APPLY HERE: Palmetto Academy Student ApplicationPalmetto Academy Student application

All applications will be due by midnight on Monday, January 29, 2024.

2024 Palmetto Academy Programs:

Download Project Blurbs here:  PA 2024 Blurbs

  • Dr. Frank Chen, USC, Producing Oxygen from Martian Atmosphere to Support NASA’s Manned Mission to Mars
  • Dr. Qiushi Chen, Clemson, Wood wasp-inspired dual-reciprocating drilling into lunar regolith
  • Dr. Kaelyn Leake, The Citadel, Approaches for index of refraction control and inclusion of metal nanoparticles in laser modified layer by layer thin films
  • Dr. Ana Oprisan, CofC, Universality laws in pure fluids and critical point experiments under density gradient
  • Dr. Sorinel Oprisan, CofC, Altered time perception under stress. The role of (micro)gravity stressor in time perception
  • Dr. Sudeep Popat, Clemson, Undergraduate research experience in electrochemical technology to generate fuel and food from CO2 and urine to support life on Mars
  • Dr. Ralph White, USC, Investigation of electrochemical performance for Na-ion Structural Batteries
  • Dr. Ming Yang, Clemson, Electrochemical Cell Integration for In-situ Utilization of Captured Carbon Dioxide

General Information

The South Carolina Space Grant Consortium is pleased to announce the Palmetto Academy Student Program, an immersive and integrated multidisciplinary exposure and training for students with various backgrounds and career aspirations of critical importance to the National aerospace program. This program, aimed at undergraduate and graduate students attending colleges and universities in South Carolina, encourages student participation in order to meet the growing need by NASA for skilled science and engineering workers. The Palmetto Academy program is expected to contribute to NASA’s goal of developing a diverse, competitive, and globally-engaged science and engineering workforce.

Faculty at member institutions have applied to host a Palmetto Academy site focused on one of NASA’s current research priorities. Students may list up to three Palmetto Academies of interest, prioritizing their choices. The Palmetto Academy Sites will host 10-week research opportunities that have direct relevance to NASA mission areas. The students will be involved in a welcome session at the beginning and then a finale ceremony at the end, constituting the tenth week. Students will receive a $8,000 ($7,500 + $500 housing) stipend for their participation in the Palmetto Academy program. As is true of all SCSGC Programs, underrepresented minority participation is encouraged. Student participants must perform 400 hours, or more, on the research project. While we do not offer housing for students, we will include an additional $500 within the award to offset housing expenses. Please work directly with your selected Palmetto Academy Faculty mentor to locate possible housing options.

We anticipate that the 2024 program will begin on/around May 28, 2024 and will run through August 2, 2024. Opening and closing events will take place in Charleston, S.C.

Goals and Objectives of the Palmetto Academy Program:

The overarching goals of the SCSGC Palmetto Academy are to enhance workforce development within South Carolina in STEM areas and to increase the number of students interested in and retain those currently pursuing STEM disciplines. The mentored SCSGC Palmetto Academy sites will advance NASA’s research agenda and will raise NASA’s profile in the Southeast region of the United States. The goals and objectives for the student participants are:

To participate in a unique, intensive, and rigorous educational and training curriculum related to scientific methods and processes

To create an environment that fosters creativity, personal initiative/self-confidence, together with a group mentality, teamwork, and professional ethics

Students will have the necessary confidence and wherewithal to submit applications for other NASA internship programs, NASA Academy, and the like.

To increase written and oral communication skills

Students within the Palmetto Academy will submit a final report. Students will prepare a poster and presentation to share their research experience with others.

To spark an interest in continuing NASA-relevant research in graduate school and beyond.

Students will pursue advanced degrees in STEM fields.

To facilitate access to and dissemination of valuable information on career development paths, financial support, technical writing standards, intellectual property, etc.

SCSGC will develop a listserv at the onset of the Palmetto Academy to communicate and disseminate information effectively with the faculty mentors and students.

To enter the STEM workforce by working on NASA-related endeavors

Students will continue to pursue career paths in STEM areas.



SCSGC Palmetto Academy Student Eligibility:

– Undergraduate students attending SC Space Grant member institutions are eligible to apply.

– Student participants supported with NASA funds must be citizens of the United States or its possessions (see U.S. citizenship requirements here).

– Have an interest in a STEM field, aerospace and/or space-related studies. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, the basic sciences, science education, astronomy, planetary science, environmental studies, and engineering.

– Be new to the Palmetto Academy program. Students who have participated in the Palmetto Academy in the past are not eligible to reapply.

Obligation to the SC Space Grant Consortium: All award recipients will be expected to attend the opening session of the Palmetto Academy as well as the closing finale. In addition, all award recipients must present their findings at the closing finale. All award recipients must send a written report of their project and all presentation dates to the SC Space Grant Consortium within 1 month of the completion of the project. Students must perform 400 hours, or more, on the research project.


In two pages or less, describe: a) why you are applying; b) career goals; c) how you will contribute to the appropriate research topic; d) results/experience envisioned for research, and e) any past experiences NASA-related research.

List in order of preference your programs of choice – see listing below (#1 being highest). You may only rank each selection once and must rank every program.

One faculty recommendation, using the application system for submission, due by Monday, February 5, 2024.

Include one copy of your college transcript(s).

Include one copy of your resume, of past schools and work experience


APPLY HERE: FACULTY Palmetto Research Academy Applications

Palmetto Academy FACULTY Applications are due by midnight on Monday, December 4, 2023.

Once faculty research sites have been selected, we will open the application submission program from students. Applications will be due Monday, January 29, 2024.


