On July 14, the National Science Foundation (NSF) released a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) soliciting proposals to expand the Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (INCLUDES) program. The DCL invites proposals for Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER), workshops and conferences, and supplements to existing grants to create new on-ramps to the INCLUDES National Network. INCLUDES is one of the thrusts of the NSF 10 Big Ideas for Future Investment, and efforts through INCLUDES to increase diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) are a top priority for NSF Director France Córdova.
NSF is looking for innovative ways to include new and existing NSF programs in the INCLUDES National Network as part of an effort to create linkages between INCLUDES and all of NSF’s programs to broaden participation. This solicitation seeks projects to evaluate, aggregate, and implement evaluations and best practices; conduct fundamental research on expanding participation, and scale up programs to increase diversity.
As part of the INCLUDES initiative, NSF has already awarded Design and Development Launch Pilots to develop models for collective action to increase participation in STEM by underrepresented groups. NSF is expected to release solicitations this year for both a Backbone Organization to help coordinate the INCLUDES network, as well as for an Alliance competition that will be open to those who have previously won pilot awards and their partners.
EAGER awards are limited to $300,000, and maximum conference awards are $250,000. Both awards may last up to two years. Proposal submissions for EAGERs and conferences are due either November 13, 2017 or April 16, 2018. Those who would like to apply should send a one-pager summarizing their project to NSF to ensure relevance and determine the applicable deadline for the particular proposal. Supplemental funding is available for existing grants in all NSF directorates.
Additional information is available in the DCL which can be found at https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2017/nsf17111/nsf17111.jsp. More information on the INCLUDES program is available at https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp.