Welcome To SASA

We recognize that to increase the diversity of the STEM workforce, the change needs to begin at the onset of a minority student’s career.
To help foster more effective, sustainable, and efficient use of the NASA science content, we will build student research opportunities as part of the existing courses and research programs at selected minority-serving institutions.


Faculty and NASA Subject Matter Experts
Students affiliated with the GLE
Graduate mentors

Research and Course Content

  • Describe your university, department, and research lab expertise at your institution
    • Include short faculty and supporting mentor bios (with a picture of each). Link to your main university, department, and/or research lab webpage
  • Describe the overarching science questions you explore within your lab group (e.g., human interactions with atmospheric chemistry).
    • Contextualize the importance of this research as it relates to societally-relevant topics, including climate change, air quality, and sea level rise, for instance.
  • Describe the instruments (field, airborne, satellite) and other tools (e.g., climate models) that will be used to support student research projects in the summer program
  • Identify potential research themes or broad questions to motivate the research that will be done during the summer program (these research themes can vary for each summer. Start by identifying potential themes for summer 2022).
    • Include a short description of each possible project, its goals, and which instruments would be used during the summer and airborne campaign
  • Geoscience Learning Ecosystem (this could be a separate page on your institutional website).
    • Courses integrating NASA content at your institution

SASA Program

Summary of the Program

  • The NASA Science Activation Program invites highly motivated rising college freshman and sophomores to participate in the SaSa summer internship program. SaSa is funded by the NASA Science Activation Program and will draw on NASA Science Mission Directorate’s unique aircraft, instruments, and experts.
  • This 8-week, full-time paid internship includes a competitive stipend, housing, and travel. Participants will gain hands-on research experience in all components of a research campaign, including flying onboard the NASA P-3 research aircraft to collect data.   

Goals of the Program

  • To create a student geoscience learning ecosystem to enable effective student engagement with NASA scientists & engineers, academic advisors, peers, and the local communities.
  • To provide students with new skills to work with NASA science equipment and real data from field/airborne campaigns and satellites.
  • Provide students with problem solving skills in the areas of instrument development, operation and mathematical tools and methods to analyze field data. 
  • Provide research, mentoring, and networking opportunities for early-career undergraduates to address the shortage of individuals from historically underrepresented groups graduating with STEM degrees from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and a need to prepare these students to enter STEM graduate programs as well as the NASA and research workforce.

What Program Offers

  • 8-week program at 6 Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and 2 NASA centers
  • Receive a competitive stipend, travel and housing expenses covered
  • Gain hands-on research experience with the guidance of faculty and NASA research mentors
  • Fly onboard NASA research aircraft
  • Gain practical training in scientific research, data collection, and experimentation
  • Opportunity to present at national Geoscience conferences 
  • Access to ongoing professional development activities, workshops, mentoring, and the SaSa community network

Eligibility & Application

Who is Eligible (Selection Criteria)

Applicants will be selected based upon:

  • Be enrolled full-time in one of the MSI partner universities Good academic standing with a GPA of 3.0 or better
  • Status as a first- or second-year undergraduate student
  • Interest in pursuing a STEM-related degree and career
  • Interest in the Earth, Ocean, and/or Atmospheric Sciences
  • U.S. citizenship


Apply online at by the January 31, 2022 deadline for full consideration

The application portal is open beginning November 1, 2021.

The applicant must submit the entire application package, which should include:

  • Personal statement, statement of interest
  • 2 letters of recommendation, and
  • Official transcript(s)

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you accept unofficial transcripts?

Yes, unofficial transcripts are accepted if they are downloaded from your university website. Scanned copies of official transcripts are also acceptable; please upload your scanned transcripts as a PDF to your application. Remove or cover any Social Security numbers.

What if my GPA is less than 3.0?

Students with a GPA of 3.0 or greater are encouraged to apply. Consideration will be given based on the level of difficulty of your courses, the remarks of your recommenders, and your personal statement, including extenuating circumstances that are described.

I have other obligations during the summer program. Can I join for part of the program?

No, we require that students attend the full 8-week program to make the most of the research experience.

My fall 2021 grades will not be finalized by January 31, 2022. What should I do?

If your Fall 2021 grades are not finalized on your transcript by the application deadline of January 31, 2022, due to your institution’s academic calendar, exam period, or other exceptional circumstances, you may submit your transcripts after January 31. If you submit after the application deadline, please upload your transcript as a PDF and notify us of the reason for the delay by emailing us at before the January 31 deadline.


Contact Us

Visit us at for application information.

Questions about the application or SaSa program? Email us at

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