hbcu

Dear Colleague Letter: Historically Black Colleges and Universities Excellence in Research Program

Monday, September 25, 2017

NSF 17-138

September 19, 2017

Dear Colleagues:

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are a vital asset to the Nation contributing significantly to the education of African Americans and other students. HBCUs also contribute to the research enterprise consistent with the National Science Foundation's (NSF) mission "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense." To that end, NSF is forming the HBCU Excellence in Research Program which will provide strategic opportunities for HBCUs that stimulate sustainable improvement in their research and development capacity and competitiveness.

NSF anticipates announcing the program as part of the next HBCU-Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) solicitation revision, which is expected to be released by December 2017. Any proposal of the types described below should be submitted to the HBCU-UP program, but the principal investigator (PI) should identify a secondary program in a research Directorate or Office to which the proposal will be routed for review and eventual funding recommendations. The participating NSF organizations are the Directorates for Biological Sciences (BIO), Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), Engineering (ENG), Geosciences (GEO), Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE), and the Office of Integrative Activities (OIA).

NSF anticipates announcing that institutions, on behalf of PIs who must be full-time faculty members at an HBCU, will be eligible to submit the following proposals as part of the HBCU Excellence in Research Program:

  1. Projects of up to $1,000,000 to stimulate improvement in research capacity and competitiveness at HBCUs. Activities eligible for support include, but are not limited to: release time to enable faculty members to conduct research, visits by faculty members to laboratories at other institutions to learn new methods and techniques, support for research, faculty professional development, support for post-doctoral fellows and students, acquisition or upgrading of research equipment, and collaborative research efforts with partner universities and national laboratories. Projects must have a research focus in one of the research areas supported by NSF, a direct connection to the long-term plans of the host department(s) and the institutional mission, and plans for expanding institutional research capacity.
  2. Research projects for up to $500,000 to support research by individual PIs. The project should help to further the PI's research, to improve research capacity at his or her institution, and to involve students in research experiences.

The project description for both types of proposals should contain all of the elements of a standard NSF research proposal.

Prospective PIs are encouraged to contact one of the program directors listed below.

Proposers are also encouraged to consider submitting proposals to the NSF Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program. Please reference this DCL in the first sentence of the Project Summary if you are submitting an MRI proposal from an HBCU. More information about the MRI program is available at: https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5260.

Proposals should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the guidance in the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG), Part I: Proposal Preparation and Submission Guidelines available at: https://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=pappg and any applicable solicitation-specific instructions.

Contact information for NSF representatives is as follows:

BIO
Casonya Johnson, casjohns [at] nsf [dot] gov
Jodie Jawo,r jjawor [at] nsf [dot] gov

CISE
Jeffrey Forbes, jforbes [at] nsf [dot] gov

EHR
Claudia Rankin,s crankins [at] nsf [dot] gov
Clytrice Watson, clwatson [at] nsf [dot] gov

ENG
Eduardo Misawa, emisawa [at] nsf [dot] gov
Paige Smith, psmith [at] nsf [dot] gov

GEO
Brandon Jones, mbjones [at] nsf [dot] gov
Lina Patino, lpatino [at] nsf [dot] gov

OIA
Randy Phelps, rphelps [at] nsf [dot] gov

MPS
Kathleen McCloud, kmccloud [at] nsf [dot] gov
Guebre X. Tessema, gtessema [at] nsf [dot] gov

SBE
Kwabena Gyimah-Brempong, kgyimahb [at] nsf [dot] gov

NSF will offer technical assistance and webinars to disseminate information about the HBCU Excellence in Research Program.

Sincerely,

James L. Olds, Assistant Director
Biological Sciences

Jim Kurose, Assistant Director
Computer and Information Science and Engineering

William (Jim) Lewis, Acting Assistant Director
Education and Human Resources

Dawn M. Tilbury, Assistant Director
Engineering

William E. Easterling, Assistant Director
Geosciences

James S. Ulvestad, Acting Assistant Director
Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Fay Cook, Assistant Director
Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences

Suzanne C. Iacono, Head
Office of Integrative Activities

Dear Colleague Letter: Further Strengthening Research Capacity at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November 4, 2016

Dear Colleagues:

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are a vital asset to the Nation contributing significantly to the education of African American and other students. HBCUs also contribute to the research enterprise consistent with the National Science Foundation’s mission “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense.” With this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) in FY 2017, NSF builds on the success of DCL 16-080, which resulted in the award of numerous excellent research proposals to further strengthen the research capacity at HBCUs.

