Launch pad at NASA headquarters.
An excellent opportunity for new scientists. Photo: Pixabay.

NASA offers scholarships for early career scientists

The program offers opportunities to develop advances in space science and exploration.


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The NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP), administered by ORAU, invites senior scientists who are starting their careers to be part of this cycle of fellowship applications that will run until November 1, 2022.

The scholarships, focused on the areas of science, technology, aeronautics, and space exploration, offer access to all of NASA's resources, as well as mentorship from leading agency scientists.

“NPP includes various science and technology scholarships offered at NASA, as well as unique educational experiences that prepare future leaders for NASA and the academic community. ORAU supports NASA's goal of building an inclusive, collaborative, open, and innovative work environment that prioritizes work-life balance and encourages professional development for postdoctoral fellows,” said J. Scott Miller, Ph.D, director of the NPP of ORAU.

How to access?

This is how you can apply for these scholarships:

  • Scientists with undergraduate degrees that are no more than 5 years old can apply as postdoctoral fellows.
  • Scientists with bachelor's degrees older than 5 years can apply as senior fellows.
  • After the first year as a postdoctoral fellow, scientists interested in leadership positions can apply to the postdoctoral leadership program at NASA Headquarters.

It is important to note that the agency has reactivated eligibility for foreign citizens who can access J-1 visa status for exchange visitors. To see more requirements click here.

Who benefits?

Available to talented scientists from the U.S. and abroad, this program introduces recipients to exclusive research opportunities at NASA Headquarters or in an agency-affiliated research institute.

Ranging from one to three years, the fellowships are designed to delve into NASA missions in space science, Earth science, aeronautics, space operations, exploration systems, and astrobiology.


The agency, which offers initial resources of $70,000, highlights comprehensive support for those who benefit from the scholarships.

“Add-ons are offered for higher cost-of-living areas and certain academic majors. The stipend amount for a Senior Postdoctoral Fellow is based on position location, experience (number of years since doctoral degree), and academic achievement, including academic credits and professional degree. Among the benefits available are supplemental health insurance, professional development resources, a research allowance of up to $10,000 a year, and a relocation reimbursement.


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