HST Cycle 27 Grant Funding and Budget Submissions

This page describes the requirements to receive funding in association with accepted HST proposals. Funding is only available for US investigators, and requires a budget submission with institutional endorsement. Costs must be reasonable, allowable, and allocable.


This section is intended to be an overview of the budget proposal and funding policies process for STScI grants. Contact STScI Grants Administration with questions concerning funding policies, budget submissions, allowable costs, or grant activities.

Phone: (410) 338-4200
email: gms_mail@stsci.edu

Budget Proposal Deadline

Budget proposals are due: August 8, 2019 by 5:00 pm your local time. Late proposals will not be considered.

Budget proposals are submitted via STGMS (https://stgms.stsci.edu). Contact the Sponsored Research Office at your institution if you need an STGMS account.

STScI General Grant Provisions

STScI grants will be awarded in accordance with the 2018 General Grants Provisions, December 2018 (hereafter, GGP 2018). The terms of this Call for Proposals are incorporated into and are considered to be part of the GGP 2018.

Eligibility for STScI Grant Funds

Important:  Carefully review the GGP 2018, Section 3, Eligibility for STScI Grant Funding, for specific eligibility requirements.  Contact STScI Grants Administration if you have any questions regarding requirements or to determine if a person is eligible to request STScI grant funding.

Certification, Assurance, and Representations

Budgets submitted to STScI or the acceptance of an STScI grant award by a grantee institution, signify that the Authorizing Official or Authorizing Official Representative of that institution certifies compliance with the appended regulatory certifications, assurances, and representations in the GGP 2018.

STScI Review of Risk Posed by Applicants

STScI has an obligation and the authority to ensure that grantee institutions meet the requirements related to the award of federal funds. See GGP 2018, Section 7 for criteria considered in STScI’s evaluation of risk posed by applicants.

Budget Proposals

The budget is a detailed financial expression of the project or program and it shall be related to performance for program evaluation purposes whenever appropriate. GO/AR budget proposals are reviewed in detail and evaluated by the STScI Financial Review Committee (FRC) to assess funding that is appropriate to reduce and analyze HST data in conjunction with the work in the approved Phase I proposal. 

The responsibility of a complete, accurate proposal rests with each investigator and their institution. It is important to include clear, detailed, and complete information in your budget, budget narrative, and management plan. Missing or incomplete information may result in a reduction of funding allocated to the program.

Reasonable, Allowable, Allocable

Costs to complete the science goals submitted in the approved Phase I proposal must be reasonable, allowable, and allocable (Ref. GGP 2018, Sections 9 and 10). Costs outside the original scope of work will not be considered during budget reviews.

Funding will not be provided to support Phase II preparation activities.

Grant Administrative PI

Each budget must have an Administrative PI who will have overall fiscal and reporting responsibility for the grant proposal and subsequent award. Grant awards are issued to the proposing institution at which the Administrative PI is employed and not to the PI personally (Ref. GGP 2018, Section 4).

Period of Performance

It is anticipated that the period of time required to analyze HST data will be one to two years depending on the type and complexity of the project. Key, long-term, and other major projects may range up to three years.

Generally, grants are awarded with a 3-year period of performance to allow time to conduct and complete the research. The period of performance will be stated in the Grant Award Document.

Continuation Programs

Continuation programs are programs that have approved orbits in more than one cycle.  GOs with approved continuation proposals do not submit a new Phase I proposal for subsequent approved Cycles however, new Phase II and budget proposals will be submitted for each new cycle of the continuation program.  For example, GOs with time approved in Cycles 27, 28, and 29, do not submit a Phase I continuation proposal in Cycles 28 and 29, although a new Phase II and budget submission will be required for each cycle.  Budget requests submitted for the first cycle of a continuation proposal include costs for the effort to reduce and analyze the data obtained in the first cycle only.  Costs for effort budgeted beyond the first cycle will not be considered.  Budget narratives should include a description of the overall effort for the entire multi-year project.  All budgets are reviewed by the FRC.

Funding For Joint Programs

STScI funding for joint programs is designed to cover reduction and analysis of the HST data obtained as part of that science program. Funding for analysis of Chandra data will be provided through the CXC budget process. Proposals for funding reduction and analysis of XMM or TESS data should be submitted to NASA in response to the appropriate ROSES Call.

Program Management Plans

Management Plans are required with the budget proposal submission for all General Observer proposals. The FRC reviews the Management Plans to determine if the costs requested are commensurate with the level of effort required to complete the project. The FRC cannot accurately assess budget proposals for programs that do not meet the requirements. Detailed information is provided in the Budget Requirements document located on the STScI Grants Administration Webpage, http://www.stsci.edu/scientific-community/grants-administration.

Priorities of the Financial Review Committee

The FRC reviews budget proposals based on the tasks, level of effort, and other costs required to complete the project. Key questions to assist proposers with preparing budgets and narratives:

  • Are the responsibilities, contributions, and level of effort for each team member (including foreign and unfunded) clearly stated, justified, proportional (directly linked), and in conjunction with their role in the project and the approved Phase I proposal? Note that only tasks that are specifically identified or absolutely necessary for the Phase 1 science will be considered.
  • Is the budget justification correct and consistent with the budget request?
  • Is the travel requested really required for the project? Provide the specific reason project personnel must travel to specific conferences. Avoid generic TBD conferences whenever possible. Are higher costs for travel (i.e. international travel or attendance of multiple team members) well justified?
  • Are the computers (laptops, desktops) and computing costs requested justified for the project?
  • Are the publication costs commensurate with the level of the project? Be sure to justify an unusually high number of pages or publications.
  • Are unusual or particularly high costs well justified?
  • Is it very clear that foreign team members are contributing their appropriate share of the costs (e.g., labor, travel, and publications)?

Budget Review and Approval Process

Following the notification of approved Phase I programs, the STScI Grants Administration Office will send instructions for budget preparation and submission to U.S. investigators. Budget requests are reviewed by the STScI Financial Review Committee (FRC) and funding recommendations are presented to the STScI Director for approval.

Availability of Funds

All grant awards are made contingent upon the availability of funds from NASA.

If funding requests and FRC recommendations exceed the amount provided by NASA for the HST GO/AR Grants Program, additional reductions to recommended amounts may be required to remain within the funding guideline authorized by NASA.

STScI Authority

Allowable costs for all budgets, awards, and expenditures will be determined in accordance with the GGP 2018, the Cycle 27 Call for Proposals, and the applicable institutional, NASA, and federal guidelines, policies, and regulations. STScI has the final authority to determine whether or not a cost is allowable for an STScI grant and reserves the right to recover grant funds that were unexpended or were spent out of compliance with the terms and conditions of a grant.