Grants for Scientific Research in the Field of Astronomy

How and where does one apply for a grant specifically for scientific research in the field of astronomy?

There are several financial science grants available to researchers and students today. However obtaining them requires is a lot dedication and patience. You also need to be very clear as to why you require the grant and what the exact purpose of your research will be. You can find the details of these grants with the help of several agencies that you can employ for this purpose or you could engage in a little bit of research and find these details online.

One great program where you can find grants for your astronomical research is with the Small Research Grant program that is funded by NASA and is administered by AAS Executive Office. This grant provides two opportunities every year to applicants to apply for the grant, once in May and the second time in November. It is mainly awarded to applicants to cover their costs of astronomical research and selected applicant receives grants between US$1,000 to US$7,000.

Unfortunately, the Small Research Grants program is now on hold.

The eligibility criteria for this grant are that you have to be an American astronomer or an international astronomer who has a PhD or any other equivalent degree. If you are a graduate who is seeking to avail this grant then you are not eligible for it. Astronomers who are from smaller institutions that do not have sufficient facilities or support will be offered priority. Individuals who are also currently not involved with any institution can also apply for these grants.

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What you can use this grant for is to cover your costs incurred on research, equipment purchase, computing, equipment transportation and travel by application to various scientific meetings and to observatories with respect to their research and upgrades and repairs of equipments.

What you need to do to avail this grant is that you need to send in a proposal document which contains the cover page and the project description. The cover page details should not exceed more than one side of the page where as the project description has to be a maximum of two pages.

The cover page should contain information about your project title, the amount requested, your contact details, summary of the project, statement indicating that these fund will be used for research purposes, signature of the applicant and the date of submission. The template for the cover page can be downloaded from

In the project description page you will have to give a detailed description on your project, budget justification, results that are expected at the end of the project and relevance of your project to the NASA mission. Also mention the details of all other funds you have applied for and the current funding status of your project. Apart from this you will have to provide a detailed budget estimation of one page that contains all information like the proposed expenditures and a justification or the equipments that you propose to purchase and if you plan to attend any conferences etc.

Lastly you also need to attach a two page curriculum vitae that should have details on your education, other relevant publications that you have had and a short description of your position in the institution if you are associated with one. Do keep in mind that your proposal should not be more than a total of six pages. You can send in your proposal to

Small Research Grant Committee
American Astronomical Society
2000 Florida Avenue, NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20009-1231.

You will be intimated of the results post the committee discussion.