‘Build and Broaden’ fuels innovative research at minority-serving institutions

A researcher talks with two students in a laboratory settings. All are wearing lab coats.

The Build and Broaden program supports cutting-edge research at minority-serving institutions.


December 9, 2020

Continued innovation and economic growth in the U.S. depend on training and supporting the next generation of scientists and expanding opportunities to conduct vital research. To help fill that critical need, the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences has launched the Build and Broaden program supporting transformative research, training opportunities and new research infrastructure at minority-serving institutions throughout the country.

The Build and Broaden program supports cutting-edge research in the social, behavioral and economic sciences at minority-serving institutions, including historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions and tribal colleges and universities.

Minority-serving institutions educate millions of Americans, including many who will go on to join the U.S. science and technology workforce. However, NSF receives few grant proposals from minority-serving institutions. As a result, innovative and potentially groundbreaking scientific work at those institutions is left unfunded and unpursued.

The Build and Broaden program seeks to increase proposal submissions from minority-serving institutions by fostering research partnerships centered on those institutions, thus growing their scientific infrastructure and capacity while expanding the overall diversity of social, behavioral and economic science disciplines.

“Minority-serving institutions make critical contributions to our nation’s STEM enterprise by producing some of our most talented scientists and engineers,” says Kellina Craig-Henderson, deputy assistant director of NSF’s Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences, “Build and Broaden will help to grow research capacity in the social, behavioral and economic sciences at minority-serving institutions.”

Proposals are welcome from individual researchers and groups at minority-serving institutions. Researchers at other institutions may also submit proposals if they are collaborating with scientific staff at a minority-serving institution and if their proposal includes a focus on fostering scientific partnerships or capacity-building at those institutions.

For full details on how to submit a proposal, see the Build and Broaden program.

For additional information on NSF’s efforts to increase the diversity and effectiveness of the STEM workforce, read “I’ve been there. Fighting stereotypes in the world of science.” in NSF’s Science Matters blog.

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2021 budget of $8.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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