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Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science NSF Wide Programs

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Solicitation  18-529

Important Information for Proposers

ATTENTION: Proposers using the Collaborators and Other Affiliations template for more than 10 senior project personnel will encounter proposal print preview issues. Please see the Collaborators and Other Affiliations Information website for updated guidance.

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 18-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 29, 2018. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 18-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


Full Proposal Deadline Date

    April 4, 2018


NSF INCLUDES (Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science) is a comprehensive national initiative designed to enhance U.S. leadership in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) discoveries and innovations by focusing on broadening participation in these fields at scale. The vision of NSF INCLUDES is to catalyze the STEM enterprise to collaboratively work for inclusive change, which will result in a STEM workforce that reflects the population of the Nation. The initiative is developing a National Network composed of NSF INCLUDES Design and Development Launch Pilots, NSF INCLUDES Alliances, an NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub, NSF-funded broadening participation projects, other relevant NSF-funded projects, scholars engaged in broadening participation research, and other organizations that support the development of talent from all sectors of society to build an inclusive STEM workforce. The successful implementation of NSF INCLUDES will result in substantial advances toward a diverse, innovative, and well-prepared STEM workforce to support our Nation’s economy and continued U.S. leadership in the global STEM enterprise. It is anticipated that NSF’s investment will contribute to new and improved STEM career pathways, policies, opportunities to learn, and practices for equity and inclusion. The initiative will be supported by the NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub (NSF 17-591) that will provide a framework for communication and networking, network assistance and reinforcement, and visibility and expansion for the NSF INCLUDES National Network as a whole.

This solicitation offers opportunities for NSF INCLUDES Alliances. 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.

All NSF INCLUDES Alliance proposals should describe the results they expect to achieve in broadening participation in STEM. Each proposal must explain how they will build the infrastructure to foster collaboration and achieve impact by emphasizing the following five characteristics of the NSF INCLUDES Program: a) Vision, b) Partnerships, c) Goals and Metrics, d) Leadership and Communication, and e) the Potential for Expansion, Sustainability and Scale.

Vision: Every NSF INCLUDES Alliance proposal should describe the vision of what the Alliance aspires to achieve. What will be different in the landscape of broadening participation in STEM as a result of the efforts of this Alliance?

Partnerships: Partnerships and networks are at the heart of the NSF INCLUDES National Network, and Alliance proposals should include a plan for creating a platform for partnerships and collaborative action that includes a "backbone" or support organization. How will the Alliance partners engage an expansive community in a shared vision of the importance and power of broadening participation for scientific innovation?  Why is the partnership that is being developed the right partnership to achieve the vision?

Goals and Metrics: Alliance proposals should delineate how the partnerships and networks will develop and be driven by shared goals, available evidence from research that forms the basis for the plans, and the metrics and milestones that define the pathway to achieving the vision. Robust data collection plans and implementation research will need to be included, to facilitate evidence-based decision making and adjustments as the Alliance matures.

Leadership and Communication: Alliance proposals should provide details for how the Alliance will build and strengthen capacity for leadership and communication among collaborating organizations and individuals to create opportunities and enact inclusion in STEM.

Expansion, Sustainability and Scale: Finally, Alliance proposals should discuss how the collaborative infrastructure building process will ultimately lead to: expansion (more partners joining the movement), sustainability (more long-term connections being made), and implementation of change at scale (a likelihood for collaborative change to lead to change on a broad scale).

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

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program