Required with Application:

Submit a proposal addressing each of the six elements listed below. Be sure to identify each element within the proposal clearly. Applicants will upload the proposal at the bottom of the application. The proposal should not exceed 15 pages, including figures.

Award Acceptance Components:

As part of the award acceptance, awardees will present their project at the Annual Wisconsin Space Conference as outlined in the award agreement and submit the following documents on the WSGC application website under Program Applications/Your Applications:

  • Award Agreement Letter
  • Institution W9
  • One-Paragraph Biography
  • PI Professional Photo
  • Quarterly Invoices/Cost-Share Report with Supporting Documentation
  • Office of Education Survey
  • Interim Report (if period of performance is greater than 6 months)
  • Summary/Final Report (due 30 days after the project end date)
  • Present project at the Annual Wisconsin Space Conference
  • 2-3 project photos featuring faculty/students/program participants
  • Alumni Story


Please direct questions about the EARLY-STAGE INVESTIGATOR program to:

Jeffrey Clark, Ph.D.
Associate Director for Research Infrastructure
Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium
Professor of Geosciences and Special Assistant to the President, Lawrence University
Phone: 920-832-6733

Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium
Carthage College
2001 Alford Park Drive
Kenosha, WI 53140
Phone: 262-551-6054

Background Image of Earth