Call for Research Projects

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We want your research projects!

Expression of interest: November 13, 2020
Full proposal: January 15, 2021
Ethical approval: March 15, 2021
Submit to:

This is your chance to get your experiment tested in analogue conditions.

The Trans-Atlantic Mars Society MDRS Team launches this Call for Projects to select concrete ideas for projects related to these topics:

  • In-Situ Resources Utilization
  • Physiology, psychology & human factors
  • Biology
  • Geology
  • Telemedicine
  • Life Support Systems
  • Robotics
  • Telecommunications
  • Energy Management
  • Outreach/Education

We would like to invite laboratories, universities, start-ups, companies and students to submit their idea proposal below for our analogue mission. Selected ideas will join the MDRS mission taking place in Utah, USA.

The mission

The Trans-Atlantic Mars Society mission will gather 6 analogue astronauts from the US and France, who will be isolated during two weeks in December 2021 simulating a possible human settlement on Mars in equatorial regions. They will perform experiments related to different fields of research under conditions as close as possible to the Martian ones to understand the challenges and constraints of the human exploration of Mars.

This mission is performed with the collaboration of Association Planète Mars (APM) and the Mars Society. It aims at testing technologies, procedures, and experiments to prepare the next steps of human space exploration to Mars. Our goal is also to increase the visibility on these initiatives and communicate about them to involve people with us might they be adults or kids. If you want to take part in this amazing and international project, do not hesitate to reach out!

Selection criteria

The projects should be relevant in the context of space exploration and analogs. Our evaluation will consider the feasibility of the scientific project for the mission (representativeness, performances to be reached, volume/weight, time of operation) but also its scientific value and potential for future iterations.

How to apply?

Within the frame of our mission, you will have the role of Principal Investigator (PI) in charge of:

  • Concept, development, qualification prior to the mission
  • Exploitation of the data and analyzes/Reports post-mission

The experiment/project will remain your intellectual property. Nevertheless, the PI will have to deliver the processed results as outcomes to APM and the Mars Society for communication and outreach purposes.

The project selection will be performed in two steps:

  • Submission of your expression of interest:
    • Name of the Project, Name of the Team, Contact
    • Brief description of the project in 150-300 words 
    • Brief context within the frame of space exploration explaining why your project is useful
  • Submission of your full proposal:
    • Description of the project between 500 and 1000 words (goal, research hypothesis, method of research, expected results…) and an illustration of the concept/architecture
    • Justification of the added value of the project within the human Martian exploration and how it fits into the analog mission
    • Estimation of the operational concept (execution time taken by an analogue astronaut to prepare and perform your project)
    • Preliminary Procedure: Succinct description of the task the astronaut has to perform during the mission (a consolidated procedure will be delivered later on throughout the process)
    • Development Plan: Key dates of your project’s development and Budget estimation including funding sources, logistics costs, partners…

Selected teams will be contacted for an interview aiming at discussing our common visions of the project to fully reach our objectives as well as giving further details.

What about ethical approvals? 

If you need an ethical approval, we will require it by March 15, 2021. Be aware that the process to get an ethical approval is long. You might need ethical approvals from your own country AND from the US as the mission is taking place there. As a rule of thumb,  if your project requires the use of personal data (questionnaires, personal data, vital signs monitoring,…) from analogue astronauts, such an ethical approval is required. Indeed, The Mars Society does not have an Institutional Review Board (IRB) and thus cannot approve research. Then, for any human factors, scientific medical or health research project, an IRB or a letter stating that it has been reviewed and does not require an IRB approval is required.

Tips: Depending on the research, sometimes it is easier to redesign the experiment so that IRB approval is not required. Do not hesitate to contact us with a summary of your research methodology and questions so that we can help on this point.

Do you want to join our adventure?

Please note that we are no longer receiving applications, as the Call for Projects deadline is passed.

For more information, please contact