A recent report by the Subcommittee on Advancing Historically Black Colleges and Universities of the Advisory Committee of NSF's Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) recommended a focus on improving research capacity at HBCUs so that individual investigators would be more successful in receiving funding from NSF’s Research and Related Activities (R&RA) directorates. NSF invites researchers at HBCUs to submit research proposals to its over 300 programs.

Prospective principal investigators are encouraged to contact one of the program officer representatives listed below from each of NSF’s R&RA directorates to inquire as to which program to apply to and which cognizant program officer to contact. Submission deadlines vary by directorate, division and program.

Proposals should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the guidance in the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide, Part I: Grant Proposal Guide (PAPPG) available at http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=papp and any applicable solicitation-specific instructions.
Contact information for representatives from NSF’s R&RA directorates is as follows:

BIO:   Casonya Johnson  casjohns [at] nsf [dot] gov

           Emelia Martins  emartins [at] nsf [dot] gov

           Christopher Meyer  cmeyer [at] nsf [dot] gov

CISE:  Kamau Bobb  kbobb [at] nsf [dot] gov

ENG:   James Moore  jamoore [at] nsf [dot] gov

            Eduardo Misawa  emisawa [at] nsf [dot] gov

GEO:   Brandon Jones  mbjones [at] nsf [dot] gov

            Lina Patino  lpatino [at] nsf [dot] gov

MPS:   Kathleen McCloud  kmccloud [at] nsf [dot] gov

            Guebre X. Tessema  gtessema [at] nsf [dot] gov

SBE:    Holly Hapke  hhapke [at] nsf [dot] gov

            Kwabena Gyimah-Brempong  kgyimahb [at] nsf [dot] gov

NSF also funds conferences, EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER), grants for Rapid Response Research (RAPID), and supplements to existing awards. Such proposals must be submitted in accordance with the guidelines in the PAPPG.

To ensure proper processing, please begin titles of proposals submitted pursuant to this DCL with: DCL: HBCU

Sincerely,

James L. Olds, Assistant Director                                        Joan Ferrini-Mundy, Assistant Director
Biological Sciences                                                              Educations and Human Resources

James Kurose, Assistant Director                                        Grace Wong, Acting Assistant Director
Computer and Information Science                                      Engineering
   and Engineering

Roger Wakimoto, Assistant Director                                    Fay Cook, Assistant Director
Geosciences                                                                          Social, Behavioral & Economical Sciences

F. Fleming Crim, Assistant Director                                     Suzanne C. Iacono, Head
Mathematical and Physical Sciences                                    Office of Integrative Activities

ATGC-STL Conference: Linking People, Linking Genes

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Harris-Stowe State University will be hosting the Advocating Translational Genetics/Genomics Conference in St. Louis (ATGC-STL) Genetics Symposium on February 27th, 2016.

The trainee-organized symposium hosted by Harris-Stowe State University (HSSU) aims to pioneer early exposure to quality research in genetics, and to promote genetic literacy of under-represented student populations at the high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels. The symposium will offer activities for a wide range of genetics scholars and provide the opportunity for students to present their work in the genetics field, interact with university faculty, and obtain information on undergraduate and graduate level opportunities in genetics research.

For more information about the symposium, visit the ATGC-STL website and Twitter.  To register, click here.

Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) and HBCU Research Infrastructure for Science and Engineering (RISE)

Event date(s): Friday, December 1, 2017 to Thursday, February 8, 2018


PROGRAM SOLICITATION: NSF 18-509

Important Dates

Letter of Intent Due Date(s) (required) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

December 01, 2017

First Friday in December, Annually Thereafter

HBCU-RISE

December 01, 2017

First Friday in December, Every Other Year Thereafter

Preliminary CREST Center

Preliminary Proposal Due Date(s) (required) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

February 15, 2018

Third Thursday in February, Every Other Year Thereafter

Preliminary CREST Centers

Supplement Due Date(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

Proposals Accepted Anytime

SBIR/STTR Diversity Collaborative Supplements

February 08, 2018

Second Thursday in February, Annually Thereafter

CREST Partnership Supplements

Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

January 30, 2018

CREST Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

February 08, 2018

Second Thursday in February, Annually Thereafter

HBCU-RISE

December 07, 2018

First Friday in December, Every Other Year Thereafter

CREST Centers

December 07, 2018

First Friday in December, Annually Thereafter

CREST Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

Summary of Program Requirements

Program Title:

Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) and HBCU Research Infrastructure for Science and Engineering (HBCU-RISE)

Synopsis of Program:

The Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) program provides support to enhance the research capabilities of minority-serving institutions (MSI) through the establishment of centers that effectively integrate education and research. MSIs of higher education denote institutions that have undergraduate enrollments of 50% or more (based on total student enrollment) of members of minority groups underrepresented among those holding advanced degrees in science and engineering fields: African Americans, Alaska Natives, American Indians, Hispanic Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Native Pacific Islanders. CREST promotes the development of new knowledge, enhancements of the research productivity of individual faculty, and an expanded presence of students historically underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. CREST Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (PRF) awards provide research experience and training for early career scientists at active CREST Centers. HBCU-RISE awards specifically target HBCUs to support the expansion of institutional research capacity as well as the production of doctoral students, especially those from groups underrepresented in STEM, at those institutions.

