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PROGRAM SOLICITATION: Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES) (NSF 17-522)

Description

Preliminary Proposal Due Date(s) (required) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):
February 14, 2017

Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):
May 16, 2017

Full Solicitation: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2017/nsf17522/nsf17522.htm

Program Title:
Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES)
Design and Development Launch Pilots

Synopsis:
Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES) is a comprehensive national initiative designed to enhance U.S. leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) discoveries and innovations focused on NSF's commitment to diversity, inclusion, and broadening participation in these fields. NSF INCLUDES supports efforts to create networked relationships among organizations whose goals include developing talent from all sectors of society to build the STEM workforce. This initiative seeks to improve collaborative efforts aimed at enhancing the preparation, increasing the participation, and ensuring the contributions of individuals from groups that have traditionally been underrepresented and underserved in the STEM enterprise: women, persons with disabilities, African Americans/Blacks, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Native Pacific Islanders, and persons from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Significant advancement in the inclusion of these groups will result in a new generation of STEM talent and leadership to secure our nation's future and long-term economic competitiveness.

The grand challenge of broadening participation in STEM is to transform the STEM enterprise at all levels in order to fully engage the nation's talent for the ultimate improvement of the STEM enterprise. As a comprehensive national initiative, NSF INCLUDES aims to address the various complex equity and inclusion-related challenges and opportunities that characterize the nation's cultural and linguistic diversity, with a specific emphasis on the aforementioned groups. The goal is to achieve impact at the national level. Viewing inclusion as an asset and opportunity for social innovation, NSF is particularly interested in using approaches to scaling and growth, such as collective impact, networked improvement communities, and strategic partnerships. The objective is to develop networks that involve representative organizations and consortia from different sectors that are committed to a common agenda that comprehensively solves a specific STEM-inclusion problem. The long-term goal of NSF INCLUDES is to support innovative models, networks, partnerships, technical capabilities and research that will enable the U.S. science and engineering workforce to thrive by ensuring that traditionally underrepresented and underserved groups are represented in percentages comparable to their representation in the U.S. population. Researchers and practitioners at minority serving institutions are strongly encouraged to participate in this activity given their experience and expertise in broadening participation.

NSF INCLUDES is a multi-year program with three essential components currently under development:

  • NSF INCLUDES Design and Development Launch Pilots: Two-year pilot projects that explore the feasibility of bold, innovative ways for solving a broadening participation challenge in STEM. Successful pilots will deliver models or prototypes, which incorporate data and measurement infrastructures, supporting collective efforts aimed at increasing the active participation of those who have been traditionally underserved and underrepresented in all STEM fields.

  • NSF INCLUDES Alliances: NSF INCLUDES Alliances will leverage existing Design and Development Launch Pilots, programs, people, organizations, technologies, and institutions to catalyze NSF's broadening participation investments, with each Alliance committed to collectively solving a specific set of objectives.

  • NSF INCLUDES Backbone Organization: The Backbone Organization will drive the following activities for all NSF INCLUDES Alliances over the lifecycle of the initiative: (a) providing a guiding vision and strategy; (b) developing a collaborative infrastructure to align NSF INCLUDES activities; (c) establishing shared models, measurement practices, and evaluation criteria; (d) building public will; (e) advancing policy; and (f) mobilizing funding.
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