The aim of the contest is to enable students and PhD students to develop concepts or innovative solutions based on the unique scientific infrastructure used on the International Space Station (ISS). The subject of the competition is to select the best projects developed by the participants' teams.
The contest consists of three stages:
● Stage I: registration, completion and uploading of the application form containing information about team participants, the project and its budget.
Applications are accepted via the Contest website (https://www.direction.space) from September 16, 2023 to November 10, 2023.
By December 4, 2023, the contest jury will select up to 12 teams based on the assessments according to the criteria set out in the Regulations.
Information about the finalist teams will be published around December 10, 2023, along with the presentation of the projects. The organizers will provide the teams with the exact date and organizational details no later than on the day of information about qualification to the second stage (i.e. by December 4, 2023).
● Stage II: the teams selected by the jury become finalists of the Contest, workshops will be organized for them, the schedule and topic of which will be communicated by December 15, 2023.
Until March 2024, teams will work on the development of their project under the supervision of a mentor, and then in March 2024, each team will present in detail their project and the required documentation during the final of the contest.
Final: the exact date and organizational details will be communicated by February 29, 2024.
● Stage III: the jury members will qualify up to 5 teams for the third stage based on the grades issued according to the criteria of the Regulations. Information about qualification to the third stage will be announced on the day of the Contest finals and published on the Contest website. Teams qualified for the third stage become the winners of the Contest. This stage includes the work of the winning teams with mentors, in the number of hours specified by the Organizers, using mini-grants to improve the projects for potential use on the ISS. Work on improving the project also includes a study tour to CERN and ESA; the trip is tentatively planned for April 2024, and the exact date and organizational information will be sent to the winning teams on the day of the Contest finals.
Projects are assessed by awarding points (0-9 points). The higher the score, the better the project is assessed. Assessments are made according to the following criteria, described in detail in the Contest Regulations:
● scientific excellence (0-3 points)
● technical excellence (0-3 points)
● team organization and budget (0-3 points)
In order to support the development of the experiment as part of the Contest, it is planned to award micro-grants to the teams-winners of the Contest. The value of each microgrant is PLN 26,000. The Regulations specify in detail what can and cannot be financed under a microgrant and how it is settled. The microgrant does not constitute any profit for the team or its participants.
No. The competition is open to projects by students of various faculties, applications are accepted in the following areas:
- biology and biotechnology,
- environmental research
- human psychology
- development of new technologies
and projects combining the above areas.
The authors of the best projects, working in the awarded team, will be provided with mentoring, a micro-grant for the development of the prototype of their experiment up to PLN 26,000 and the opportunity to develop the concept of an experiment to be carried out on the ISS during a study trip to CERN and ESA, which will take place on the date, about which the members of the awarded team will be informed no later than February 29, 2024.
The Contest does not provide the possibility of implementing the designed experiment on the ISS, but only the possibility of developing the experiment, which may contribute to the selection of an experiment to be implemented in the future as a part of other planned projects.
Teams consisting of first-, second-, and third-stage students (PhD students). Each participant must have the status of a student or PhD student at a Polish university.
No. Teams may be mixed from different universities. However, one person can only be a member of one team.
The Contest team should consist of at least 3 and max. 8 people. Team members choose from among themselves and nominate the Team Leader to the Organizers. The leader registers the team for the Contest.
Each team can submit only one project.
Each member is obliged to:
- e-mail acceptance of the Contest Regulations
- preparation of experiment documentation in cooperation with the team
- participation in competition meetings (min. 75% of meetings) and online workshops (min. 2 workshops). At least 2 representatives of a given team must appear at each competition meeting or online workshop.
- cooperate in good faith with other team members, the assigned mentor and the Organizers and to respect their personal rights
- use English at a communicative level
- participate in the final gala of the Competition, with the Organizers financing the reimbursement of travel costs to the gala (up to PLN 150/person after presenting appropriate documents)
In the event of a violation of the law or regulations by a participant, the Organizers may disqualify the participant or the entire participant's team from participation in the Contest.
Mentoring will be assigned by the organizers to each of the finalist teams, i.e. those participating in stages II and III.
The organizers of the contest are the Empiria i Wiedza Foundation and the "New Space" Foundation. The contest was initiated by Sławosz Uznański, an ESA project astronaut.
As part of the Direction: Space contest, we do not plan to expose the experiment to a vacuum. The experiment designed for the contest is to operate inside the ISS. We also recommend minimizing the astronaut's interactions with the experiment - see the requirement regarding the autonomy of the experiment.
After the completion of the application process, each team member registered by the Team Leader in the form will receive an e-mail from the Contest organizer. Then, you should confirm your participation in the Contest by sending a return e-mail to the above-mentioned message containing the following clause: I hereby confirm my participation in the Contest, receipt of instructions regarding the processing of personal data and I consent to the dissemination of the image - on the terms set out in the Regulations of the Direction: Space contest.
Model documents are available:
"Compliance Matrix" here: PDF https://www.directionearth.space/storage/app/media/DES-Lublin/DirectionSpaceISSContest_ComplianceMatrix.pdf
The remaining files (Logical Diagram & Technical Architecture Diagram) do not have specified format.