SSERVI Higher Education

A core mission of SSERVI is to train the next generation of lunar scientists. As such, SSERVI has developed a strong support structure with a wide variety of opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and early career lunar researchers.

NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP)

Postdoctoral fellowships are one way that SSERVI fosters cross-team and interdisciplinary collaborations. Managed by Oak Ridge Associated Universities, the SSERVI NPP fellows are expected to work within multiple disciplines on scientific topics that push the boundaries of what is currently known about the Moon. SSERVI NPP fellowships are two-year awards with one potential additional year based on performance. More information on the NPP may be found here.


Held in conjunction with SSERVI’s annual Lunar Science Forum, the LunarGradCon is an annual one-day conference that is managed, planned and operated by and for graduate students. The overall goal of the LunarGradCon is to provide an opportunity for grad students and early-career postdocs to present their research on lunar science in a friendly environment among their peers. In addition to oral presentations, opportunities for networking with fellow grad students and postdocs, as well as senior members of the NASA Lunar Science Institute, will be provided. A limited amount of funding is provided annually for travel and lodging costs. More information can be found here and here.

NASA Academy

SSERVI has long been a proud supporter of the NASA Academy programby fully funding a single student’s participation within the NASA Ames Academy. The NASA Academy is a leadership and professional development summer program designed to introduce college juniors, seniors and first-year graduate students to the entire space program including commercial space, research institutes, management practices and policy drafting. The vision of the Academy as described by its founder, Dr. Gerald Soffen is “give possible leaders a view into how NASA, the university community, and the private sector function, set their priorities, and contribute to the success of the aerospace program.” In today’s world, the need for such an opportunity is even more compelling. NASA needs inspired and educated youth eager to take usto the Moon, to Mars, and beyond.

Next Gen Lunar Scientists and Engineers (NGLSE):

The focus of this group is to design, encourage, promote, and work to fund experience building and networking activities among group members. These opportunities will enable the members to become better equipped to contribute to the success of the lunar program, now and in the future if called upon by NASA, academia, industry, or international partners. The group will respond to the needs of the lunar community for input or service, in the form of convening workshops and meetings open to NGLSE members. The NGLSE group will also drive education and public outreach (E/PO) activities for students and the general public in order to continually recruit the next generation of lunar scientists and engineers. Therefore, NGLSE will provide NASA with a next generation work force that is experienced with the integration of science and engineering as it pertains to lunar exploration.

Student Travel, Poster Competition and Lightning Talks at the Lunar Science Forum

SSERVI funds several student travel grants to SSERVI-sponsored conferences and events. These grants are reserved for students who would not otherwise have been able to attend or present their research due to lack of funding. The SSERVI sponsors the Student Poster Competition at the Lunar Science Forum. This annual event provides motivation, encouragement, and most of all, recognition to the most promising lunar scientists of the future. There are 1st, 2nd and 3rd place selections with awards of $1,500, $1000 and $500 respectively. Addtional information can be found here. SSERVI also sponsors lightning talks at the Lunar Science Forum. These are a series of 2 minute talks devoted to students so that they can provide information about their research and poster presentations (no slides!). These are designed to provide the students with experience speaking in front of a large crowd and exposure of the students and their work to the whole lunar community.

Undergraduate Planetary Science Research Conference

As part of the NASA SMD Year of the Solar System, undergraduate researchers are invited to participate in the YSS Undergraduate Planetary Science Research Conferenceat LPSC. The Conference includes:

  • Panels on “How to Choose the Grad School Right for You”, “Alternative Careers in Science” and “Women in Planetary Science”;
  • Poster sessions where students will present their posters to other student and to the scientific community;
  • “Meeting Mentors” to pair students with a scientist for part of the LPSC meeting, so students can learn how to engage at a scientific conference.
  • Opportunities to meet other undergraduate researchers, graduate students and scientists.

Undergraduate students currently conducting research in planetary sciences, astrobiology and lunar sciences are eligible.

Student Exchange Program

SSERVI encourages and promotes the exchange of students between laboratories to foster inter-lab collaborations and broaden the students’ network and scientific capabilities. International and domestic students are eligible. If interested in potential student exchange, please contact SSERVI Staff Scientist Brad Bailey at

SSERVI Science Teams

Inspiration Room

NLSI Inspiration Room

Did you know?

If you weigh 120 pounds, you would weigh only 20 pounds on the moon.

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