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SETI Institute Technosignature Science and Technology Grants Program

SETI Institute Technosignature Science and Technology Grants Program

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The SETI Institute is excited to announce a new, first-of-its-kind grants program aimed at advancing technosignature science and technology. This program seeks to support innovative research that addresses key observational, theoretical, or technical questions in the field of technosignature science.



The program invites applications from Principal Investigators (PIs) in two distinct categories:

  1. Non-Tenured Faculty or Researchers:

    • Eligible PIs are non-tenured faculty or researchers who are eligible to serve as Principal Investigators at universities or non-profit organizations. This includes colleges, universities, and non-profit, non-academic organizations such as independent museums, observatories, research labs, professional societies, and similar organizations associated with educational or research activities.

    • Award amounts can be up to $100,000 USD, inclusive of overhead.

  2. Post-Prelim Graduate Students:

    • Eligible PIs are graduate students in Master’s or Doctoral degree programs who have completed preliminary exams and for whom the only remaining degree requirement is their thesis or equivalent.

    • Proposals must be supported by a faculty member or researcher at a degree-granting institution who will act as the research advisor and administrative principal investigator.

    • Award amounts can be up to $25,000 USD, inclusive of overhead. 

There are no nationality restrictions.


Research Focus:

Funded investigations must focus on technosignature science, encompassing a broad range of topics that could include, but are not limited to:

  • Observational programs or the development of observational techniques and strategies for detecting technosignatures

  • Theoretical models that predict or explain technosignature phenomena

  • Technical innovations that enhance the capability to detect and analyze technosignatures

  • Research at the intersection of social sciences and technosignature research, exploring the societal implications and human factors related to the search for technosignatures

Period of Performance:

The period of performance for funded projects should be between 6 and 24 months.

Application and Evaluation:

Applications will be evaluated based on the significance of the proposed research, the feasibility of the project, the qualifications of the PI, and the potential for advancing the field of technosignature science.


Permitted Costs:

There are no restrictions on direct-costed budget elements provided that their value and necessity to the proposed research program is well articulated.  


Application Procedure:

Applications in both categories should compile the following elements in a single .pdf format file with the naming convention: PI_<lastname_firstname>_Technosignature_Grants_2024.pdf:

  • A three-page single-spaced description of the research proposal (US Letter, 11pt, including figures but not including bibliography), which should include discussion of research methodology, timeline and how the proposed work would advance the state-of-the-art in the technosignature field

  • Current CVs for the Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator(s)

  • A budget, with indirect overheads capped at 15% of the direct project cost

  • For post-prelim graduate student PIs, a letter of support from a faculty member or researcher who will act as the research advisor and administrative principal investigator

Applications should be emailed as an attachment to by the application deadline. 


Application Deadline:

Applications for 2024 are due by 5PM Pacific Time on 31 July 2024. Successful applicants will be notified by 15 August 2024.


Available Funding:

The size and number of accepted proposals will depend on the number and quality of submitted proposals.


Additional Information:

Questions may be addressed to SETI Institute Grants and Contracts Administration at


  • When is the application deadline? 

          July 31, 2024, 5pm PDT

  • Can applicants be part of more than one proposal/application, e.g. can they be PI on one and a co-I or supervisor on another? 

          There are no restrictions on participation in multiple proposals in whatever capacity.

  • The call refers to “Non-Tenured Faculty or Researchers: Eligible PIs are non-tenured faculty or researchers” Just want to be certain… does this mean: a) non-tenured faculty or non-tenured researchers or b) non-tenured faculty or researchers who might or might not be tenured?

          Non-tenured faculty or non-tenured researchers.

  •  Are there opportunities for early career scholars (postdocs/assistant professors)? 

          Any non-tenured individual in any title that is eligible to serve as a Principal Investigator at their institution is eligible in category 1.

  • Can SETI Inst Science Advisory Board members be part of an application without restrictions, or only under certain conditions, or not at all? 

          There are no restrictions.

  • Does “no nationality restrictions” mean that researchers based at any institution in the world, including outside the US, are eligible? Or does it just mean that researchers of any nationality who are working within the US are eligible?

          There are no restrictions on the nationality of the PI or the institution.

  • Can Co-Is or collaborators be tenured faculty?


  • Can Co-Is or collaborators have affiliations with for-profit institutions? (e.g. someone with a non-tenured professorial affiliation at a university, but who also has an affiliation with a company)

          We welcome proposals from collaborations involving public-private partnerships and industry.

  • Can money be distributed to Co-Is or collaborators? If so, even if they are affiliated with other universities, in other countries?

          Yes, sub-awards to entities other than the PIs home institution are acceptable.

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