In October 2018, NSF implemented the Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) email changes required by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to improve email security. Some email routing practices (such as auto-forwarding to personal email accounts and sending messages through third-party providers) may cause messages to be flagged as potentially fraudulent by DMARC security checks and blocked. If your email is auto-forwarded to another account, such as a personal email account, you may not receive emails from NSF in that forwarded account. More information about DMARC and email delivery from NSF.

Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Education and Human Resources  (IUSE: EHR)

IUSE Solicitation, FAQs and Q&A Webinars

The new IUSE Solicitation (NSF 17-590) has been posted.


In conjunction with the release of IUSE Solicitation 17-590, and in order to keep interested parties informed about new developments in the IUSE program, the Division of Undergraduate Education has prepared a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) available at NSF 17-142.

IUSE Q&A Webinars

In an effort to communicate IUSE program updates to the field, IUSE Program Officers will be conducting a series of live Q&A webinars focused on topics specific to the IUSE Solicitation (17-590). Parties interested in submitting a proposal to the IUSE Exploration and Design (E&D) or Development and Implementation (D&I) programs are strongly encouraged to review the Q&A webinar information and materials linked below.

View the Q&A Webinar information and dates and times here.

View the Q&A Webinar materials, by sections, as noted below:

Name Email Phone Room
Ellen  Carpenter (703) 292-5104   
Andrea  L. Nixon (703) 292-5323   


Solicitation  17-590

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 19-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after February 25, 2019. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 19-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


Full Proposal Window

    October 1, 2018 - September 30, 2019

        Exploration and Design Tier for Engaged Student Learning & Institution and Community Transformation

Beginning in FY 2018, there will be no single date deadlines for Exploration and Design proposals, which may be submitted at any time from October 1, 2017 onward.  Please note however that proposals received after May 1 will be held over to the subsequent financial year for possible award (for example awards will be made in FY 19 for proposals received after May 1, 2018).


The fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) hold much promise as sectors of the economy where we can expect to see continuous vigorous growth in the coming decades. STEM job creation is expected to outpace non-STEM job creation significantly, according to the Commerce Department, reflecting the importance of STEM knowledge to the US economy.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) plays a leadership role in development and implementation of efforts to enhance and improve STEM education in the United States.  Through the NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) initiative, the agency continues to make a substantial commitment to the highest caliber undergraduate STEM education through a Foundation-wide framework of investments. The IUSE: EHR program is a core NSF undergraduate STEM education program that seeks to improve the effectiveness of undergraduate STEM education for both majors and non-majors.  The program is open to application from all institutions of higher education and associated organizations. NSF places high value on educating students to be leaders and innovators in emerging and rapidly changing STEM fields as well as educating a scientifically literate populace. In pursuit of this goal, IUSE: EHR supports projects that have the potential to improve student learning in STEM through development of new curricular materials and methods of instruction, and development of new assessment tools to measure student learning. In addition to innovative work at the frontier of STEM education, this program also encourages replications of research studies at different types of institutions and with different student bodies to produce deeper knowledge about the effectiveness and transferability of findings.

IUSE: EHR also seeks to support projects that have high potential for broader societal impacts, including improved diversity of students and instructors participating in STEM education, professional development for instructors to ensure adoption of new and effective pedagogical techniques that meet the changing needs of students, and projects that promote institutional partnerships for collaborative research and development. IUSE: EHR especially welcomes proposals that will pair well with the efforts of NSF INCLUDES ( to develop STEM talent from all sectors and groups in our society.  Collaborations are encouraged between IUSE proposals and existing INCLUDES projects, provided the collaboration strengthens both projects.

For all the above objectives, the National Science Foundation invests primarily in evidence-based and evidence-generating approaches to understand and improve STEM learning and learning environments, improve the diversity of STEM students and majors, and prepare STEM majors for the workforce.  In addition to contributing to STEM education in the host institution(s), proposals should have the promise of adding more broadly to our understanding of effective teaching and learning practices.

The IUSE: EHR program recognizes and respects the variety of discipline-specific challenges and opportunities facing STEM faculty as they strive to incorporate results from educational research into classroom practice and work with education research colleagues and social science scholars to advance our understanding of effective teaching and learning.

Toward these ends the program features two tracks: (1) Engaged Student Learning and (2) Institutional and Community Transformation. Two tiers of projects exist within each track: (i) Exploration and Design and (ii) Development and Implementation.


Exploration and Design

Development and Implementation

Engaged Student Learning

Up to $300K, for up to 3 years

Level 1: Up to $600K, for up to 3 years

Level 2: $601K-$2M, for up to 5 years

Institutional and Community Transformation

Up to $300K, for up to 3 years

Up to $3M, for up to 5 years



What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program