First SSERVI CAN from 2013; Solicitation Number: NNH13ZDA006C

Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute

NASA has released a Cooperative Agreement Notice for a Joint SMD and HEOMD Science and Exploration Institute: “Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute.”

The approximate time line for the solicitation is as follows:

Community Announcement of CAN……………….September, 2012
Request for comments……………..September/October, 2012 **DEADLINE PASSED**
Release of CAN………………………January 10th, 2013
Pre-proposal Briefing……………….February 21, 2013
Proposals due:…………………………..April 10th, 2013
Proposal panel review…………………….3-4 months after proposal due date
CAN Selections…………………………..1-2 months after proposal review
Cooperative Agreements in place……………2-3 months after CAN selection

Subject: Four Important Announcements Regarding the SSERVI CAN

Important announcements regarding the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute Cooperative Agreement Notice: we present new text, a FAQ, a Pre-proposal Briefing, and a request for volunteer reviewers.

Background: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Science Mission Directorate (SMD) and Human Exploration Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) released a joint Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) on January 10, 2013, soliciting team proposals to become members of the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI). NASA is seeking innovative, broadly based research programs addressing basic and applied scientific questions fundamental to understanding the nature of the Moon, Near Earth Asteroids, Phobos and Deimos, and the near space environments of these target bodies, to enable human exploration of these destinations. SSERVI will build upon the foundation and structure established by the NASA Lunar Science Institute, details of which can be found at

1. Revised Text for the SSERVI CAN: a new version of the text has been posted on NSPIRES. It can be found at or by going to choosing solicitations, then open solicitations, and then following the link from NNH13ZDA006C. A number of changes have been made including: i) a reference to the Martian polar caps was deleted from Section 1.4; ii) The role of the IT specialist in Section 1.5; iii) The absence of NASA Civil Servant Salaries and associated indirect costs from budgets in Section 2.1; iv) reference to institutional PI and NESXIS3 were deleted from A.2.3 and v) other small changes were made to section 1.5. New text is in bold and deleted text is struck through.

2. A FAQ has been posted on the same NSPIRES web page where the CAN may be found at This FAQ will be updated periodically. Note: There is no impact on new CAN proposals from the EPO sequester memo as far
as we know. We have carefully read the EPO sequestration memo of last Friday and see that it carefully limits its application to NASA employees and contractors, but not grants or cooperative agreements. Thus, no one funded via a cooperative agreement or a grant should cease their EPO activities. Even those who are on contracts (such as JPL folks) should note the follow on statement “It’s important to point out that it’s a suspension, not a cancellation..” No change is planned for the SSERVI CAN. We continue with our current solicitation.

3. A Pre-proposal Briefing will be held Thursday, February 21, 2013, 3:00-5:00 pm EST to provide interested parties with the opportunity to better understand the intent, scope, and selection criteria of the SSERVI CAN (Solicitation number NNH13ZDA006C). A short presentation on the Institute and the solicitation will be followed by a question/answer period. The briefing will be live-streamed with participation available to anyone having internet access.

You can attend this briefing in one of three ways: (i) Phone-in only, and ask your questions when called upon at the end of the session if time allows; (ii) Phone in and use Adobe Connect via your computer, so that you can see the charts; or (iii) Participate via Adobe Connect only and listen through your computer (no phone line needed). When using Adobe Connect you can raise your hand via the chat room and follow up verbally, via chat when called upon, or just ask your questions by typing into the chat room.

To log in to the Adobe Connect link, go to as a “Guest” using your full name. If you would like to ask your question by voice, please dial into the teleconference line at 1-866-692-4538 and use Passcode: 7496560#
Adobe Connect requires Adobe Flash. To test your systems ahead of the briefing runs a little test and provides troubleshooting. Ricky Guest ( is also available to assist anyone who might have troubles accessing the Adobe Connect meeting room.

4. We are seeking volunteers who might serve as potential reviewers of submissions in response to the SSERVI CAN. Interested parties should go to the volunteer page at and answer the questions. By indicating areas of expertise volunteers will help us match potential reviewers to proposals.

Original Post:
NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) have released a Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) for the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute. The new institute will retain the successful structure of the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI), consisting of new peer-reviewed and competitively selected teams managed by the current small central office located at NASA Ames Research Center. The Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute will be a virtual research organization that leverages knowledge and expertise from the science and exploration communities and supports NASA’s goals in lunar and planetary science and human exploration of the solar system. It is anticipated that approximately seven teams will be selected in response to the proposed CAN.

The research scope for the CAN will span the fields of lunar, Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs), and Martian moon (Phobos and Deimos) sciences, with preference given to topics that relate to the joint interests of both planetary science and human exploration. Proposals in response to the final CAN should clearly articulate an innovative, broadly based research program addressing basic and applied scientific questions fundamental to understanding the nature of the Moon, Near Earth Asteroids, the Martian moons, and the near space environments of these target bodies to enable human exploration of these destinations. This CAN supports the broad spectrum of lunar, NEA, and Martian Moon sciences encompassing investigations of, for example: the surface, interior, exosphere, composition, origin, and the near-space environments of these bodies.

Prospective Principal Investigators (PIs) are highly encouraged to propose research addressing more than one target body and exploring synergies – or the lack thereof – between target bodies, their features, and processes; however, PIs are free to propose studies of only one target body.

NASA anticipates that it will support selections of teams for up to five-year awards offered by the final released CAN. Average Cooperative Agreement awards are anticipated to be in the range of $1M-$1.5M per team per year.

Any costs incurred by prospective investigators in preparing submission in response to this notification or the planned Draft CAN are incurred completely at the submitters own risk.

Further information will be posted through the NSPIRES system as it becomes available. Those individuals registered through NSPIRES should also receive automated E-mail notices.

Posted by: Soderman/NLSI Staff

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