University of Southern California

Research

NSF-17-527 — NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM)

Slots:   

An institution may submit one proposal from each constituent college or school that awards eligible degrees. (For example, a university with a College of Engineering, a School of Life Sciences, and a College of Arts and Sciences could submit one proposal from each for a total of three proposals. However, within a College of Engineering, if the Department of Electrical Engineering were submitting a proposal, a proposal from the Department of Mechanical Engineering could be submitted only in a subsequent year. The two departments in this example could choose to submit a single joint proposal.) The Office of Research is asking each School to coordinate their own internal review for this award. Please inform OOR of your chosen nominees.

LOI:                                                        N/A                       

External Deadline:                          March 25, 2020, 5pm PT

Award Information:                        Type:  Grant

Estimated Number of Awards: 60 to 80

Anticipated Amount: $70,000,000 to $95,000,000

$70,000,000 to $95,000,000 annually, for new and continuing awards. The program supports three types of projects. Awards for Track 1 (Institutional Capacity Building) projects may not exceed $650,000. Awards for Track 2 (Design and Development: Single Institution) projects may not exceed $1.0 million. Awards for Track 3 (Design and Development: Multi-Institutional Consortia) projects may not exceed $5.0 million. In all cases, the totals are inclusive of direct and indirect costs.

For Collaborative Proposals (see PAPPG Chapter II.D.3), the combined budgets of the collaborating organizations should conform to the budgetary limits specified in this solicitation.

Budgetary Requirements: The maximum duration for a Track 1 project is expected to be 5 years. The maximum S-STEM request may not exceed $650,000. At least 60% of the total requested amount must go to scholarships to academically talented low-income students with demonstrated financial need. Funds should support the implementation and testing of existing high quality evidence-based practices (e.g., curricular and co-curricular activities and student support services), contributions to knowledge use and generation, project evaluation, and project management.

The maximum duration for a Track 2 project is expected to be 5 years. The maximum S-STEM request may not exceed $1.0 million. At least 60% of the total amount requested must go to scholarships to academically talented low-income students with demonstrated financial need. Funds should support the implementation and testing of existing high quality evidence-based practices (e.g., curricular and co-curricular activities and student support activities), contributions to knowledge use and generation, project evaluation, and project management.

The maximum duration for a Track 3 project is expected to be 5 years. The maximum S-STEM request may not exceed $5.0 million and is dependent on focus, size, and scope. At least 60% of the total requested amount must go to supporting scholarships for academically talented low-income students with demonstrated financial need. Funds should support the implementation and testing of existing high quality evidence-based practices (e.g., curricular and co-curricular activities and student support services) that are common to all members of the consortium, contributions to knowledge use and generation, project evaluation, and project management.

Link to Award:                                   https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2017/nsf17527/nsf17527.htm

Who May Serve as PI:                   

For Track 1 (Institutional Capacity Building) and Track 2 (Design and Development: Single Institution) projects, the Principal Investigator must be a faculty member currently teaching in one of the S-STEM disciplines listed in Section IV.B. who can provide the leadership required to ensure the success of the project. Projects involving more than one department within an institution are eligible, but a single Principal Investigator must accept overall management responsibility. Other members of the S-STEM project leadership and management team may be listed as Co-Principal Investigators.

For Track 3 (Design and Development: Multi-Institutional Consortia) projects, the Principal Investigator must be a faculty member currently teaching in one of the S-STEM disciplines listed in Section IV.B. or an institutional, educational, or social science researcher who can provide the leadership required to ensure the success of the project. A consortium project must have a Principal Investigator who accepts overall management responsibility. Other members of the S-STEM senior project leadership and management team may be listed as Co-Principal Investigators or PIs on collaborative research proposals.

