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About Human Resource Development (HRD)

The Division of Human Resource Development (HRD) serves as a focal point for NSF's agency-wide commitment to enhancing the quality and excellence of STEM education and research through broadening participation by historically underrepresented groups - minorities, women, and persons with disabilities. Priority is placed on investments that promise innovation and transformative strategies and that focus on creating and testing models that ensure the full participation of and provide opportunities for the educators, researchers, and institutions dedicated to serving these populations. Programs within HRD have a strong focus on partnerships and collaborations in order to maximize the preparation of a well-trained scientific and instructional workforce for the new millennium.

 HRD Vision

HRD envisions a well-prepared and competitive U.S. workforce of scientists, technologists, engineers, mathematicians, and educators that reflects the diversity of the U.S. population.

HRD Mission

HRD's mission is to grow the innovative and competitive U.S. science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce that is vital for sustaining and advancing the Nation's prosperity by supporting the broader participation and success of individuals currently underrepresented in STEM and the institutions that serve them.

Strategic Goal 1

The creation of new knowledge, innovations, and models for broadening participation in the STEM enterprise.

Strategic Goal 2

The translation of knowledge, innovations, and models for broadening participation in STEM for use by stakeholders.[1]

Strategic Goal 3

Expand Opportunities:  The expansion of stakeholder capacity to support and engage diverse populations in high quality STEM education and research programs.

HRD Theory of Change

HRD's fundamental mission of broadening participation in STEM is embedded in the greater EHR and NSF goals. A basic premise of all HRD programs is that increasing the successful participation of individuals from historically underrepresented groups in STEM will result in a diverse, highly capable STEM workforce that can lead innovation and sustain U. S. competitiveness in the science and engineering enterprise.  Therefore, HRD has an overall goal to increase the successful participation of underrepresented minorities, women and girls, and persons with disabilities in STEM. This is done through the implementation and testing of evidence-based practices, critical review of program results to assess impact, data-driven continuous improvement, and broad dissemination of program findings for wide adoption or  scale-up of effective strategies.


 Credit: Sara Parks, NSF Iowa EPSCoR, Iowa State University

[1] Stakeholders include a wide range of organizations and individuals such as but not limited to: NSF and other Federal agencies, federally funded STEM labs and centers, institutions of higher education including minority-serving institutions, State and local governments, education researchers and practitioners, policy makers, STEM employers, professional STEM societies, STEM organizations, and private funders.