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National Science Foundation: Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science

Deadline: April 15, 2016

Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES) is a comprehensive national initiative designed to enhance U.S. leadership in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) discoveries and innovations focused on NSF’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and broadening participation in these fields. NSF INCLUDES supports efforts to develop talent from all sectors of society to build the STEM workforce. The initiative aims to improve the preparation, increase the participation, and ensure the contributions of individuals from groups that have traditionally been underrepresented and underserved in the STEM enterprise, including women, members of racial and ethnic groups, persons with disabilities, and persons with low socio-economic status. Significant advancement of these groups will result in a new generation of promising STEM talent and leadership to secure our nation’s future in science and technology.

The grand challenge of broadening participation in STEM is to transform the STEM enterprise at all levels in order to fully engage the nation’s talent for the ultimate improvement of the STEM enterprise. As a comprehensive national initiative, NSF INCLUDES aims to address the various complex equity and inclusion-related challenges and opportunities that characterize the nation’s cultural and linguistic diversity, with a specific emphasis on the aforementioned groups. The goal is to achieve national level impact and progress toward STEM inclusion. Viewing this challenge as a social innovation problem, NSF is particularly interested in using approaches to scaling and growth such as collective impact, networked communities, and strategic partnerships. The objective is to develop networks that involve representative organizations and consortia from different sectors that are committed to a common agenda to solve a specific STEM inclusion problem at scale. The long-term goal of NSF INCLUDES is to support, over the next ten years, innovative models, networks, partnerships, and research that enable the U.S. science and engineering workforce to thrive by ensuring that women, blacks, Hispanics, and people with disabilities are represented in percentages comparable to their representation in the U.S. population.

In FY 2016, the NSF INCLUDES initiative invites proposals for Design and Development Launch Pilots, which are pilot projects that represent bold, innovative ways for solving a broadening participation (BP) challenge in STEM. Key to a successful proposal will be the identification of a specific goal and measurable objectives, and an argument that the set of partners being assembled includes all who are needed to successfully address the objective. The plan must articulate its potential for scaling. These planning and start-up activities are aimed at engaging appropriate communities in testing the feasibility of developing a full-scale plan and process for change, including identifying other support mechanisms for sustaining the efforts.

Amount: Approximately $12,500,000 is available to fund 30-40 projects at up to $300,000 each for a period of two years.

Eligibility: Universities and colleges; nonprofit, non-academic organizations; for-profit organizations; and state and local governments.

The PI must hold a permanent position at the lead institution. The PI must have experience in leading distributed teams and organizations.

Link: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf16544

Note: The April 15 deadline is for preliminary proposals (required). A full proposal is due in June.

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