Purpose:

The goals of the S-STEM program are:

    1. To increase the recruitment, retention, student success, and graduation (including student transfer) of low-income academically talented students with demonstrated financial need who are pursuing associate, baccalaureate, graduate degrees in STEM and enter the STEM workforce or graduate programs in STEM.
    2. To adapt, implement, and study models, effective evidence-based practices, and/or strategies that contribute to understanding how factors or existing high quality evidence-based practices affect recruitment, retention, student success, academic/career pathways, and/or degree attainment (including student transfer) in STEM of low-income academically talented students with demonstrated financial need.
    3. To contribute to the implementation and sustainability of effective evidence-based curricular and co-curricular activities (e.g., evidence-based practices; professional and workforce development activities) for low-income academically talented students with demonstrated financial need, pursuing undergraduate or graduate education, and entry into the workforce or graduate programs in STEM.

IHEs are expected to establish selection criteria for scholarships. To receive scholarships, students must demonstrate academic talent and financial need. They must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, nationals, or refugees. See Section IV.B. Scholarship Recipients for additional details.

IHEs are expected to develop and maintain student cohorts and provide S-STEM Scholars with S-STEM faculty mentors. It is expected that scholarship recipients will achieve at least one of the following outcomes by the end of the scholarship award period:

    • Attain an associate, baccalaureate, or graduate degree and enter the workforce or a graduate program in STEM;
    • Transfer from an associate degree program to a baccalaureate degree program or advance from an undergraduate program to a graduate program in STEM: or
    • Successfully overcome one or more of an institution’s self-identified attrition points, which have been described in the institution’s proposal.

Different Tracks:

Track 1 (Institutional Capacity Building) seeks to increase the participation of institutions that have limited experience with designing and conducting activities, as described in the description of the S-STEM Design and Development projects. Track 1 provides funds to establish new collaborative partnerships and infrastructure that support these types of projects: (1) to provide scholarships, (2) to advance the adaptation, implementation and understanding of evidence-based academic and student support activities for NSF S-STEM Scholars and other academically talented low-income students pursuing STEM degrees, (3) to increase retention, student success and graduation in STEM, and (4) to test strategies for systematically exploring student academic and career pathways in STEM in ways that are congruent with the context of the institution.

IHEs eligible to submit proposals to Track 1 are institutions that have not had or do not currently have awards funded by the S-STEM program or the STEM Talent Expansion (STEP) program.

Proposers are encouraged to work with Offices of Institutional Research or responsible parties or to contact researchers whose interests are in understanding undergraduate/graduate STEM education or workforce development. Projects should generate knowledge about factors and/or activities associated with student success and degree attainment. Proposers are encouraged to utilize data analytics to examine patterns in institutional student data that describe and predict the successful completion of student academic and career paths.

A Track 1 project leadership and management team must be led by a PI who is a STEM faculty member currently teaching in one of the S-STEM disciplines and includes a STEM administrator. The leadership and management team should also include an institutional, educational, or social science researcher who studies higher education.

Track 1 proposals may request up to $650,000 for 5 years. At least 60% of the total amount requested must be requested for scholarships. In addition, funds should be requested to support the adaptation and implementation of existing high quality evidence-based academic and student support activities; the investigation of factors or evidence-based academic and student support activities to determine their effectiveness in recruiting, retaining, and graduating students in STEM; and the management and evaluation of the project.

For an award with a duration of 5 years, a Third-Year Review is required.

Track 2 (Design and Development: Single Institution) and Track 3 (Design and Development: Multi-Institutional Consortia) seek to leverage S-STEM funds with institutional efforts and infrastructure to increase and understand recruitment, retention, student success, transfer, if appropriate, academic/career pathways, and degree attainment in STEM, with emphasis on low- income academically talented students with demonstrated financial need. Track 2 and Track 3 projects are expected to:

Establish scholarship programs that provide strong academic and student support (e.g., adaptation and implementation of existing high quality evidence-based practices; professional and workforce development activities) to increase student success and degree attainment (including student transfer, if appropriate);

Increase retention, student success, transfer (if appropriate), and graduation in STEM and the quality of the STEM workforce;

Have strong STEM faculty commitment and involvement;

Adapt, implement, and study effective evidence-based curricular and co-curricular activities and professional development that are tailored to students, STEM faculty, and different types of institutional contexts;

Focus on cognitive or non-cognitive aspects of student experiences and success (such as research experiences, internships, participation in student cohorts, the mentor/mentee relationship; self-efficacy, identity); and

Advance adaptation, implementation, knowledge generation, and understanding of how high quality evidence-based practices and strategies impact student outcomes.

