Questions and Answers

Please utilize this forum to post any general questions regarding the Chips in Space Initiative.  We will look to update this site with any questions and answers that are appropriate for the general public.  If you have any questions not intended for the public please contact CASIS at chipsinspace@iss-casis.org or NCATS at lucie.low@nih.gov.



Question:  What is the best way to contact Implementation Partners?

Answer:  The best way to contact the individual implementation partners is by email.  All contact information is provided on the webinar summary page, http://casistissuechip.blogspot.com/p/the-following-page-provides-contact.html

If you have any question please contact CASIS directly at, chipsinspace@iss-casis.org.

Question:  Are there any match making procedures for Implementation Partners and Principal Investigators?

Answer:  If you are unsure of where to start with contacting implementation partners please contact CASIS directly, chipsinspace@iss-casis.org. 

Question:  Can an Investigator specify/modify the hardware(s) based on experiment(s)? 

Answer: Yes certain modifications to hardware can be made to accommodate different experiments.  It is recommended that the Investigator contact the implementation partners to discuss their specific experiment(s).

Question:  How does an Implementation Partner and Investigator work on designing/creating the device(s)?

Answer: It is recommended that the Investigator contact the implementation partners directly to discuss specific aspects of a particular project design.  If an Investigator is unsure of where to begin the process it is recommended that they contact CASIS directly, chipsinspace@iss-casis.org. 

Question: Can the experiments utilize the microgravity environment of the ISS National Lab for 30 days or more?


Answer: Yes the experiments can be designed to utilize the microgravity environment for various periods of time, including >30days.

Question: Regrading the CHIP Space program, would the small animal model be included? Is a NASA partnership required for the submission and the team?

Answer: We are aiming for human tissues to be used in this initiative. Keep an eye on when the initiative is published. CASIS implementation partners are required if needed to fulfill the NASA flight certification requirements - we strongly encourage you to contact ‑CASIS directly, chipsinspace@iss-casis.org, prior to submission of any application.

Question: What are the typical requirements (e.g. design principles) for the devices/organoids to survive the launching process, which is harsh and is very different from the space environment?

Answer: Each organoid and system will be different and require different support and adaptation. CASIS, chipsinspace@iss-casis.org, will be able to help you connect with the appropriate implementation partner(s) to adapt the devices, if appropriate, for launch. 

Question: In order to design a microfluidic device suitable in this program, we need information on the standard testing condition in the space. I was wondering if there is any standard for it and if yes how we can have it.  When we design an integrated body on chip we have to know about the maximum pressure allowed and information on what kind of fluids and materials are allowed.

Answer: Each platform will likely have very different requirements and CASIS, chipsinspace@iss-casis.org, and/or the implementation partner(s) will be able to provide that information if you contact them directly.  

Question: Under the NCATS-CASIS RFA, are we to write our proposal and contact the appropriate technical partners to address ISS issues, or do we address only our research and if awarded then approach the technical partners?

Answer: All applicants should contact CASIS, chipsinspace@iss-casis.org, and/or the implementation partner(s) directly to ensure that the technical issues are addressed PRIOR to application. CASIS and NCATS can work with interested parties to help direct them to the appropriate partners in advance.

Question: What would be the eligibility rules regarding foreign researchers and institutions?


Answer: Foreign applicants are not eligible but foreign components are.

Question: What expertise are we expecting from the astronauts in the space? i.e. the complexity/simplicity that we should build into our system design that will allow the astronauts to carry out the experiments on the International Space Station?

Answer: Designs should be as straightforward as possible to allow easy control on Station. Some designs may need minimal input, and others a little more. We recommend you contact CASIS, chipsinspace@iss-casis.org, and/or the implementation partner(s) directly to discuss your own platform's needs.

An important point for all interested applicants - each investigator should plan to talk to multiple implementation partners as early as possible, in order to put forth the best proposals. 

Question:  Who will cover the launch costs?

Answer: The Center for the Advancement of Science In Space (CASIS), via a cooperative agreement with NASA, will provide all necessary resources for transportation to and from the International Space Station’s National Laboratory, this includes launch costs. The selected awardees will not be responsible for any costs associated with launch or other transportation between the ground and the ISS and these costs should not be included in any proposed budget requests.

Question:  What is the maximum amount of direct costs available?

Answer: Application budgets are limited to $500,000 direct cost per year for each of the 4 years.

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