Concerned with the lack of diversity in the applicants for competed space missions, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has commissioned the Committee on Increasing Diversity and Inclusion in the Leadership of Competed Space Missions at the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to conduct a consensus study of the factors that impede or facilitate diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the proposed leadership for competed space missions supported by the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) at NASA.
To support the Committee, NORC researchers will conduct virtual, in-depth interviews with up to 40 individuals with experience preparing and submitting proposals to NASA SMD’s competed space missions program as the principal investigator. Participants will provide diverse perspectives based on their race, ethnicity, gender identity, career stages, and other factors.
The interviews will gather information about applicants’ experiences with the NASA mission proposal development and submission processes, as well as barriers to ensuring a diverse, competitive pool of proposed leaders. The interviews will then inform practical recommendations for NASA SMD and its partners to reduce barriers and bottlenecks in the current mission proposal process to yield a more diverse pool of proposal leadership teams.