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2023 Human Exploration Research Opportunities (HERO) Overview




December 1, 2022



November 29, 2023



Award Floor:


Match Required?





Entity Types:

Public & State controlled institutions of higher education, Private institutions of higher education

All categories of U.S. institutions are eligible to submit proposals in response to this NRA (see solicitation for details). NASA's policy regarding non-U.S. organizations is to conduct research on a cooperative, no exchange of funds basis (see solicitation for details). Proposers must be affiliated with an institution at




Source Type:


NASA Human Exploration Research Opportunities (HERO) Released A National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Research Announcement (NRA), entitled, Human Exploration Research Opportunities (HERO) (NNJ21ZSA001N), has been released. This NRA will solicit applied research in support of NASAs Human Research Program (HRP). This NRA is available through the NASA Research Opportunities homepage at: The research will fall into one or more categories corresponding to HRPs five Elements: Space Radiation, Human Health Countermeasures, Exploration Medical Capability, Human Factors and Behavioral Performance, and Research Operations and Integration. This NRA covers all aspects of research to provide human health and performance countermeasures, knowledge, technologies, and tools to enable safe, reliable, and productive human space exploration. Awards generally range from under $150K per year for focused, limited efforts (e.g., data analysis) to $1M per year for extensive activities (e.g., development of scientific hardware) and will be made as grants. The funds available for awards in each research opportunity offered in this NRA range from less than one million to several million dollars. This range allows selection from a few to as many as a dozen proposals depending on the program objectives and the submission of proposals of merit. The period of performance for an award can range from one to five years. All categories of United States (U.S.) institutions are eligible to submit proposals in response to this NRA. Any changes or modifications to any of these guidelines will be specified in the descriptions of the relevant research opportunities in the solicited research response area appendices of this solicitation. Details of the topics will be given in the solicited research response area appendices of the NRA. Unless otherwise specified, appendices will use a two-step solicitation process requiring that a compliant and relevant Step-1 proposal be submitted in order to be considered to be invited to submit a Step-2 proposal. Proposals will, unless otherwise specified, be reviewed using a dual-anonymous peer review (DAPR) process in which the identity of reviewers will not be shared with proposers and the identity of proposers will not be shared with reviewers until after the technical merit has been evaluated for all anonymized proposals. Proposal due dates will be staggered throughout the HERO open period of November 30, 2022 to November 29, 2023. The first proposal due date (for Step-1 proposals submitted in response to Appendix A) is January 6, 2023. The electronic submission of each is required by the due date for proposal submission. Proposal due dates are given in the NRA and the solicited research response area appendices, which will be posted at Interested proposers should monitor or register and subscribe to the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) electronic notifications system through the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System (NSPIRES) account subscription services. New program elements or amendments to this NRA through November 2023 will be posted in NSPIRES, after which time release of a subsequent HERO NRA is planned. All categories of United States (U.S.) institutions are eligible to submit proposals in response to the NRA. Principal Investigators may collaborate with universities, Federal Government laboratories, the private sector, and state and local government laboratories. In all such arrangements, the applying entity is expected to be responsible for administering the project according to the management approach presented in the proposal. NASAs policy is to conduct research with non-U.S. organizations on a cooperative, no exchange-of-funds basis.

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