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Mississippi Space Grant Consortium

Funded by the NASA Office of STEM Engagement

The Mississippi Space Grant Consortium (MSSGC) is a statewide non-profit organization of institutions of higher learning coordinated by the Mississippi Research Consortium and supported by NASA.

The Consortium's mission is to enhance and support aerospace science and technology efforts and activities in Mississippi as well as promote a strong science, mathematics, and technology base at precollege, undergraduate, and graduate levels in the regions educational institutions.


The National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program was founded in 1989 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to establish a network of universities with programs in aeronautics and other space-related fields, and to encourage recruitment and training of talented students, especially women and minorities, who will become professionals in the space sciences.

MSSGC was established in 1991 through an award by NASA to four Mississippi Universities: The University of Mississippi, Jackson State University, The University of Southern Mississippi, and Mississippi State University. Since its establishment, the MSSGC developed a plan to expand Space Grant activities to include all universities and community colleges in the state. In 1993, the MSSGC added eight new affiliate members, which include the four public regional universities and four of its fifteen community colleges: Alcorn State University, Delta State University, Mississippi University for Women, Mississippi Valley State University, Itawamba Community College, Pearl River Community College, Northeast Community College, and Coahoma Community College. In 1999, four new affiliates joined MSSGC: Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Hinds Community College-Utica Campus, Mississippi Delta Community College, and Meridian Community College.


Space Grant affiliates sponsor a variety of information programs and conferences, summer instruction for teachers, and opportunities for fellowships and scholarships for graduate and undergraduate students in NASA-related, STEM fields. Each campus program is guided by a faculty campus coordinator and a team of faculty mentors. The Space Grant Programs are designed to match the needs of students with faculty strengths and departmental capabilities.

Program diversity and collaboration characterize the MSSGC. While each program's response to regional needs and opportunities creates an effectively diverse range of activities, MSSGC's strong network of communication and active collaboration propel this local success into a statewide system of sustained commitment to Space Grant goals for technological and human resource development. Of special importance to MSSGC members is the percentage of women and minorities who participate in Space Grant activities across all programs.


We are a statewide consotium of scientist, engineers, teachers and leaders that are advancing science and technology research and opportunities for students and faculty engaged in NASA related fields of study. MSSGC is a consortium of 17 affiliates institutions of higher learning in the state of Mississippi including the four comprehensive universities (UM, MSU, JSU, USM), four regional universities (Alcorn State, Delta State, MUW, MVSU), and 9 of our 15 community colleges.

A Program With IMPACT

What Does Space Grant Do for Students?

The mission of Space Grant in Mississippi is to (1) be a gateway to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers and activities for students and programs throughout all levels of education; (2) enhance aerospace and aerospace-related research opportunities at undergraduate and graduate levels; (3) inspire STEM students to pursue STEM careers; (4) empower the state’s general public and community leaders through contributions to scientific literacy; and (5) nurture innovation that is Mississippi centric and globally aware.

“Space Grant allowed me to develop professional skills and contacts that helped me get into graduate school, which in turn helped me obtain the job I have today and start my career at NASA.”

“The Space Grant allowed me to continue my studies without having to work two jobs. This allowed me to perform to my highest potential in classes.”

“Participation in the MS Space Grant lead to a career with the Naval Research Lab at Stennis Space Center.”

“The Mississippi Space Grant helped show me the importance of promoting STEM to young students. I remember the people who encouraged me to pursue a STEM career early in life, and it was very rewarding to help return the favor to the next generation of students. I really enjoyed helping out younger children and seeing the joy that STEM experiments brought them. It taught me better time management by requiring me to balance my graduate work while also preparing lessons to help out at a local school. I have also thought about becoming a professor later in my career, and this fellowship helped introduce me to teaching.”

“It has given me the necessary encouragement I needed to push myself throughout my collegiate and professional careers. If I had not had the support of this grant, I would not have gone on scholastic trips or received the materials I needed to get my schoolwork done. ”

Graduate Fellowships

Graduate Fellowships

The Mississippi Space Grant Consortium (MSSGC) Graduate Fellowship Program is open to graduate students who are U.S. citizens and will be enrolled in a program of full-time study at one of the MSSGC universities. Students may apply prior to entering or anytime during their graduate program. Eligibility is not limited to science and engineering majors. Any field of study that includes coursework related to research or interest to NASA is eligible.

The applications opens annually in January, and applications are due each Spring near mid-March.

NASA Fellowships Activity

NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement (OSTEM) seeks to leverage NASA’s unique mission activities to enhance and increase the capabilities, diversity, and size of the nation’s next generation STEM workforce needed to enable future NASA discoveries, including NASA’s Artemis Program that begins the next era of exploration. Through its internal collaboration with NASA Mission Directorates (MD), NASA Centers, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and external STEM partners, OSTEM aims to bring unique opportunities to learners, educators, and institutions by providing access to NASA’s mission content, people, resources, and facilities.

This NASA Research Announcement (NRA), titled the NASA Fellowship Activity, solicits proposals from accredited U.S. institutions for research training grants to begin in the 2020-2021 Academic Year. This NRA is designed to support independently conceived research projects by highly qualified graduate students, in disciplines needed to help advance NASA’s mission, thus affording these students the opportunity to directly contribute to advancements in STEM-related areas of study. NASA Fellowship opportunities are focused on innovation and the generation of measurable research results, which contribute to NASA’s current and future science and technology goals. NASA strongly encourages the submission of applications from Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), historically underrepresented groups and underserved populations, such as women, minorities, persons with disabilities, LGBTQs and veterans.

Applications for FY20 are due February 21. Applications must be submitted via NSPIRES.


Student Led STEM Activities

The Mississippi Space Grant Consortium (MSSGC) Student Led STEM Activities program is open to undergraduate student teams who are participating in a design/competition that has NASA relevance. The team must have a faculty sponsor, and the funds can only be used for U.S. citizens (non-US citizens can still participate if their support is provided by the faculty sponsor from some other source of funds). Eligibility is not limited to science and engineering majors.

The application window opens annually in February, and applications are typically due in mid to late May.


Research Initiation Seed Grants

The Mississippi Space Grant Consortium (MSSGC) Research Initiation Seed Grants are aimed at strengthening research competitiveness and collaboration and creating research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students in any STEM related field that has relevance to NASA. Applications will be accepted from faculty in any NASA-related STEM field from the following Mississippi institutions of higher learning: JSU, ASU, DSU, MUW, MVSU, ICC, CCC, MCC, MDCC, HCC, MGCCC, NEMCC, PRCC, JCJC, SWCC, Tougaloo College, Rust College, Copiah-Lincoln CC, and East Miss. CC.

The application window opens annually in February, and applications are typically due in mid to late May.


Mini-Grants in STEM Enhancement

The Mississippi Space Grant Consortium (MSSGC) Mini-Grants in STEM Enhancement program seeks to enhance K-12 STEM programs through hands-on experience, experiential learning, curriculum development, educational opportunities, or other related activities. The funds must not be used for purchasing equipment or providing direct support to K-12 students. Proposers can be teachers/faculty/staff of any accredited educational institution in the state of Mississippi. Partnerships that ensure long-term impact are highly encouraged.

The application window typically opens annually in February, and applications are typically due near the end of May.