Proposers are encouraged to utilize data analytics to examine patterns in institutional student data that describe and predict the successful completion of student academic and career pathways.

Track 2 (Design and Development: Single Institution)

Single Institution projects are focused on well-documented institutional needs or concerns. The program strongly encourages proposals to build on completed needs analyses or institutional self-studies. This type of project must be led by a PI who is a STEM faculty member currently teaching in one of the S-STEM disciplines and who is a member of the leadership and management team. The leadership and management team should also include a STEM administrator and an institutional, educational, or social science researcher.

Proposals for Track 2 may request up to $1.0 million for 5 years. At least 60% of the total amount requested must be requested for scholarships. In addition, funds should be requested to support the adaptation and implementation of existing high quality evidence-based academic and student support activities; the investigation of factors or evidence-based academic and student support activities to determine their effectiveness in recruiting, retaining, and graduating students in STEM; and the management and evaluation of the project.

Proposals may also include a focus on student transfer.

For an award with a duration of 5 years, the project will be reviewed during its third year to determine whether satisfactory progress has been made, with continued funding contingent on the result of the third-year review.

Track 3 (Design and Development: Multi-Institutional Consortia)

Track 3 supports institutional collaborations that focus on a common interest or problem. For example, a collaboration among community colleges and four-year colleges or universities may focus on issues associated with the transfer of students from 2-year institutions to 4-year programs or a consortium of institutions may focus on investigating factors, such as self-efficacy or identity, associated with student success or degree attainment. Multi-Institutional Consortia projects are expected to:

Adapt, implement, examine, or validate models or factors, effective practices, strategies, that affect recruitment; retention; transfer, if appropriate; student success; academic/career pathways; degree attainment; other important student outcomes: and/or entry into the STEM workforce or graduate programs in STEM, and

Establish strong technical assistance and processes that support and manage project activities across institutions involved in the collaborative effort.

Multi-Institutional Consortia projects are managed by leadership and management teams composed of faculty members who are currently teaching in an S-STEM discipline(s), STEM administrators, and institutional, educational, or social science researchers. In multi-institutional projects the PI must be either a faculty member currently teaching in one of the S-STEM disciplines or a researcher whose expertise is in institutional, educational, or social science research in higher education, a proposal whose Principal Investigator is an educational or social science researcher does not count against the limit on the number of proposals submitted by an institution.

Proposals with a focus on multi-institutional efforts may request up to $5.0 million for 5 years. At least 60% of the total requested amount must support scholarships to academically talented low-income students. In addition, funds should be requested to support the adaptation and implementation of a common set of existing high quality evidence-based academic and student support activities; the investigation of factors or evidence-based academic and student support activities to determine their effectiveness in recruiting, retaining, and graduating students in STEM; and the management and evaluation of the project

The level of funding requested should be congruent with the focus, scope, and size of the effort.

For an award with a duration of 5 years, the project will be reviewed during its third year to determine whether satisfactory progress has been made, with continued funding contingent on the result of the third-year review.

Conferences and Workshops: In addition to the Tracks above the S-STEM program also supports a small number of conferences, workshops, and special projects that generate knowledge to better understand issues in the recruitment, retention, student success, degree attainment, and entry into the STEM workforce by low-income students. Budgets for conferences and workshops are expected to be consistent with the duration of the event and the number of participants, but the cost will normally not exceed a total of $250,000 per event. It is expected that the conferences and workshops will be outcomes-based, and that the final report should contain a statement of the impacts of the event 12-18 months after completion of the event(s). Proposals for conferences and workshops may be submitted at any time during the year, but the proposers should plan on at least 10 months lead time to allow for review and processing of the proposal. Conference proposals must be prepared in accordance with the specific instructions in PAPPG, Chapter II.E.7 and the additional instructions contained in this solicitation. A prospective PI is encouraged to contact an S-STEM program officer to discuss the conference or workshop prior to submitting a proposal.

Visit our Institutionally Limited Submission webpage for updates and other announcements.