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National Science Foundation

NSF 12-034

Dear Colleague Letter -Prepare, Engage, and Motivate a Diverse STEM Workforce - Design Proposals to Develop a Broadening Participation in STEM Resource Network

DATE: March 22, 2012

This letter is to call your attention to an opportunity in the Division of Human Resource Development (HRD) for design proposals to develop strategies to assist HRD grantees and other NSF stakeholders to achieve the NSF performance goal to "Prepare and engage a diverse STEM workforce motivated to participate at the frontiers." The design project should lead to the development of a proposal for a Broadening Participation in STEM Resource Network (BPS-Resource Network). Design projects should consult broadly with the HRD grantee community and other NSF stakeholders to perform a needs assessment. This consultation should be the foundation for developing innovative models for a resource network. HRD anticipates funding the implementation of a BPS-Resource Network after the design phase.

HRD anticipates funding up to five 18-month design projects for up to $250,000 each as described in the HBCU-UP solicitation. This opportunity is expected to also be included in other HRD program solicitations over the next six months which will be posted on the HRD web site. This is not a new program, design proposals should be submitted according to the instructions in the HRD solicitations. Design proposals must address broadening participation in STEM across all underrepresented groups (women, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented minorities). All entities eligible for NSF support are encouraged to consider this opportunity. The window for submission of design proposals is January 12, 2012 to July 12, 2012.
Ultimately, the BPS-Resource Network will be expected to assist HRD grantees and other NSF stakeholders to prepare, engage, and motivate diverse individuals who are underrepresented in the STEM workforce (women, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented minorities). The BPS-Resource Network could be designed as a collaborative effort among many partners. HRD anticipates that the BPS-Resource Network activities will include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Synthesize and analyze broadening participation in STEM knowledge: Synthesize and analyze broadening participation in STEM research, education research, and project and program evaluations, to identify strategies and practices that have evidence of effectiveness as well as gaps in the broadening participation in STEM knowledge base.
  • Diffusion of broadening participation in STEM knowledge: Make research and evaluation results, in particular those produced by HRD grantees and other NSF stakeholders, accessible to public and private audiences and facilitate the utilization of these resources by others. This may involve, but is not limited to, developing tools and strategies to support the adoption or adaptation of various research-based and demonstrated strategies and practices, and assisting HRD grantees to effectively translate and share their broadening participation in STEM knowledge. This may include, but is not limited to, the development of resources such as web portals, databases, and other tools.
  • Establish and support broadening participation in STEM networks: Build strong networks around areas of interest across and within HRD programs that may include other stakeholders such as other NSF and Federal grantees. This may include, but is not limited to, technical assistance and capacity building activities by and for HRD grantees, the development or adaptation of social media and other networking tools, and national and regional conferences of HRD grantees and other stakeholders.
  • Stimulate innovation in broadening participation in STEM: Develop mechanisms to encourage innovation and recognize excellence in the area of broadening participation in STEM. This may include, but is not limited to, supporting the development and management of complex creative public-private partnerships, the implementation of prize competitions, and recognition of excellence by organizations and individuals in broadening participation in STEM.

Investigators are welcome to contact the HRD office with questions by e-mail bps-rn@nsf.gov or by phone at 703-292-8640.

Sincerely,

Muriel Poston
Division Director
Human Resource Development

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