SSI provides high quality organizational, legal, and administrative support to grant-funded researchers and educators, making it possible for scientists to conduct research wherever they are on the projects of their choice in scientific growth areas. We support both on-site and off-site grantees, have excellent benefits, and competitive overhead rates. Being a small, adaptable institute, SSI offers a much higher scientific return on grant dollars invested than larger universities and laboratories: funds received are spent on science and science education, not unnecessary frills.

For more information please contact:

Karly Pitman

Executive Director & Senior Research Scientist

Places like the SSI really allow you to do what you want to do from wherever. If you bring your own money, you have a job.

Mike Wolff, Senior Research Scientist at SSI

Because I am not very self-promoting, I tended to accept lower-paying, lower-status jobs. By going independent, I was able to catch up in pay with a position that I deserve.

Barb Whitney, Senior Research Scientist at SSI

The Benefits of SSI Affiliation

SSI provides full-service management support tailored to the needs of Principal Investigators and other grants and contracts recipients. At SSI, scientists can focus their attention on their research while retaining the independence necessary to conduct their programs effectively. SSI provides:

  • Competitive, federally negotiated overhead rates
  • Grants and Contracts administration, tracking, and accounting
  • Proposal budget preparation
  • Proposal review and submission
  • Salary and payroll tax accounting
  • Online journal access
  • Project budget and reporting tools
  • Experience with NASA, NSF, STSci, DOE, JPL, universities, and other funding organizations

If you would like more information regarding affiliation with SSI, please complete the interest form below:

  • Founded in 1992
  • 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation
  • Headquartered in Boulder, CO
  • Sixty employees
  • Offsite researchers in 16 states and 3 countries
  • Over 100 active grants and contracts
  • Nearly $6 million annual revenues
  • University of Colorado affiliate
  • Experience with large NASA missions
  • Home to the Cassini Imaging Science Subsystem Ops team (ISSOPS).

SSI offers a robust benefits package which includes health/dental/vision with HSA and FSA options in addition to Life, AD&D, short-term and long-term disability coverage. Generous employer contribution provided with our 403(b) retirement plan. SSI appreciates a healthy work-life balance, offering 12 paid holidays, paid vacation and sick leave.

As required by the Transparency in Coverage regulation and Consolidated Appropriations Act, please refer to the following link for additional information regarding SSI’s group health plan: Anthem

Soft money researchers are funded through their own grants – at SSI typically through NASA or the National Science Foundation. Researchers are responsible for bringing in their own funds, but with that comes the flexibility to work on what they want and to live where they want. Meanwhile SSI provides business office and financial support so that researchers can focus on what they do best. For more on the soft money lifestyle, see this Nature article.

SSI's headquarters is in Boulder, Colorado, but about 2/3 of our researchers work from their own homes around the country (and a few are even overseas). That gives them the flexibility to live and work where they want, with the added benefit of lower overhead costs. SSI hosts an annual onsite meeting for its researchers, as well as get-togethers at major research conferences.

SSI provides an Affiliate status for researchers who are planning to propose for grants, but need a home institution before they can do so.