The CREST program supports the following types of projects:

CREST Center awards provide multi-year support (typically 5-years) for eligible minority-serving institutions that demonstrate a strong research and education base, a compelling vision for research infrastructure improvement, and a comprehensive plan with the necessary elements to achieve and sustain national competitiveness in a clearly defined area of national significance in science or engineering research. Successful Center proposals will demonstrate a clear vision and synergy with the broad goals of the CREST Program and the Human Resource Development Division with respect to development of a diverse STEM workforce. CREST Centers are expected to provide leadership in the involvement of groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM at all levels (faculty, students, and postdoctoral researchers) within the Center. Centers are required to use either proven or innovative mechanisms to address issues such as recruitment, retention and mentorship of participants from underrepresented groups.

CREST Partnership Supplements support the establishment or strengthening of partnerships and collaborations between active CREST Centers and nationally or internationally recognized research centers including NSF-supported research centers, and private sector research laboratories, K-12 entities including museums and science centers or schools, as appropriate to enable the CREST Centers to advance knowledge and education on a research theme of national significance.

CREST Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (PRF) awards recognize beginning CREST Center investigators with significant potential and provide them with research experiences that broaden perspectives, facilitate interdisciplinary interactions and establish them in positions of leadership within the scientific community. Fellows conduct research on topics aligned with the research focus of the host CREST Center. The fellowships are also designed to provide active mentoring to the Fellows by the sponsoring CREST Center scientists who, in turn, will benefit from the incorporation of these talented scientists into their research groups.

HBCU Research Infrastructure for Science and Engineering (RISE) awards support the development of research capability at Historically Black Colleges and Universities that offer doctoral degrees in science and engineering disciplines. Supported projects must have a unifying research focus in one of the research areas supported by NSF, a direct connection to the long-term plans of the host department(s), institutional strategic plan and mission, and plans for expanding institutional research capacity as well as increasing the production of doctoral students, especially those underrepresented in STEM.

SBIR/STTR Phase IIa Diversity Collaboration Supplements provide an opportunity for existing SBIR/STTR Phase II projects to initiate collaborations with minority-serving institutions that have active CREST Center or HBCU-RISE awards. These supplemental proposals are administered by and co-funded with the NSF Directorate for Engineering Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (ENG/IIP).

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award:

Standard Grant or Continuing Grant or Fellowship

Estimated Number of Awards: 40

In fiscal year 2018, 2 newly funded CREST Center awards, up to 5 CREST-PRFs, up to 5 CREST Partnership Supplements, 1 SBIR/STTR Diversity Collaborative Supplement and up to 4 HBCU-RISE awards will be made. In fiscal year 2019, up to 6 CREST Center awards (new Centers and Phase II Centers), up to 5 CREST-PRFs, up to 5 CREST Partnership Supplements, 1 SBIR/STTR Diversity Collaborative Supplement and up to 4 HBCU-RISE awards will be made.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $19,300,000

Across fiscal years 2018 and 2019, up to $8,000,000 to support the first year for eight newly funded CREST Centers, up to $2,000,000 to support CREST-PRF Fellowships, up to $300,000 from CREST and $300,000 from ENG/IIP for co-funded SBIR/STTR Diversity Collaborative Supplements, up to $1,000,000 for CREST partnership supplements and up to $8,000,000 for HBCU-RISE standard grants, pending the availability of funds.

Eligibility Information

Who May Submit Proposals:

Preliminary and invited full CREST Center proposals may be submitted by minority-serving institutions of higher education in the United States. This denotes institutions that have undergraduate enrollments of 50% or more (based on total student enrollment) of members of minority groups underrepresented among those holding advanced degrees in science and engineering fields: African Americans, Alaska Natives, American Indians, Hispanic Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Native Pacific Islanders. Eligibility as a minority-serving institution may be determined by reference to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) of the US Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/). Proposals are also invited from institutions of higher education that primarily serve populations of students with disabilities (https://www.nsf.gov/od/broadeningparticipation/nsf_frameworkforaction_0808.pdf). Support may be provided to partner institutions through subawards.

