Prospective proposers must submit a Feasibility Review Form to the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) by January 10, 2020.

  • LOI: 01/10/2020
  • Proposal: 03/02/2020


  • Amount: Up to $400,000
  • Duration: Up to 3 years


The NSF-ISS Program is not intended to be used for proposals that are appropriate for existing funding mechanisms or that continue well-established practices.

The purpose of this solicitation is to attract proposals that make use of the ISS National Lab for flight research projects in the field of biomedical engineering. Responsive proposals will describe how they will utilize the ISS National Lab to develop novel ideas into discovery-level and transformative projects that integrate engineering and life sciences. CASIS goals are to advance science research and technology development, expand human knowledge, inspire and educate the next generation, foster the commercial development of space, and demonstrate scientific capabilities in space for the benefit of life on Earth. Research at the interface of engineering and biomedical sciences in microgravity that advances both engineering and biomedical sciences for terrestrial benefit is solicited.

The projects should focus on high impact transformative methods and technologies. Projects should include methods, models and enabling tools of understanding and controlling living systems; fundamental improvements in deriving information from cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems; or new approaches to the design of systems that include both living and non-living components eventual medical use in the long-term. The long-term impact of the projects can be related to fundamental understanding of cell and tissue function in normal and pathological conditions, effective disease diagnosis and/or treatment, or improved health care delivery.

Of particular interest to the NSF Engineering of Biomedical Systems (EBMS) program is fundamental and transformative research in the following areas of biomedical engineering:

  • Development of validated models (living or computational) of normal and pathological tissues and organ systems that can support development and testing of medical interventions;
  • Design of systems that integrate living and non-living components for improved diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of disease or injury; and
  • Advanced biomanufacturing of three-dimensional tissues and organs.

Of particular interest to the NSF Biomechanics and Mechanobiology (BMMB) program is fundamental research in biomechanics and mechanobiology, including:

  • Multiscale mechanics approaches that integrate across molecular, cell, tissue, and organ domains;
  • The influence of in vivo mechanical forces on cell and matrix biology in histomorphogenesis, maintenance, regeneration, and aging of tissues.

Innovative proposals outside of these specific interest areas may be considered. However, prior to submission, it is strongly recommended that the PI contact the Program Directors to avoid the possibility of the proposal being returned without review.

The collaboration seeks to exploit the complementary missions of (i) research and development for NSF, and (ii) stimulation, development and management of U.S. national uses of the ISS National Lab by U.S. government agencies, academic institutions, and private firms for CASIS. Proposals must seek to exploit the ISS National Lab for biomedical engineering applications that will ultimately benefit life on Earth. The proposal must include a description of project benefits for life on Earth. Proposals focused on research and technology development supporting only space exploration-related goals do not fall within the scope of the NSF and CASIS mission and will be considered non-responsive to this solicitation.

Submission Window: December 7, 2019 – March 2, 2020

Eligibility & Submission Requirements

The PI and co-PI(s) may participate in only one proposal submitted under this solicitation. It is the responsibility of the submitting organization to ensure that the PI and all co-PI(s) are participating in only one proposal.

Prospective proposers must submit a Feasibility Review Form to the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) by January 10, 2020. The form will be evaluated for operational feasibility and terrestrial benefit.

Proposers who have submitted Feasibility Review Forms that pass the initial operational and terrestrial benefit review by CASIS will be invited to submit a full proposal for evaluation by NSF. Documentation from the CASIS team confirming approval to submit a proposal after the operation and terrestrial benefit reviews must be provided as a Single Copy Document in FastLane or when the full proposal is submitted. CASIS officers will respond to a Feasibility Review Form within three weeks after submission.

CASIS strongly encourages submission of the Feasibility Review Form as early as possible. Potential PIs or teams should consult with the CASIS Operations team ( for feedback regarding feasibility and compliance with flight requirements and capabilities. To Submit the Feasibility Review Form, please visit:

Contact Information

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

Please note that the following information is current at the time of publishing. See program website for any updates to the points of contact.