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NExSS Affiliate Guidelines

Drafted: 16 August 2016

The Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) is a NASA research coordination network dedicated to the study of planetary habitability.  The goals of NExSS are to investigate the diversity of exoplanets and to learn how their history, geology, and climate interact to create the conditions for life. NExSS investigators also strive to put planets into an architectural context -- as star systems built over the eons through dynamical processes and sculpted by stars. Based on our understanding of our own solar system and habitable planet Earth, researchers in the network aim to identify where habitable niches are most likely to occur, and which planets are most likely to be habitable. Leveraging current NASA investments in research and missions, NExSS will accelerate the discovery and characterization of other potentially life-bearing worlds in the galaxy, using a systems science approach.

The NExSS research coordination network was launched in April 2015, its membership drawn from teams already funded by grants awarded through ROSES competitions. In August 2015, a steering committee was formed, its membership drawn from the NEXSS team principal investigators and NEXSS co-leads. 

One of the goals of the network is to facilitate community engagement and collaborative research efforts. Further motivated by positive feedback from the community, especially colleagues participating in previous NExSS-organized workshops, NExSS leadership identified the need to develop a framework for affiliate membership of the Nexus for Exoplanet System Science network. 

Definition of an ‘Affiliate’
An affiliate refers to a non-member person, group, or organization whose research interests, goals, and vision are aligned with those of NExSS, and who are, have recently been, or would like to be, actively participating in NExSS activities (workshops, conferences, virtual seminars, white papers, working groups etc.). 

Potential affiliates are, in general, identified by the management team based on their involvement and engagement with the planetary habitability research community. However, interested parties can also apply for affiliate status by contacting the NExSS co-leads at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. There is no requirement for affiliates to be US-based; international affiliations are encouraged to strengthen collaborations with the global community of scientists involved in similar research. 

Given that the criteria are met (as described above), and following a formal solicitation, affiliates are then integrated into the wider NExSS network. The affiliate association is intended to facilitate cooperation, local and international collaboration, engagement and open communication between the affiliate party and the NExSS network in order to assist in the delivery of NExSS’ stated outcomes regarding advancing exoplanet science research.

Procedures for Obtaining Affiliate Status
Potential affiliates are selected through one of two channels: 

  1. Contacted directly by the co-leads upon recognition of their participation in NExSS events. For example, non-NExSS members who have taken part in these activities: Biosignatures and Upstairs Downstairs workshops, Face to Face meeting, Working Groups etc.
  2. Direct application for affiliate status.
    • Contact the NExSS co-leads at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., with request for affiliate status.

An affiliate application is then completed through an unlisted web form which contains:

  • Group name, members, host institution.
  • Expertise keywords.
  • Outline of relevant research activities and previous/proposed/expected contributions to the community.

Applications will then be considered by the co-leads, and the steering committee will be notified of new affiliate requests. Successful affiliates will receive a confirmation/welcome email, a copy of the Rules of the Road, and this document (Affiliate Guidelines), and will provide written/electronic acknowledgement of receipt and agreement to abide by the Code of Conduct. Unsuccessful applicants will be informed of the decision of the committee via email.

Affiliate privileges
Affiliation affords several benefits, but the primary function of the association is to foster closer ties with the NExSS network, and to permit better access to NExSS events and workshops.

  • Access to mailing lists: nexss-public and/or nexss-affiliates (tbd)
  • Access to the website as a user. 
  • Ability to participate in virtual seminars, or organize affiliate webinars.
  • Access to virtual meeting tools
    • Telecon number
    • Adobe connect room
  • Access to future workshops, conferences, data challenges etc.
  • Listing in NExSS Exoplanet Research Directory (in progress).

Successful applicants and existing affiliates should refer to, and abide by, the guidelines in the Code of Conduct when interacting with the NExSS community in order to maintain a safe, diverse, transparent and productive research environment. Violation of these stipulations will result in disaffiliation.

This website is being run by Knowinnovation Inc. and is supported by the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI). LPI is operated by the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) under a cooperative agreement with NASA. The purpose of this site is to facilitate communication from and between scientists that are part of the Nexus for Exoplanet Systems Science (NExSS). Although NExSS is led by researchers whose funding comes from NASA, NExSS is a community endeavor. As such, any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NASA.