CREST partnership supplement proposals are invited from current CREST Center awardees.

CREST Postdoctoral Research Fellowship proposals are invited from individuals from active CREST Centers (http://www.crestweb.org). Only three (3) individuals per active CREST Center can submit a CREST-PRF application. Individuals can only submit one proposal per year (maximum 2 proposals per individual). Each candidate must identify one or more CREST Center sponsoring scientist(s) and the host CREST Center institution in the proposal. CREST Center applicants are required to inform the CREST Center Director and/or PIs of their intent to submit a CREST-PRF proposal. CREST Centers should ensure that they do not endorse more than 3 CREST-PRF proposals for each competition.

CREST Postdoctoral Research Fellowships are awards to individuals, and applications are submitted directly by applicants to NSF. To be eligible to submit a proposal to the CREST-PRF Program, an individual must, as of the full proposal target date:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident;
  • Have earned the doctoral degree, or expect to have earned the doctoral degree prior to the required start date of the fellowship;
  • Show proof of CREST Center funding as a graduate student for at least one year;
  • Not have worked for more than a total of 24 full-time-equivalent months in positions that require the doctoral degree;
  • May not have previously been a principal investigator or co-principal investigator of an NSF award (other than a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship);
  • Submit a project plan that falls within the purview of the NSF's CREST Center host institution's research priorities; and
  • Not have submitted concurrently the same project to another NSF program.

The proposal must include the following:

  1. A sponsoring CREST scientist(s) statement
  2. A letter(s) of support from the host institution (Department Chair and/or Dean)
  3. A letter of support from the CREST Center Director or CREST PI at the applicant's institution. Certification of eligibility must be included in the letter of support.
  4. A letter of support from the non-CREST Center sponsor (secondary mentor) only if additional funds are requested to conduct research at a non-CREST Center institution.

HBCU-RISE proposals are invited from Historically Black Colleges and Universities that offer doctoral degrees in science (including social, behavioral, and economic science), technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.

SBIR/STTR diversity collaborative supplement proposals are invited from current SBIR/STTR Phase II grantees and their CREST Center or HBCU-RISE institution partners.

Who May Serve as PI:

Principal Investigators for CREST Center, HBCU-RISE or SBIR/STTR awards must be employed by an institution eligible for a CREST Center, HBCU-RISE or SBIR/STTR, respectively.

CREST-PRF. Only doctoral recipients affiliated with a CREST Center may serve as Principal Investigator. Individuals must show proof of CREST Center funding as a graduate student for at least one year. Certification of eligibility must be included in the letter of support from the PI's CREST Center Director or CREST PI.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization:

Only one preliminary CREST Center proposal may be submitted per eligible institution. Full CREST Center proposals are to be submitted only when invited by NSF. An institution may have only one active CREST Center award, irrespective of focus area. Centers that have completed two prior, consecutive 5-year CREST Center awards may recompete in disciplinary areas that are significantly different from those of the previous award(s).

Only three (3) individuals per active CREST Center may submit a CREST-PRF application per competition. Only one individual can be awarded a CREST-PRF at an active CREST Center per year.

Only one HBCU-RISE proposal may be submitted per eligible institution. An institution may have only one active HBCU-RISE award.

For each active SBIR/STTR Phase II grant, only one SBIR/STTR collaboration with a CREST Center may be submitted. For each CREST center, only one SBIR/STTR collaboration can be active at any given time.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI:

Eligible individuals may be listed as the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on only one CREST Center or HBCU-RISE proposal. CREST-PRF applicants may submit only one fellowship application to the CREST program per year and may apply in no more than two successive years for CREST-PRF.

Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

  • Letters of Intent: Submission of Letters of Intent is required for CREST Centers & HBCU-RISE. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.
  • Preliminary Proposals: Submission of Preliminary Proposals is required. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.
  • Full Proposals:

    Full Proposals submitted via FastLane: NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) guidelines apply. The complete text of the PAPPG is available electronically on the NSF website at: https://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=pappg.

    • Full Proposals submitted via Grants.gov: NSF Grants.gov Application Guide: A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Grants.gov guidelines apply (Note: The NSF Grants.gov Application Guide is available on the Grants.gov website and on the NSF website at: https://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=grantsgovguide).

B. Budgetary Information

  • Cost Sharing Requirements:

    Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.

  • Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations:

    Not Applicable

  • Other Budgetary Limitations:

    Not Applicable