Collaboration Opportunities


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The SURP Program Office

The SURP Program Office was established to encourage and support all facets of the relationship between JPL and its strategic university partners. If you have an idea for collaboration, want to explore how you can work more closely with JPL, need some clarity on JPL's organization - or have any other questions - then the SURP program wants to hear from you. Email the SURP Program Manager, Jordana Blacksberg –


Partnership Opportunities

JPL is proud of its long record of mutually beneficial partnerships with universities and continually seeks to work with faculty and the next generation of scientists and engineers to ensure JPL and its partners’ continuing successful contribution to NASA's missions. To this end, JPL provides resources via several programs to support and cultivate collaborations. JPL also supports a wide variety of student, faculty, and post-doctoral programs. The key JPL opportunities and offices relevant to our strategic university partners are summarized below.


SURP Program Research Awards

To seed new collaborative research with our strategic partners, the SURP Program funds research activities that are selected via an annual call for proposals. Student Research Initiatives provide $60k/year for up to three years, and are targeted at focused research tasks for individual graduate students, undergraduate and/or graduate student group research projects, or JPL collaboration in university classes.


Research and Technology Development Program

The Research and Technology Development (R&TD) program’s purpose is to enhance JPL's ability to address future missions and objectives and to propel JPL into new research leadership roles. The program supports research in areas consistent with JPL's strategic direction and long-term vision, and is open to collaborative proposals.


The Center for Academic Partnerships

Collaborative proposals typically originate from grass-roots discussions and individual contacts. But how do you initiative such a relationship without some knowledge of an organization and the individuals within? The Center for Academic Partnerships (CAP) aims to catalyze grass-roots research partnerships between JPL and the academic community. To this end, CAP supports, among other activities, visits by faculty and students to JPL (and vice versa) for the purpose of stimulating future collaborations. For more information, please contact Jordana Blacksberg.


Student and Faculty Programs

JPL supports a very wide range of student programs from K-12 through higher education. You are invited to explore JPL's Education Gateway to learn about the numerous undergraduate, graduate, and faculty programs that are offered.


Postdoctoral Programs

At any given time there are more than 100 postdocs at JPL engaged in science and engineering for two to three years before accepting permanent positions elsewhere or at JPL. Please visit the Postdoctoral Programs website for information about the many available postdoctoral program.


Help is on the Way!

Already an academic affiliate or planning a visit to JPL? Baffled by our processes or left in limbo by a badging glitch? The Office of University Research Affairs has established an Academic Liaison position to help you navigate JPL and resolve the barriers to a fruitful visit. Please do not hesitate to contact Gloria Nguyen,, for assistance with your issue. No problem is too big or too small.