NSF Program Solicitation – Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES) NSF INCLUDES Planning Grants

Inclusion Across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES)
NSF INCLUDES Planning Grants

PROGRAM SOLICITATION
NSF 19-600

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Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter’s local time):

December 03, 2019

July 13, 2020

IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND REVISION NOTES

  • NSF INCLUDES Planning Grants are intended to build capacity in the community to undertake the activities necessary to establish future centers, alliances, or other large-scale networks to address a broadening participation challenge at scale.
  • An NSF INCLUDES Planning Grant is not a prerequisite for future NSF INCLUDES competitions.
  • Prior NSF INCLUDES funding is not required to be eligible for a Planning Grant.
  • NSF INCLUDES Design and Development Launch Pilots are encouraged to apply.
  • Additional review criteria are included in this solicitation in Section VII.

Any proposal submitted in response to this solicitation should be submitted in accordance with the revised NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 19-1), which is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after February 25, 2019.

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

General Information

Program Title:

NSF INCLUDES Planning Grants

Synopsis of Program:

In 2016, the National Science Foundation (NSF) unveiled a set of “Big Ideas,” 10 bold, long-term research and process ideas that identify areas for future investment at the frontiers of science and engineering (see https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/big_ideas/index.jsp). The Big Ideas represent unique opportunities to position our Nation at the cutting edge of global science and engineering leadership by bringing together diverse disciplinary perspectives to support convergence research. As such, when responding to this solicitation, even though proposals must be submitted to the Education and Human Resources (EHR) Directorate/Division of Human Resource Development (HRD), once received, the proposals will be managed by a cross-disciplinary team of NSF Program Directors.

Through this solicitation, NSF Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES) will support Planning Grants to build capacity for the development of collaborative infrastructure to: (a) facilitate innovative partnerships, networks, and theories of action for broadening participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at scale and (b) lead to the establishment of future centers, alliances, or other large-scale networks to address a broadening participation challenge. While this solicitation is open to all, NSF INCLUDES Design and Development Launch Pilots are especially encouraged to apply, as a Planning Grant could serve as an intermediate conduit for bringing their exploratory pilot work to scale.

A hallmark of NSF INCLUDES is to support the development of collaborative infrastructure to achieve systemic change. Collaborative infrastructure refers to the process by which partnering organizations come together with a shared vision; map out mutually reinforcing activities; develop goals, objectives, and measures to chart their progress; engage in constant communication; and advance the potential for expansion, sustainability, and scaling that would not be possible otherwise.

NSF INCLUDES, one of the 10 Big Ideas, is a comprehensive national initiative to enhance U.S. leadership in STEM discoveries and innovations focused on NSF’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and broadening participation in these fields. The vision of NSF INCLUDES is to catalyze the STEM enterprise to work collaboratively for inclusive change, resulting in a STEM workforce that reflects the population of the Nation. NSF INCLUDES features a National Network composed of Design and Development Launch Pilots, Alliances, a Coordination Hub, NSF-funded broadening participation projects, other relevant NSF-funded projects, and other organizations that support the development of talent from all sectors of society to build an inclusive STEM workforce.

Contact Information:

Please note that the following information is current at the time of publishing. See program website for any updates to the points of contact.

Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s):

  • 47.041 — Engineering
  • 47.049 — Mathematical and Physical Sciences
  • 47.050 — Geosciences
  • 47.070 — Computer and Information Science and Engineering
  • 47.074 — Biological Sciences
  • 47.075 — Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences
  • 47.076 — Education and Human Resources
  • 47.079 — Office of International Science and Engineering
  • 47.083 — Office of Integrative Activities (OIA)

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award: Standard Grant

Estimated Number of Awards: 20 to 30

An NSF INCLUDES Planning Grant is for 12-16 months in duration and the proposed budget for each Planning Grant must not exceed $100,000.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $1,000,000 to $3,000,000

Subject to the quality of proposals received and availability of funds.

Eligibility Information

Who May Submit Proposals:

The categories of proposers eligible to submit proposals to the National Science Foundation are identified in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), Chapter I.E. Unaffiliated individuals are not eligible to submit proposals in response to this solicitation.

Who May Serve as PI:

Current NSF INCLUDES Alliance PIs and Co-PIs are not eligible to serve as a PI or Co-PI on an NSF INCLUDES Planning Grant proposal.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization:

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI:

An individual may be listed as a PI or Co-PI on only one NSF INCLUDES Planning Grant proposal.

Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

  • Letters of Intent: Not required
  • Preliminary Proposal Submission: Not required

B. Budgetary Information

  • Cost Sharing Requirements:Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.
  • Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations:Not Applicable
  • Other Budgetary Limitations:Not Applicable

C. Due Dates

  • Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter’s local time):December 03, 2019

    July 13, 2020

Proposal Review Information Criteria

Merit Review Criteria:

National Science Board approved criteria. Additional merit review considerations apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

Award Administration Information

Award Conditions:

Additional award conditions apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

Reporting Requirements:

Standard NSF reporting requirements apply.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Summary of Program Requirements

  1. Introduction
  2. Program Description
  3. Award Information
  4. Eligibility Information
  5. Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions
    1. Proposal Preparation Instructions
    2. Budgetary Information
    3. Due Dates
    4. FastLane Requirements
  6. NSF Proposal Processing and Review Procedures
    1. Merit Review Principles and Criteria
    2. Review and Selection Process
  7. Award Administration Information
    1. Notification of the Award
    2. Award Conditions
    3. Reporting Requirements
  8. Agency Contacts
  9. Other Information

I. INTRODUCTION

Diversity – of perspectives, backgrounds and approaches – is essential for excellence in research and innovation in science and engineering.1 Full participation of all of America’s STEM talent is critical to the advancement of science and engineering for national security, health, and prosperity. Women, persons with disabilities, African Americans/Blacks, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Native Pacific Islanders, and persons from economically disadvantaged backgrounds have been historically under-engaged in various fields of science and engineering across all levels, from preK-12 to long-term workforce participation.2,3 Inclusion of talent from all sectors of American society is necessary for the health and vitality of the science and engineering community and its societal relevance.

To broaden participation in STEM, NSF is investing in the development of the NSF INCLUDES National Network, composed of Design and Development Launch Pilots, Alliances, the Coordination Hub, NSF-funded broadening participation projects, other large-scale NSF-funded projects, and other organizations that support the goals of NSF INCLUDES. New networks, systems, partnerships, approaches to using data for change, and a focus on communicating about impact and results at scale are all hallmarks of NSF INCLUDES. The initiative fosters the creation of a collection of exemplars over time for designing, implementing, studying, and refining collaborative change models that are based on collective impact-style approaches, and on networks that support adoption and adaptation at scale. 4,5,6,7

Development of the NSF INCLUDES National Network

Design and Development Launch Pilots. NSF INCLUDES began in FY2016 (NSF 16-544) and continued in FY 2017 (NSF 17-522) with the funding of Design and Development Launch Pilots. These two-year projects explored the feasibility of using collaborative change strategies in bold, innovative ways on a limited scale to solve broadening participation challenges in STEM.

Coordination Hub. The NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub was funded in FY 2018 (NSF 17-591). The Coordination Hub leads the development of collaborative infrastructure across the National Network to align NSF INCLUDES activities, establish common metrics and measurement practices and provide support for communication and networking, network assistance and reinforcement, implementation research and evaluation, and visibility and expansion for the NSF INCLUDES National Network as a whole.8

Alliances. In FY 2018, NSF funded the first cohort of NSF INCLUDES Alliances (NSF 18-529), which built upon the achievements of the Design and Development Launch Pilots and have the potential to substantially broaden participation in STEM fields.9,10 Alliances take collaborative change strategies, lessons learned, promising practices, and evidence-based mechanisms from the Design and Development Launch Pilots; the science of broadening participation literature; and the research and evaluations from past and present efforts related to broadening participation in STEM and employ them at a larger scale. Alliances bring together programs, people, organizations, technologies, and institutions to achieve results at scale, provide new research, and leverage NSF’s broadening participation investments. Each Alliance is committed to collectively achieving common goals through a well-defined set of common objectives. The NSF INCLUDES approach requires that each Alliance focus not only on its own vision and goals, but also work with other organizations within the NSF INCLUDES National Network. This work is facilitated through the NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub. Alliances are also supported by their own independent backbone or support organization.

On Ramps. Starting in FY 2017, NSF INCLUDES funded “on ramps” as one element of its multi-faceted approach. These activities represent opportunities for novel approaches in which new and currently-funded NSF projects from across all NSF directorates engage with the NSF INCLUDES National Network. On ramps proposals are submitted through NSF INCLUDES Dear Colleague Letters (NSF 17-111NSF 19-038, and NSF 19-042) and include Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER), conferences and workshops, and supplements that support the tenets of NSF INCLUDES and provide connections to the NSF INCLUDES National Network.

Through this solicitation, NSF INCLUDES will support Planning Grants to build capacity for the development of collaborative infrastructure to: (a) facilitate innovative partnerships, networks, and theories of action for broadening participation in STEM at scale and (b) lead to the establishment of future centers, alliances, or other large-scale networks to address a broadening participation challenge. This solicitation invites submissions from a broad range of diverse institutional partnerships, principal investigators, and contexts. This solicitation is open to all, but NSF INCLUDES Design and Development Launch Pilots are especially encouraged to apply, as a Planning Grant could serve as an intermediate conduit for bringing their exploratory pilot work to scale. Prior NSF INCLUDES support is not required to be eligible for a Planning Grant. A Planning Grant is also not a prerequisite to participate in a future NSF INCLUDES competition.

