Early Career Travel Award Available for MEPAG Meeting 38 (April, in DC region)

The next face-to-face Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) meeting is scheduled for Wednesday-Friday, April 15-17, 2020 (#38: https://mepag.jpl.nasa.gov/meetings.cfm?expand=m38), in Arlington, VA. To encourage and enable more Early Career participation in this MEPAG meeting, the NASA Mars Program Office (MPO) is making available travel awards for up to three U.S. early career scientists or engineers with an interest or role in the Mars Exploration Program.

For each awardee, travel costs up to $1500 will be reimbursed according to JPL/government-specified allowances. Reimbursable costs will include transportation (e.g., airfare, mileage to/from airport, parking, rental car) and lodging/per diem. More information and the application form will be posted today at https://mepag.jpl.nasa.gov/student.cfm?expand=student.

To be considered for this funding, submit an application form by 5pm EDT Friday, March 6, 2020. Selection for the travel award will be based on anticipated participation in the MEPAG meeting and demonstration of financial need. NASA Headquarters will make the selections and MPO aims to notify awardees within two weeks of the submission deadline. Awardees will likely be asked to assist during parts of the rest of the MEPAG meeting (e.g., to serve as mic runners during a discussion period) although we will aim to not overly infringe on their ability to participate in the meeting. Questions about this program should be directed to Dr. Serina Diniega ([email protected]).



  • Applicant must be a U.S. citizen, legal resident, or working at a U.S. institution on a valid visa.
  • Applicant must be over 18 years of age.
  • Applicant should be an “early career” contributor to Mars exploration — generally we take this to mean the applicant is not currently be a student and is within 10 years of their terminal degree. However, if one feels that although they are not of early career status by those criteria (i.e., are currently a student or are more than 10 years from terminal degree), but their circumstances are such that they are deserving of early career status (e.g., they had taken time off due to caregiving for a child or elderly parent, or have worked in Mars missions but have recently returned to school to pursue a related degree), they are welcomed to apply and include an explanation of why they qualify as an early career applicant.
  • Applicant should have an interest or role in the Mars Exploration Program (e.g., working on Mars-related research or involvement with a Mars-relevant mission) and plan to attend the full MEPAG Meeting 38.