University of Southern California


NSF-18-529: Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES) – NSF INCLUDES Alliances Proposals Only

Slots:                                                     1, Please note that only the Alliances component is a limited submission                             

Internal Deadline:                           Contact the Office of Research if interested.

LOI:                                                        N/A       

External Deadline:                          April 04, 2019

Award Information:                        Type: Cooperative Agreement

Estimated Number of Awards: 1 to 3

Anticipated Amount: $8,500,000 total. Awards will range from $1 million to $2.5 million per year for five years depending on the goals, objectives and the size of the communities affected.

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:                    An individual may serve as a PI or Co-PI on only two (2) NSF INCLUDES Alliance proposals. Proposals that exceed the PI or Co-PI limit will be returned without review. In the event that an individual exceeds this limit, proposals received within the limit will be accepted based on earliest date and time of proposal submission. No exceptions will be made.


The purpose of the NSF INCLUDES program is to broaden participation in STEM fields through a National Network that will inspire collaborative efforts aimed at increasing the active participation of those who have been traditionally underserved and underrepresented in particular STEM fields or across all fields of STEM. Currently, NSF INCLUDES has three essential components, two of which have already been launched through previous solicitations: (1) Design and Development Launch Pilots; (2) Coordination Hub; and (3) Alliances.


With this solicitation, NSF is introducing opportunities for successful Design and Development Launch Pilots to build upon their achievements and propose an NSF INCLUDES Alliance that has the potential to substantially broaden participation in STEM fields. Alliances will use 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. Alliances will 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 will be committed to collectively achieving common goals through a well-defined set of common objectives. Alliances will take the collaborative change strategies started through the Design and Development Launch Pilots and employ them at a larger scale.


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 is a shift from current practice, which often involves highly successful but locally concentrated efforts. NSF INCLUDES aims to systematically build a network that will mobilize communities with evidence-based strategies for broadening participation in STEM opportunities, bringing renewed emphasis and resources to increase diversity across and within STEM fields at scale.


The critical functions of each NSF INCLUDES Alliance are to:

  1. Develop a vision and strategy (e.g., problem statement and theory of change) for broadening participation in STEM along with relevant metrics of success and key milestones/goals to be achieved during the project’s lifecycle;
  2. Contribute to the knowledge base on broadening participation in STEM through broadening participation and implementation research, sharing project evaluations, data, new scientific findings/discoveries, and promising practices;
  3. Develop multi-stakeholder partnerships and build infrastructure among them to decrease social distance and achieve progress on common goals targeted by the Alliance;
  4. Establish a “backbone” or support organization that provides a framework for communication and networking, network assistance and reinforcement, visibility and expansion of the Alliance and its partners, that will collaborate with the NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub;
  5. Advance a logic model or other heuristic that identifies Alliance outcomes that reflect implementation of change at scale and progress toward developing an inclusive STEM enterprise.

Collectively, the set of NSF INCLUDES Alliances are to:

  1. Participate in a network of peer alliances to achieve long-term goals of the NSF INCLUDES program;
  2. Collaborate with the NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub to build critical knowledge that shows measurable progress toward long-term goals; and
  3. Work to build on-ramps for other organizations and broadening participation stakeholders to join in and expand the NSF National Network.
  4. Researchers and practitioners at minority serving institutions are strongly encouraged to participate in this activity given their experience and expertise in broadening participation.


In reviewing an NSF INCLUDES Alliance’s progress and assessing future plans, NSF will emphasize the NSF INCLUDES Alliance’s performance in the following areas: 1) establishing an Alliance-wide shared broadening participation agenda and coordinating the Alliance’s collaborative change activities and infrastructure, including the establishment of a “backbone” or support organization; 2) effectively managing the Alliance’s shared goals and metrics; 3) facilitating the Alliance’s ability to work collectively; 4) demonstrating leadership across all Alliance partners and collaborating with the NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub to engage with the broader NSF INCLUDES National Network; and 5) enhancing the potential for the Alliance to expand, sustain activities over time, and have an impact on a broad scale. Oversight of the NSF INCLUDES Alliances is the responsibility of all the NSF Directorates and Offices supporting NSF INCLUDES.

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