We are excited to announce a new Request for Proposals (RFP) for our Science and Technology Empowered by the Public (STEP) Grants. These grants are planetary science and/or technology grants chosen from an open, international, competed proposal process. Proposals can request funding for a variety of types of science and/or technology projects. Proposals must fit within one or more of The Planetary Society’s core enterprises (Explore Worlds, Find Life, Defend Earth) and should be consistent with The Planetary Society’s Strategic Framework 2019-2023.
Proposers must submit preliminary proposals (pre-proposals) by 23:59 UT (16:59 PDT) on August 17, 2022. Based on the pre-proposal submissions, a small number of proposers will be invited to submit full proposals from which grant selections will be made.
For its entire history, through the crowdfunding support of its members and donors, The Planetary Society has supported science and technology projects to provide a way for members/donors to play an active role in space exploration while enabling advances in space science and/or technology.
The STEP Grants were created to regularly compete a significant portion of The Planetary Society’s science and technology portfolio. This is the second STEP Grants competition. In the first, there were 38 pre-proposals submitted. Six of those were invited to submit full proposals. From highly competitive proposals, two proposals were selected for funding. The two winning projects were a radio SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) citizen science project out of UCLA in the U.S., and a planetary defense project to use a new technique to study near-Earth asteroids out of the University of Belgrade in Serbia.
We are grateful to the Halıcıoğlu Family Foundation for its generous support of the development and implementation of the STEP Grants program. We also thank all of our members who have been crowdfunding our science and technology projects since long before the term crowdfunding was invented.