NASA University Research Centers

The NASA University Research Centers (URCs) project is designed to achieve a broad-based, competitive aerospace research capability among the Nationís Minority Institutions (MI) that will foster new aerospace science and technology concepts; expand the Nationís base for aerospace research and development; develop mechanisms for increased participation by faculty and students of MIs in mainstream research; and increase the number of underrepresented and undeserved students at MIs who obtain advanced degrees in NASA-related fields.

the specific objectives for URCs are to:

  1. Establish significant, multi-disciplinary scientific, engineering, and/or commercial research centers at the host university that contribute substantially to the programs of one or more of the four NASA Mission Directorates described in the NASA Strategic Plan
  2. Move increasingly towards gaining support from sources outside the URC project by aggressively pursuing additional funding opportunities offered by the NASA Mission Directorates, industry, and other funding agencies
  3. Improve the rates at which U.S. citizens, who historically have been underrepresented in NASA-related fields, are awarded undergraduate and graduate degrees at their respective universities in NASA-related fields.

Awards are for 5 years, and do not exceed $1million per year. Annually, twenty-five percent of the funding must be used as direct support to students. The program has funded 26 Minority Institutions over 5 groupsof awards since the inception of the program. The 13 active URCs were funded as Groups 4 in 2008 and 5 in 2009.

For more information about the University Research Centers Project visit: or contact the URC Project Management office at 661-276-5807.

List of NASA URCs

California State University, Long Beach
Center for Human Factors in Advanced Aeronautics Technologies (CHAAT)
Long Beach, California
California State University, Los Angeles
Center for Structures, Propulsion, and Control Engineering (SPACE)
Los Angeles, California
Delaware State University
Optical Sciences Center for Applied Research (OSCAR)
Dover, Delaware
Flordia International University
WaterSCAPES: Science of Coupled Aquatic Processes in Ecosystems from Space
Miami, Florida
Howard University
Beltsville Center for Climate System Observation (BCCSO)
Washington, D.C.
Morgan State University
Center of Excellence in Systems Engineering for Space Exploration Technologies (CESET)
Baltimore, Maryland
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
Center for Aviation Safety (CAS)
Greensboro, North Carolina
North Carolina Central University
Center for Aerospace Device Research (CADRE)
Durham, North Carolina
Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical University
Center for Radiation Engineering and Science for Space Exploration (CRESSE)
Prairie View, Texas
Texas Southern University
Center for Bio-Nanotechnology and Environmental Research (C-BER)
Houston, Texas
University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus
Center for Advanced Nanoscale Materials (CANM)
San Juan, Puerto Rico
University of Texas at Brownsville
Center for Gravitational Wave Astronomy (CGWA)
Brownsville, Texas
University of Texas at El Paso
Center for Space Exploration Technology Research (cSETR)
El Paso, Texas