  1. Page, S. E. (2007). The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies. Princeton University Press.
  2. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2011). Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. National Academies Press. Washington, DC.
  3. Malcom, S., & Feder, M. (Eds.). (2016). Barriers and Opportunities for 2-Year and 4-Year STEM Degrees: Systemic Change to Support Students’ Diverse Pathways. National Academies Press. Washington, DC doi: 10.17226/21739.
  4. Kania, J., & Kramer, M. (2011). Collective impact. Stanford Social Innovation Review, Winter, 36-41. Retrieved from https://ssir.org/articles/entry/collective_impact
  5. Bryk, A. S., Gomez, L. M., & Grunow, A. (2011). Getting ideas into action: Building networked improvement communities in education. In Frontiers in sociology of education (pp. 127-162). Springer Netherlands.
  6. Waitzer, J. M., & Paul, R. (2011). Scaling social impact: When everybody contributes, everybody wins. innovations6(2), 143-155. Retrieved from https://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/INOV_a_00074
  7. Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE). (2013). 2011-2012 Biennial Report to Congress: Broadening Participation in America’s STEM Workforce. Arlington, VA. Retrieved from https://www.nsf.gov/od/oia/activities/ceose/reports/Full_2011-2012_CEOSE_Report_to_Congress_Final_03-04-2014.pdf
  8. Turner, S., Merchant, K., Kania, J., & Martin, E. (2012). Understanding the value of backbone organizations in collective impact: Part 1. Stanford Social Innovation Review, 25-32. Retrieved from https://ssir.org/articles/entry/understanding_the_value_of_backbone_organizations_in_collective_impact_1
  9. Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE). (2015). Broadening Participation in America’s STEM Workforce (p. 28). Arlington, VA.
  10. NSF Broadening Participation Portfolio. Retrieved from https://www.nsf.gov/od/broadeningparticipation/bp_portfolio_dynamic.jsp

II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

NSF INCLUDES Planning Grants (Planning Grants) are designed to facilitate and support the development of partnerships and networks, by building capacity for collaborative infrastructure to help prepare competitive proposals that might lead to the establishment of future centers, alliances, or other large-scale networks to address a broadening participation challenge.

There are five elements of collaborative infrastructure that are integral to NSF INCLUDES:

Shared Vision: NSF INCLUDES projects identify a common agenda that reflects a collective understanding of the broadening participation challenge and links to existing research, promising practices, and/or to the previous and ongoing activities of partnering organizations. Large scale networks and partnerships develop a strategic plan to address the broadening participation challenges, including technical infrastructure, which facilitates the implementation of a set of specified activities to achieve targeted outcomes.

Partnerships: NSF INCLUDES projects consist of a set of primary organizations and additional partners that come together locally, regionally, nationally, by disciplinary focus, or by other multisector categories. Partners are supported by an independent “backbone” or support organization to help coordinate and facilitate the collaboration.

Goals and Metrics: NSF INCLUDES projects have well-defined relevant goals and measurable objectives and outcomes including progress indicators; they outline the role the “backbone” or support organization plays in collecting and coordinating data on outcomes from the proposed partner institutions. This statement of goals and measurable objectives includes describing the types of data that might be collected and how data will be used. Projects have an evaluation plan that use benchmarks, indicators, logic models, road maps, or other evaluative methods to document progress toward goals, objectives, and outcomes.

Leadership and Communication: Projects include internal and external communication plans and explain how they develop leadership capacity within and among all partnering organizations. They describe their strategy to engage participating organizations in change management.

Expansion, Sustainability and Scale: Projects include plans that will lead to the expansion, sustainability, and scale of their activities. They describe their overall contribution to broadening participation in the nation’s scientific and engineering workforce. For large scale partnerships and networks, a “backbone” or support organization facilitates and sustains these efforts over the long term with support from the NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub.

Proposers funded through this solicitation may use the Planning Grant funding to organize catalytic activities (including, but not limited to, workshops and conferences) that can help collaborating organizations to crystallize their broadening participation vision and to develop one or more of the five NSF INCLUDES design elements of collaborative infrastructure.

NSF recognizes that teams may identify an important, complex broadening participation challenge to address, but may not have the full complement of skills and expertise needed to successfully address the challenge through the development of the five NSF INCLUDES design elements of collaborative infrastructure. Planning Grants can be used to support team formation activities (e.g., filling gaps in expertise); develop and nurture relationships with potential partners; and access specialized frameworks or resources needed to better develop one or more aspects of the five NSF INCLUDES design elements of collaborative infrastructure . As a result of planning grant activities, partners should be better equipped to create the collaborative infrastructure needed to address the broadening participation challenge that is identified in the shared vision.

Each proposal must explain how the Planning Grant funding will be used to plan for developing the infrastructure necessary to foster collaboration and achieve impact by emphasizing one or more of the five NSF INCLUDES design elements .

Funding for Planning Grants may not be used to create or implement interventions.

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