JWST Grant Funding and Budget Submissions

General information regarding grant funding and budget submissions are provided in this article. Detailed information is provided in the STScI Budget Proposer Guide and the current STScI General Grant Provisions (GGP).

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STScI Grants Administration(GRA) will send Budget Notification Letters after proposers are notified of their successful science programs.  The letters will be sent to the U.S. Administrative PI, their Institution Contacts, and Co-investigators with a U.S. institution listed as their primary institution in MyST.

Contact GRA with questions concerning funding policies, eligibility, budget submissions, and allowable costs.

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

New this Year!

NASA revised the eligibility requirements for GO/AR grants. Investigators who previously were not eligible to apply for grant support, may now be eligible. This applies to new budget proposals submitted on or after May 25, 2022.



Budget proposal deadline

June 29, 2023 by 5:00pm US Eastern Daylight Time

Only very limited accommodation can be made for late budget proposals. Proposers who encounter difficulty meeting this deadline should contact GRA for help at gms_mail@stsci.edu as soon as possible prior to the deadline.

Budget proposals are submitted via STGMS (https://stgms.stsci.edu). Your Sponsored Research Office will have internal deadlines for your budget submission.  Be sure to allow sufficient time to meet the internal deadlines. Contact the Sponsored Research Office at your institution if you need an STGMS account.



STScI General Grant Provisions (GGP)

STScI grants will be awarded in accordance with the GGP. The terms of this Call for Proposals are incorporated into and are considered to be part of the GGP.



Eligibility for STScI grant funds

Important:  STScI grant funding is available to only U.S. investigators. NASA recently revised the definition of U.S. investigator. Carefully review the GGP, Section 3, Eligibility for STScI Grant Funding, for specific eligibility requirements.  Contact GRA with questions regarding requirements or to determine if a person is eligible to request STScI grant funding.



STScI review of risk posed by applicants

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



Budget proposals

A new STScI Budget Proposer Guide is available to help you prepare your budget.

Budgets are a detailed financial expression of the program. Costs must be allowable, reasonable, allocable (Ref. GGP, Sections 9 and 10), and in accordance with the GGP.  Budgets must be linked directly to achieving the specific work and science goals described in the approved science proposal.  

The responsibility of a complete, accurate proposal rests with each investigator and their institution.  Missing or incomplete information will likely result in a reduction of funding approved for the program.

It is important to include clear, detailed, and complete information in the Budget, Budget Narrative, and Program Management Plan. The Budget Narrative Template is a requirement. 

Note that budget requirements are different for Program Administrative PIs and Co-Investigators.



Financial Review Committee evaluation of budget proposals

The FRC reviews and evaluates budget proposals based on the tasks, level of effort, and other costs required to complete the approved science proposal.  All costs requested in the budget must be clearly detailed and justified in the required Budget Narrative (reference the Budget Narrative Template).

  • All costs must be required for the project and justified in detail in the Budget Narrative.
  • Science and budget proposals are reviewed in detail. Budgeted costs must be linked directly to achieving the specific work and science goals described in the approved science proposal.
  • Unusual or particularly high costs are especially scrutinized and must be well justified.
  • Missing or incomplete information will likely result in a reduction of funding allocated to the program.
  • The summary of contribution table in the Budget Narrative must include all team members (unfunded and foreign investigators). Effort must be shown in full-time equivalent months.  Additionally, the responsibilities, contributions, and level of effort for all team members must be clearly stated and justified in the Budget Narrative.  All work and level of effort must be proportionate and in conjunction with each person's role in the project.
  • The contribution of all foreign team members must be identified and described. It must be very clear that foreign team members are contributing their appropriate share of the overall effort (e.g., labor, travel, and publications). Only tasks that are specifically identified in the science proposal and absolutely necessary for the JWST science will be considered for funding support.
  • Any duplication of effort included in the budget must be clearly described and well justified.
  • Funding support related to ground-based observations will not be considered unless those observations and tasks were specifically described and justified in the science proposal.
  • The Budget Narrative must be consistent with the budget request. Costs in the budget must be included in the Budget Narrative and described in detail.  Conversely, all costs described in the Budget Narrative should be included in the budget.
  • Travel requested must be critical for the project and justified in the Budget Narrative. Avoid generic TBD conferences whenever possible. Higher costs for travel (i.e. international travel or attendance of multiple team members) must be well justified with demonstrated value to the research effort.
  • Computers (laptops, desktops) and computing costs must be  required for the project.
  • Publication costs must be commensurate with the level of the project.  Unusually high number of pages or publications must be clearly justified.



Grant awards and 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 JWST 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, the Cycle 2 Call for Proposals, and the applicable institutional, NASA, and federal guidelines, policies, and regulations, including but not limited to 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. STScI has the final authority to determine if costs for budgets, awards, and expenditures are allowable, reasonable, allocable, and necessary.  STScI reserves the right to recover grant expenditures that were not in compliance with applicable policies and regulations Unallowable costs will be removed from the budget request.


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