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NSF 21-101

Dear Colleague Letter: NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI Program) Principal Investigator Conference

July 6, 2021

Dear Colleague:

The NSF recognizes the importance of Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) to the Nation’s STEM enterprise. The Explanatory Statement accompanying the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2017, Public Law No. 115-31, provided the opportunity for the NSF to establish the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) Program to strengthen STEM educational environments at institutions of higher education that typically do not receive high levels of NSF grant funding. The goals of the HSI Program are to enhance the quality of undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and to increase the recruitment, retention, and graduation rates of students pursuing associate's or baccalaureate degrees in STEM at HSIs. The NSF HSI Program currently supports more than 100 projects. Its objectives are to incentivize institutional and community transformation; and to promote fundamental research (i) on engaged student learning, (ii) about what it takes to diversify and increase participation in STEM effectively, and (iii) that improves understanding of how to build institutional capacity at HSIs.

CALL FOR PROPOSALS

With this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) the HSI Program encourages proposals to convene current Principal Investigator (PI) teams in an HSI Program PI conference that will (1) promote effective strategies to improve undergraduate STEM education at HSIs and (2) build and maintain a PI community. Information on preparing and submitting conference proposals, including required elements of the proposal is contained in Chapter II of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG).

It is anticipated that the HSI Program PI Conference will be attended by at least one PI team member from each active project, NSF Program Officers, prospective HSI PIs, and organizations whose goals and mission are aligned with the NSF HSI Program. Proposals should describe plans to document and communicate new knowledge within the HSI community, including plans to prepare and share a comprehensive report on the conference proceedings. As the awardee will be responsible for planning and managing the PI conference, and providing the necessary infrastructure to support it, the proposal should address previous experience hosting virtual and face-to-face activities. NSF envisions a collaborative relationship with the awardee, to provide support in communicating with the HSI community.

PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS

Proposals should be directed to the HSI Program and titles must include the prefix "Conference: HSI Program PI:". Proposal budgets should be well-justified for the scope and locus of activities. Per the PAPPG, although requests for support of a conference proposal ordinarily originates with educational institutions or scientific and engineering societies, they also may come from other groups, such as professional organizations, businesses, industry groups, government organizations, non-profit companies, community-based organizations, informal science education organizations, and science- or industry-focused organizations.

Prospective PIs are encouraged to contact one of the program directors listed below. To be eligible for funding consideration in fiscal year 2022, proposals should be submitted by August 25, 2021.

Contact information for NSF representatives is as follows

Erika Tatiana Camacho
Education and Human Resources (EHR)
Division of Human Resource Development (HRD)
ecamacho@nsf.gov

Jennifer Lewis
Education and Human Resources (EHR)
Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE)
jenlewis@nsf.gov

For more information on the HSI Program, please visit https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=505512.

Sincerely,

Karen Marrongelle
Assistant Director
Education and Human Resources (EHR)