University of Southern California


NSF-17-574: Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Pathways into Geoscience (IUSE: GEOPATHS)

Slots:                                                     An organization may serve as sole submitting institution or as lead institution of a collaborative project on only one submission per competition, regardless of track, but may serve as the non-lead institution of a collaborative project more than once per competition. Additional eligibility requirements are described later in the solicitation.

Internal Deadline:                          Contact the Office of Research if interested.

LOI:                                                        August 18, 2017, 5pm PDT                          

External Deadline:                          October 10, 2017, 5pm PDT

Award Information:                        Type:  Grant

Estimated Number of Awards: 16

Anticipated Amount: $5,000,000 total.

Submission Process:                     PIs must submit their application as a Limited Submission through the Office of Research Application Portal:

Materials to submit:

 Link to Award:                        

Who May Serve as PI:                    A Principal Investigator may serve in the role of PI or Co-PI on only one proposal per competition if they are at the sole-submitting institution or the lead institution of a collaborative project, but may serve as the Co-PI for a non-lead institution of a collaborative project more than once per competition.


The IUSE: GEOPATHS funding opportunity invites creative proposals to broaden and strengthen the pathways that will engage and retain undergraduate students in geoscience education and career pathways, and help prepare them for a variety of careers. The long-term goal of this program is to dramatically increase the number and diversity of students earning undergraduate degrees or enrolling in graduate programs in geoscience fields, as well as ensure that they have the necessary skills and competencies to succeed as next generation professionals in a variety of employment sectors. IUSE: GEOPATHS projects are expected to utilize effective, evidence-based strategies for improving student engagement and retention, and to expose students to meaningful experiences in the geosciences through leveraging of academic and/or non-academic research and instrumentation infrastructure. The underlying “theory of change” for this solicitation is that novel, authentic, career-relevant geoscience experiences for larger student populations not only augment existing curricula but will also increase the students’ desire to pursue degrees and geoscience-related careers.

The overarching questions being addressed through this solicitation are:

IUSE: GEOPATHS projects also offer an opportunity to tap the nation’s diverse student talent pool and broaden participation in science and engineering. NSF is particularly interested in increasing the numbers of women, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities in professional experiences related to the geosciences. IUSE: GEOPATHS projects are strongly encouraged to involve students who are members of these groups (underrepresented minorities in STEM are African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders.) When designing recruitment plans, IUSE: GEOPATHS projects are also encouraged to consider students who are veterans of the U.S. Armed Services.

The IUSE: GEOPATHS solicitation offers two distinct funding Tracks: (1) Engaging students in the geosciences through extra-curricular experiences and training (GEOPATHS-EXTRA) and (2) Improving pathways into the geosciences through institutional collaborations (GEOPATHS-IMPACT). More on each pathway is available at the award link above.

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