DEVELOP looks for participants that have a positive attitude, passion, and interest in Earth science and service to society. Successful participants are open-minded, interested in working with others, flexible, and eager to learn.
Participants should expect to spend their time conducting literature review on the scope, methodologies, and types of NASA remote-sensing data applicable to their project. They will also utilize Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote-sensing data to conduct application projects that partner with organizations that can benefit from enhanced decision making tools. Each DEVELOP team creates the same set of deliverables including a poster, presentation, technical report, brochure, and video, as the program puts an emphasis on building capacity to communicate project results to a variety of audiences. Participants also partake in personal development activities like personality typing and team building, as well as networking with scientists and partner organizations.
There is no limit on the number of terms a participant can re-apply to as long as they are in good standing at an accredited US college or university (if a currently enrolled student).
Participants are placed on interdisciplinary teams ranging in size from one to eight participants. The team works under the guidance of a NASA or partner organization mentor, DEVELOP management at their location, and the DEVELOP National Program Office. Meetings are scheduled between the teams and mentor(s) as needed.
Participants conduct predetermined projects that fall within at least one of the following Applied Sciences Program application areas: Agriculture & Food Security, Disasters, Ecological Forecasting, Energy, Health & Air Quality, Urban Development, Transportation & Infrastructure, and Water Resources.
Participants must have and maintain a 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) to apply. This GPA can be the cumulative and/or most recent semester.
DEVELOP accepts participants with skills in many different areas. Participants with a strong interest in Earth sciences, environmental science, computer science, GIS, technology, environmental policy, and remote sensing are strongly encouraged to apply. No previous experience is required in these areas, just an eagerness and interest to learn.
DEVELOP is a unique opportunity and each participant benefits differently. Generally, participants can expect to enhance their personal and professional development. Participants are given the opportunity to improve their skill sets in communication, presentation, research, collaboration, technical capabilities, and networking, to name a few.
DEVELOP conducts three project terms per year - spring, summer, and fall. Each term lasts 10 weeks, with the spring term beginning in late January, summer term beginning in early June, and the fall term beginning in mid-September.
You must be a US citizen (by birth or naturalization) to apply to a DEVELOP location at a NASA Center. Permanent Resident Alien (PRA) or Legal Resident are not considered a US citizen. However, international participants are eligible to apply to DEVELOP's regional locations. Please refer to the Apply page for additional information.
DEVELOP participants are expected to commit a minimum of 10 hours per week during the fall and spring terms, and typically a minimum of 30 hours per week during the summer term. Depending on availability of the participant, needs of the location and project, and funding availability, the maximum hours vary by term. Please contact the DEVELOP National Program Office for information about a specific location.
DEVELOP participants do not receive annual or sick leave and are expected to be present the full 10-weeks during a term. Participants not available the full 10-weeks may not be accepted due to the fast-paced nature of the program and project requirements.
Some universities may offer credit for projects with DEVELOP. Participants interested in receiving credit for the project will need to arrange this with their school to make sure the project meets requirements.
DEVELOP offers both paid and volunteer opportunities. The majority of positions are paid; however, some locations will accept additional volunteers who are interested. The rate of pay is based upon your current level of education. For paid positions with DEVELOP, it is the participant's responsibility to ensure they are legally allowed to take compensation from Federal agencies at the same time as any other fellowships (if applicable).
In order to participate in DEVELOP, participants must be able to work onsite at an established DEVELOP location.
Participants are responsible for their own housing, living expenses, and transportation to and from the DEVELOP center. DEVELOP offers paid positions, which helps cover any costs that are incurred.
Following the submission of your application, an automated email will be sent to your recommenders. As letters of recommendation are received, they are not instantaneously input into the system, they are uploaded in waves. You can check the status of your application by returning to the DEVELOP online application system and viewing your previously submitted application. Interviews are only scheduled after all applications have been received and reviewed. Due to the highly competitive nature of DEVELOP, not all candidates are selected for interviews. If selected for an interview, you will be contacted by email or phone to schedule an interview. When selections are made, applicants will be notified of their selection status by email. This is process is done on a rolling basis, so while a tentative timeline will be communicated to applicants it can vary.
Yes, if you are interested in being considered for another term you must re-apply.

For questions regarding the application process, please refer to the online application FAQs. If you were not able to find the answer you were looking for, please, Contact Us. We'll do our best to help!