What is the Proposal Writing Retreat (PWR)?

The Astrobiology Proposal Writing Retreat (PWR) is an independent training workshop that brings together early-career astrobiologists from diverse academic backgrounds for an intensive three-day collaborative proposal writing experience. The central objective for workshop participants is to create an original proposal on a topic relevant to the current state of astrobiology research, which must be presented to a body of peers. Participants are encouraged to use the workshop as a forum for exploring creative and original research topics. The workshop culminates in a peer-review panel discussion on each team's presented work, leading to a final anonymous vote on the best proposal.

The prior workshops produced several original research ideas. Highlights include: work leading to a successfully funded research grant through the NAI director's discretionary fund (Proposal Title: Perchlorate, Water and Life: the Geomicrobiology of Mars Analog Soils); and an internationally recognized space policy paper proposing a METI protocol for messaging extraterrestrial intelligence (Atri, DeMarines, and Haqq-Misra, 2011).

Where and when is the PWR?

The 2018 PWR will take place at the Forrest Hills Resort in the North Georgia Mountains from June 1 through June 4, immediately preceding AbGradCon. Transportation to and from the site will be provided. Please plan your travel to arrive in Atlanta by 2 pm on Friday June 1st.

Participation in the PWR

Applicants for AbGradCon will be able to apply for PWR at the same time as they submit their AGC application. We have funds to support a limited number of participants (approximately 20), although we can accommodate more participants if they are able to provide some or all of their own funding. PWR applications close on February 5th.


We accept applications from current graduate students and postdocs.