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Mark Peterson

Funding Opportunity: NSF Announces Racial Equity in STEM Education Program

Lewis-Burke Associates LLC – April 15, 2021

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Education and Human Resources Directorate (EHR) recently announced the Racial Equity in STEM Education Program. Through this program, NSF will support bold and transformative fundamental and applied research on racial inequality and systemic racism in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Proposals must be led by or developed with communities that are impacted by systemic racism and their experiences must be central to the proposal for it to be competitive. Proposals must demonstrate how the work funded by the project will create positive outcomes for communities suffering from systemic racism and explicitly explain how the project will address systemic racism and advance racial equity.

Proposals should “consider systemic barriers to opportunities and benefits, and how these barriers impact access to, retention in, and success in STEM education, research, and workforce development.” Competitive proposals will utilize both research and practice, including but not limited to activities such as building theory, testing approaches and interventions, establishing authentic partnerships, changing organizational structural behavior, and focusing on cultural and social components of systemic racism and their implications. Research can focus on a number of STEM education contexts, including K-12, undergraduate, graduate, and informal STEM education as well as STEM workplaces.

Projects funded by the Racial Equity in STEM Education Program are expected to:

•  “Advance the science and promotion of racial equity in STEM;
•  Substantively contribute to removing systemic barriers that impact STEM education, the STEM workforce, and scientific advancement;
•  Institutionalize effective and inclusive environments for STEM learning, STEM research, and STEM professionals;
•  Diversify the project leadership (PIs and co-PIs), institutions, ideas, and approaches that NSF funds; and
•  Expand the array of epistemologies, perspectives, and experiences in STEM.”

NSF is expected to host a webinar on this program in the coming weeks, though details are still being determined. Interested applicants are encouraged to submit a one-page concept paper to EHRRacialequityPD@nsf.gov ahead of submitting a proposal.

Due Date: The first application deadline is July 13, 2021. There will also be an application deadline on October 12, 2021. For 2022 and following years, applications will be due on the fourth Tuesday of March and the second Tuesday of October.

Sources and Additional Information:

• Additional information on the Racial Equity in STEM Education Program is available at https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=505910.

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