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NSPIRES Affiliation Procedures

NSPIRES or “NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System” is the web interface for preparing and submitting notices of intent and proposals to NASA, participating in the peer review process, and managing proposals. NASA’s Science Mission Directorate proposals are submitted via the NSPIRES website. Proposals for ROSES are submitted through NSPIRES but can also be submitted through grants.gov; however, NSPIRES is usually preferred over grants.gov by principal investigators (PIs) submitting proposals because it automatically checks that the submitted proposal complies with the NASA Research Announcements submission rules.


Registration for PIs who wish to submit proposals via NSPIRES first begins by the PI requesting affiliation with the University of Tennessee (UT) on NSPIRES. NASA requires that PIs be affiliated with a registered institution (UT is a registered institution). To be affiliated with UT, the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) must confirm the PI’s affiliation request in NSPIRES. Without confirmed NSPIRES affiliation, a PI cannot submit a proposal to NASA.

On NSPIRES, an affiliation is a business relationship between the registered PI and OSP. Therefore, PIs must be current active faculty members. For UT, those PIs requesting NSPIRES affiliation will have their affiliation confirmed if the following three conditions are met:

  • Requestor must be a current UT faculty member. AND
  • Requestor must give a current UT email address (i.e., netID@utk.edu). AND
  • Requestor must give a current UT campus phone number (i.e., 865-974-xxxx; or other UT campus extension).

If these three conditions are met, the affiliation will be confirmed by OSP. Upon confirmation by OSP, an email from NSPIRES will be sent to the PI stating that their affiliation request is confirmed. If these three conditions are not met and the affiliation request is denied, an email from NSPIRES will be sent to the PI stating that their affiliation request is denied and an email from OSP will also be sent explaining why the affiliation request was denied.

Please note that there may be certain exceptions to the above requirements which OSP will take into consideration. If the affiliation request is denied by OSP, please contact OSP to provide reasons why the affiliation should be confirmed. There are a few instances on NSPIRES where non-faculty members need to have affiliation confirmed (i.e., graduate students receiving certain NASA fellowships needing to link between the fellowship and proposal on NSPIRES). If these reasons are acceptable, OSP will provide instruction on how the PI should reapply for the NSPIRES affiliation.

In order to provide more expedient affiliation request confirmation, if a PI knows that a non-faculty member will be requesting affiliation, please notify OSP by email at osp@utk.edu that such a request is going to be made on NSPIRES and provide the reasons why it should be confirmed. By knowing the reasons before the affiliation request is made on NSPIRES by a non-faculty member, this will aid OSP in processing the affiliation request faster.