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Friday, March 22, 2013

Announcing the 2013 Minority Institution Research Support (MIRS) Program

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Announcing the 2013 Minority Institution Research Support (MIRS) Program

Dear Colleagues:

Are you teaching in the areas of biology, chemistry, paleontology, geology, atmospheric physics, planetary science, astrophysics or cosmology? Are you interested in conducting research in which these science areas can be combined? Then the MIRS program may be for you.

The MIRS Astrobiology program provides opportunities for researchers at minority serving institutions (MSIs) to collaborate with Astrobiology Program research teams through the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI). Established in 1998, the NAI was formed as an innovative way to develop the field of astrobiology and to provide a scientific framework for flight missions.

With 15 teams of over 180 institutions and international partners, we’re confident you’ll be able to align your research with one of the researchers associated with an NAI team.

The program provides funding for salary, housing and travel during the summer, and additional funding to continue the research at your campus during the academic year with the intention that you’ll share your research and experiences in the summer program with your students.

The goals of the program are to strengthen the infrastructure of astrobiology research at MSIs, increase diversity of Astrobiology Program activities and to ensure that the next generation of astrobiologists reflect the diversity of the US and international scientific communities.

Components of the MIRS Program

  • Year-round opportunities for research and collaboration with astrobiologists in the U.S.
  • 10 weeks of support with a stipend of $1000 per week during the summer
  • Housing and travel stipend of $5,000
  • A stipend of $10,000 for continuation of the summer research experience during the academic year to develop astrobiology curriculum and laboratories at the institutions
  • Participation in an Astrobiology Cluster/Interest Group at the conclusion of the summer sabbatical to collaborate with other MIRS researchers, obtain additional funding and to expand research options

Eligibility Requirements

U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident

  • Full-time faculty at a US Minority Serving Institution as designated by the U.S. Department of Education
  • Ability to provide a commitment letter from the faculty’s institution stating interest in the astrobiology curriculum
  • Qualified to conduct astrobiology-related research at both the host institution/laboratory and the home institution


To explore this opportunity further or to apply for the program, please visit or contact Dr. Jacquelyn Y. Madry-Taylor at (703) 716-8746 or  Feel free to pass this information to your colleagues who also may be interested.

Note to MIRS Fellow Alumni, the UNCFSP invites you to participate in an Astrobiology Cluster/Interest Group to collaborate with other MIRS researchers, develop curricula, continued professional development and to expand research options. Please contact Dr. Jacquelyn Y. Madry-Taylor at (703) 716-8746 or



Malik Hopkins   |   Director of Capture Management

UNCF Special Programs Corporation

6402 Arlington Blvd., Suite 600, Falls Church, VA  22042

703-205-6581 - phone | 703-205-8148 - fax


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