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Apply to NIAC

NASA is always looking to change what’s possible in space. The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program funds innovative aerospace concepts that could enable and transform future missions. Each year, NASA issues multiple NIAC solicitations and grant awards. Researchers across government, industry and academia with high impact ideas should consider submitting a proposal.

NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) graphic

The NIAC program supports visionary research ideas through multiple progressive phases of study.

Phase I studies are efforts up to 9 months to explore the overall viability and advance the Technology Readiness Level (TRL). Eligible recipients of Phase I awards can propose for a follow-on Phase II study.

Phase II develops concepts for up to two years. Researchers must prepare a roadmap for further development, but are not expected to fully advance the technologies to a level required for NASA or commercial transition.

Phase III continues the exploration and development for another two years. The final phase is designed to strategically transition NIAC concepts with the highest potential impact for NASA, other government agencies or commercial partners.

For complete information, guidelines and announcements regarding NIAC solicitations, visit the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System (NSPIRES) website:


  • 2024 Phase I Solicitation
    Release: June 2023
    Selections Announced: January 2024
  • 2024 Phase II Solicitation 
    Release: Mid-January 2024
    Selections Announced: Late April 2024
  • 2024 Phase III Solicitation
    Release: Early February 2024
    Selections Announced: Mid-June 2024
  • 2025 Phase I Solicitation (planned) 
    Release: Early 2024
    Proposer’s Virtual Forum: Mid-June 2024
    Selections Announced: Early-January 2025
  • 2025 Phase II Solicitation (planned)
    Release: Mid-January 2025
    Selections Announced: Late April 2025
  • 2025 Phase III Solicitation (planned)
    Release: Early February 2025
    Selections Announced: Mid-June 2025


Phase I

  • $175,000 for a nine-month study
  • 12 to 18 awards per year (planned)
  • Release: Early June
    Step A Proposals Due: Early July
    Invitations Issued: Early August 2023
    Step B Proposals Due: Early September
    Selections Announced: Early January

Phase II

  • $600,000 for a two-year study
  • Six to eight awards per year (planned)
  • Release: Mid January
    Proposals Due: Mid-February
    Selections Announced: Early April

Phase III

  • $2 million for a two-year study
  • One award per year (planned)
  • Release: Early February
    Mandatory Preliminary Proposals Due: Early March
    Invitations to Submit a Full Proposal: Early April
    Proposals Due: Late May


  1. Think up an innovative concept that will change the way NASA does business; explain why NASA needs your concept.
  2. Watch for the release of NIAC solicitations on NSPIRES.
  3. Pay extra attention to the proposal preparation instructions.
  4. Put your concept into a specific aerospace architecture, mission or system.
  5. Contact with additional questions.