John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences

News and information from the UND John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences.

Affiliate Synergistic and Collaborative Engagements across ND (ASCEND) Call for Proposals

The NDSGC is now accepting proposals for the

2024 Affiliate Synergistic and Collaborative Engagements across ND (ASCEND) program


What: The North Dakota Space Grant Consortium (NDSGC) is soliciting applications for the Affiliate Synergistic and Collaborative Engagements across ND (ASCEND) program, which is designed to promote, develop, and expand NASA research and projects within North Dakota. These grants, which may be research- or teaching-based, will be defined by the goals found within NASA’s Mission Directorates (MDs) and the NDSGC’s proposal.

ASCEND topics: Proposals must align with at least one of NASA’s Mission Directorates (see solicitation for more information). Past ND project examples include: Astronomical/planetary science, small satellite development, Earth sciences, materials, science, planetary space suit research, and other NASA-relevant research areas.

Eligibility: Any staff or faculty member at an NDSGC Affiliate Institution who is a US citizen and conducting STEM or STEM Education initiatives relevant to NASA is eligible. Affiliate PIs must be from a non-research NDSGC affiliate institution. Affiliate Co-PIs can be from UND, NDSU, or any NDSGC affiliate institution. 

Award Values: up to two awards of $30,000 each

Deadline to apply: December 1, 2023, 11:59 PM CDT

Award Period: January 31, 2024 – December 31, 2024

ASCEND Solicitation:

Ready to apply? Visit:

Searching for a collaborator or co-PI? If proposers are interested in a collaboration and are unsure of affiliate representatives who may be able to partner, the NDSGC is willing to facilitate connections between affiliate representatives with similar project interests. Individuals open to collaboration are advised to add their contact information and research interests to the following document: NDSGC ASCEND Collaborations.

Other information:

As presented in the ASCEND solicitation, meritorious proposals will address:

  • Student Involvement: All ASCEND proposals must involve student participants at either the informal education, K-12, or higher education levels. Preference will be given to projects that engage learners in active learning styles: hands-on and experiential learning as compared to passive, lecture-based pedagogies.
  • Affiliate Involvement: Proposals must include students and/or faculty from at least one non-research affiliate institution as a collaborator. Proposals may not be submitted with an affiliate representative from NDSU or UND serving as the principal investigator.
  • An Assessment Plan: ASCEND proposals must include a specific plan for self-assessment of the proposed project. PIs must distribute a qualitative or quantitative assessment tool to students involved in the project. Example assessment tools may include: pre- and post-test, exit-surveys and interviews, or other assessments. (For ideas on assessment tools, see examples offered at the following website: If affiliates use an online assessment tool, the NDSGC recommends survey distribution platforms such as Google Forms, Qualtrics, SurveyMonkey, etc.
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA): All proposals must describe the project’s DEAI goals, including recruitment strategies and equal opportunity integration. This requirement aligns with objective four within NDSGC’s NASA proposal, “to engage underrepresented genders, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities, and other underserved groups”. This also aligns with NASA’s 3.3.3 performance goals of creating a “diverse future NASA and aerospace industry workforce.” NASA Policy Statement on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility for NASA’s Workforce and Workplaces.


The NDSGC collects applications through the Submittable online platform. Prospective applicants may view the application questions ahead of time by viewing page eight of the solicitation. Please refer to the Submittable instructions and FAQs found within the solicitation or reach out to the NDSGC with any questions.

Please contact NDSGC Associate Director Tori McIntosh ( with any questions.

Photo: 2022 ASCEND Project from North Dakota’s Gateway to Science