Palmetto Academy Faculty Applications are due by midnight on Monday, December 5, 2024.

1. Fully Signed SCSGC Palmetto Academy Cover Page – click to Download Palmetto Academy Cover Page

2. Project Summary (1 page or less)

3. Project Blurb (3-4 sentences) – a very short advertisement description to be posted on the website for students who are applying to your PA program, if selected.

4. Research Proposal Components (3 pages or less)

*You MUST follow the formatting and justification guidelines below. Non-Compliant proposals will not be considered.
a. Overview Provide a brief description of the objectives of the proposed Palmetto Academy Site, targeted student participants, NASA mission links, organizational structure, timetable, and institutional commitment to the Palmetto Academy.

b. Research Questions

c. NASA and SC STEM Relevance – you must address how your project ties in with current NASA Mission Directorate Research Priorities, as well as the SC’s Science and Technology Vision (see below for downloads).

d. Nature of Student Activities Proposals should address the approach to undergraduate/graduate research training and should provide detailed descriptions of examples of research projects that students will pursue. *Note: Specific attention will be focused on the learning experience of the student and how his/her perspectives on science or engineering have been expanded.

e. Project Evaluation and Reporting
*References, CVs, current and pending support forms, and the budget and justification are outside of the page limits.

5. Current and Pending Support

6. PI Curriculum Vitae (limited to 2 pages)

7. Co-I(s) Curriculum Vitae (limited to 1 page each)


a. A PI requested funding for one student they may request $15,000, a PI with two students may request $23,500 and a PI with three students may request $32,000. *As in previous years, each student is to receive a $8,000 stipend for their participation in the PA program. Please include this stipend within your budget. Payment to students MUST be stipends. Hourly wages to students are NOT allowable. If your institution cannot accommodate this, please contact our office prior to submitting a proposal. Funding restrictions include international travel, “equipment” purchases, and computer purchases.

b. COST SHARING AND ALLOWABLE COSTS: You must include a 1:1 match from your member institution. The Consortium is required to match NASA 1:1. Therefore, applicants will be required to match 100% of their requested funds with non-federal funds from their institution. Match can be in the form of either hard money matches or in-kind matches, including waived indirect costs, academic release for faculty members, student stipends, instrument and computer time. As per SCSGC policy, SCSGC funds cannot be used for indirect costs and overhead charges. Applications solely for the acquisition of equipment cannot be funded. Based on the federal grant requirement (reference 2 CFR 200.306(b)(4), then 2 CFR 200.403(b), non-citizens’ salary is unallowable as cost-share as the federal award will not fund non-citizen’s salary.

c. Depending on funding from NASA, the SCSGC will try to include a midway trip to a NASA facility of SCSGC’s choosing. If you would like to include a visit to a specific NASA center or observation facility or to a specific national conference for you and your student, you must include those travel costs in your budget. In addition, if you are planning on attending the PRA-sponsored NASA Center visit, you must also include funding to attend in your own budget. This is a trip that promotes faculty and student interaction and it is highly recommended that you go if at all possible.

d. Note: The SCSGC may cover travel costs for the PI and students to attend the opening summit and closing finale at a central location. This includes transportation, overnight room and per diem expenses. In addition, the SCSGC is not able to cover housing for student participants at the host institution.

9. Letters of support may be included, but are not required.

Proposal Formatting Guidelines:

• Must be single-space, in English, use a font of at least 12 point (no more than ~15 characters per inch horizontally and 5.5 lines per inch vertically),
• Must use standard 1” margins on all sides.
• 10 mb file size max for each proposal, must be an unlocked and searchable pdf file

Budget Justification Guidelines:

• Must describe the basis of estimate and rationale for each proposed component of cost for the duration of the proposed project.
• Travel must be broken down by the number of travelers, number of days, conference fees, airfare, per diem, misc. expenses, etc.
• Printing costs should be broken down by the number of pages and cost per page, as well as the title of journal (best estimate).


-Faculty affiliated with a SCSGC Member Campus or Educational Partner are eligible to apply.

-Palmetto Academy has been such a successful program for the SC Space Grant Consortium due to the amazing team of principal investigators and students. If you have received funding for 3+ years from Palmetto Academy, we ask that you encourage your peers to apply. Preference will be given to faculty that have NOT been involved in the program for more than 3 years as PI or as a Co-I.

-Multiple Faculty mentors with different research projects are not allowed within the same proposal. Each faculty mentor with a separate research project must submit a separate proposal. There may only be one project per proposal.

-Faculty mentors with more than one student MUST choose a student from a different home institution. With this program, we strongly encourage you to work with students from other institutions. If you MUST have your own students from your home institutions, consider applying to the REAP program instead.

-Due to NASA rules, SCSGC cannot provide funds to non-US citizen faculty in the form of salary or travel. A non-US citizen may apply for our programs as a PI or as a Co-PI if all SCSGC funds support the research of US citizens (faculty or students). Non-US citizens may receive support from their universities and these funds may be used as part of the 1:1 matching cost-share required for the grant.


————————————————————————————————Important download links for your proposals:

PA Cover Page

NASA Research Focus Areas – 2023

SC Science &Technology Plan-Vision 2030

NASA Mission Directorates

NASA Areas of Interest by Mission Directorate


Equal Opportunity Form

*NASA Media Release form – download here: NASA-AdultMediaReleaseForm 2

  • For questions or more information, please contact: Ms. Tara B. Scozzaro, MPA, SC Space Grant and SC NASA EPSCoR Program Manager, phone: 843.953.5463 | email: