technology

Dear Colleague Letter: Supporting the Re-Entry of Women and Women Veterans in the STEM Workforce through NSF INCLUDES

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

NSF 19-038

February 8, 2019

Dear Colleague:

NSF will consider supplemental funding requests for traineeships and conference proposals that support efforts aimed at enhancing the science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) knowledge base, skillset, leadership and management capacities, and/or contributions to the STEM enterprise of women following a career break. Women veterans' entry or re-entry into the STEM workforce is of particular interest. NSF invites submission of supplemental funding requests to current NSF INCLUDES awards or other NSF-funded awards in the programs described below to support traineeships for undergraduate and graduate students after a career break. Supplements to support traineeships for women who are veterans and women who have interrupted their studies at the undergraduate level and want to enter or re-enter a STEM career are especially encouraged. Conference proposals should address research to enhance understanding of the process of entry and re-entry in STEM after a career break (e.g., factors associated with access, retention and inclusion) as well as related barriers and opportunities women face entering and re-entering the STEM workforce, especially in the technical fields.

In this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), a career break is defined as a period of at least one year resulting in the need for an individual to gain skills and experience to enter or re-enter the STEM workforce. Circumstances that may necessitate a career break include (but are not limited to): family care, military service, professional volunteerism (e.g., Teach for America), or child rearing. For traineeships, the onus will be on the proposer to justify the need for the traineeship.

To address the underrepresentation of women in STEM technical fields, traineeships in the applied sciences, skilled trades, and modern technologies are of particular interest. Applicable fields might include but are not limited to, advanced manufacturing, agriculture, computer and information science, energy, engineering, geospatial sciences, micro- and nano-technology, and safety and security. This DCL will not support traineeships for individuals who wish to pursue careers as health, veterinary, or medical technicians.

Collaborations with professional societies, national laboratories, field stations, NSF- funded centers, informal science centers and organizations, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations and academic partners (especially community and technical colleges and minority-serving institutions) are encouraged.

The overarching goal of NSF INCLUDES is to achieve significant impact at scale in transforming STEM education and workforce development by educating a diverse, STEM-capable workforce that includes talented individuals from all sectors of the Nation's population. This DCL seeks innovative approaches to better understand women's engagement in STEM by focusing on women's experience with re-entry to the STEM workforce. This DCL leverages the NSF INCLUDES National Network to expand the ranks of women in STEM, as well as research capacity and understanding of women's re-entry into the STEM workforce.

This special funding opportunity is partially funded by a generous gift from The Boeing Company as part of its Women Make Us Better and Women in Leadership Initiatives. Awards may also be co-funded by other NSF programs.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY

This DCL encourages submission of (1) traineeship supplemental funding requests and (2) conference proposals that are aligned with the tenets described above as well as the broader vision of NSF INCLUDES.

  1. Traineeship Supplements - The purpose of traineeships is to develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies required to pursue and succeed in a STEM career. Special emphasis should be placed on training and professional development, including significant mentorship and leadership development. Direct support could include tuition and fees for classes to support skillset development, and internships and research experiences designed to provide rigorous training. Women who are veterans and women who have interrupted their studies at the undergraduate or graduate level and want to enter or re-enter a STEM career are encouraged to apply.

    Recipients of traineeships must be U.S. citizens or nationals, or permanent residents.

  2. Conferences - Proposals for conferences or special convenings that lead to a better understanding of issues involving the entry or re-entry of women, in particular women veterans, to STEM careers after a break will be considered for support. Conferences could explore and discuss issues such as the current knowledge base about the experience of re-entry into STEM among women in general and women veterans in particular; how women veterans navigate STEM pathways to enter or re-enter the STEM workforce; and/or the unique challenges to working in STEM fields for women who have experienced a break in their career. Conferences and convenings should be outcomes-based, and a final report should include recommendations and a statement of the impacts of the event. Awardees should plan to publish conference proceedings, and otherwise widely disseminate the discussion and outcomes. Proposals that include participation by organizations involved in the NSF INCLUDES National Network are especially encouraged.

SUBMISSION AND REVIEW

Supplemental funding requests and conference proposals must be received by 5 p.m., submitter's local time, on April 15, 2019.

  1. Traineeship Supplements

    Funds may be used for salary or stipend, travel (relocation costs), tuition and fees, health insurance, and materials and supplies to support the trainee. The grantee is permitted to request indirect costs in accordance with the negotiated rate in effect at the time of the award. If requesting support for more than one trainee, the individual requests may be combined into one supplemental funding request.

    Each supplemental funding request must include "NSF INCLUDES DCL" in the first sentence of the summary section of the request for supplemental funding along with the following components for each trainee:

    1. A two-page summary that describes the traineeship. The request must include a concise statement describing how the activities will prepare the trainee to enter or re-enter the STEM workforce.
    2. A resume of the proposed trainee (up to two pages) that contains (but not limited to) the following information:
      1. educational preparation;
      2. professional employment history; and
      3. other information relevant to the proposed traineeship.
    3. A letter from the proposed mentor describing the mentoring and training that will be provided to the trainee during the period of support.
    4. A budget and budget justification.

      The amount requested for supplemental support must be less than 20% of the original award amount, with total costs not to exceed $150,000. Funding is dependent on the availability of funds. Supplemental funding requests should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the guidance in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), Chapter VI.E.4.

      Principal Investigators with current NSF INCLUDES awards or current awards in the programs listed below are eligible to apply for traineeship supplements through this DCL:

    For more information about the programs listed above, please consult with the point of contact for the program of interest denoted on the program webpage.

    Eligible Principal Investigator(s) of NSF awards should contact their cognizant Program Director(s)AND NSF INCLUDES via email atnsfincludes [at] nsf [dot] gov (nsfincludes [at] nsf [dot] gov) to discuss their request for supplemental support by March 29, 2019.

    The proposals will be reviewed internally by NSF Program Officers. All supplements are subject to (a) the availability of funds, and (b) review of the quality of the supplemental funding request.

  2. Conferences

    Conference proposals are new proposals and not requests for supplemental funding to existing NSF awards.

    Conference proposals will be funded for up to 2 years and a $250,000 maximum.

    They should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the guidance in PAPPG Chapter II.E.7, designating HRD -NSF INCLUDES (032Y) as the cognizant program.

    The "Conference" proposal type should be selected in the proposal preparation module in FastLane or Grants.gov and include "NSF INCLUDES DCL" in the title and first sentence of the project summary of the proposal.

    Conference proposals will be reviewed by a panel of external experts and are subject to the availability of funds.

    The NSF Advanced Technological Education Program (ATE) is especially interested in providing partial support for strong, innovative conference proposals submitted to NSF INCLUDES through this DCL that align with the goals of the ATE program and the tenets of this DCL.

    Interested proposers should contact NSF INCLUDES via email at nsfincludes [at] nsf [dot] gov by March 29, 2019 to discuss their conference idea.

Dear Colleague Letter: STEM Education for the Future

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Read DCL NSF 18-084 Online

Dear Colleagues:

NSF invites proposals to solve educational challenges created by the technology revolution. To effectively respond to many of the problems facing our nation, new scientific advances are needed, as defined in the Big Ideas for Future NSF Investments. Achieving these advances will require changes in what people learn and how they learn it. Through this STEM Education for the Future Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), existing NSF education and workforce development programs encourage innovative proposals to prepare scientists and engineers for work in new contexts created by technology and big data.

Specifically, through this DCL, NSF aims to support STEM educational research and development projects whose results can enable our country to: better prepare its scientific and technical workforce for the future; use technological innovations effectively for education; advance the frontiers of science; and adapt to both new work environments and new education pathways needed to prepare students at all levels for those environments.

Technology, Computation, and Big Data are driving changes to daily life. Computing, sensing, data storage, data access, communication, and hardware technologies continue to change our lives and work. These technologies produce unprecedented volumes of data and vast interconnectivity capabilities, such as data provided by ubiquitous sensing and the Internet of Things. Personal, behavioral, transactional, and environmental data in a myriad of formats (numerical, image, audio, and others) are available at ever greater speeds, propelling innovations such as artificial intelligence-aided automation. Such automation in the home, office, and classroom also challenges long-standing expectations about privacy, security, and the veracity of the underlying data

Although it is expected that technology, computation, and big data will have positive impacts on the human condition, the world still faces persistent societal, cultural, and economic challenges, e.g., hunger, poverty, our dynamic Earth, and energy security. Moreover, we must continue work to ensure equitable access to precisely those technologies that give rise to these changes. Equally important is the challenge of ensuring equitable access to high quality education, which leads directly to questions important to the NSF: How do these new technologies change the way we learn and do science, math, and engineering? How do we navigate such change? How do we use technological innovations to ensure full participation of all groups in the STEM workforce?

To answer these questions related to learning, researchers will need to cross disciplines, define the potential impact of technologies, and develop new technical competencies. Furthermore, all scientific and technical workers will need new knowledge and skills so they can perform new tasks or perform current tasks with new tools.

This DCL seeks proposals related to harnessing the data revolution and the future of work at the human-technology frontier. This DCL encourages educational research and development proposals that are original, creative, and transformative, and that can help the nation educate the STEM workforce of the future, in contexts of:

All proposals responding to this DCL should address education issues related to FW-HTF, HDR, or to both. Proposals can also include activities that are relevant to other NSF Big Ideas.

This DCL will support three categories of proposals:

  1. Proposals focused on educational transformation: These proposals will leverage technology, computation and/or big data to develop, implement, and analyze educational interventions designed to prepare a diverse workforce, researchers, and innovators of the future. Proposals that explore how students learn to integrate knowledge across disciplines to solve complex problems fall into this category.
  2. Proposals focused on the science of teaching and learning: These proposals will leverage technology, computation and/or big data to develop, implement, and analyze new tools for assessing and evaluating convergent education strategies that aim to promote student learning at all levels.
  3. Planning grants, Research Coordination Networks, Conference Proposals: These proposals will create communities of STEM educators to address convergent curriculum and pedagogical challenges across disciplinary boundaries brought about by the human-technology frontier, the data revolution, or both.

This DCL emphasizes proposals that cross departmental and disciplinary boundaries. This DCL encourages original proposals for curricular innovations that cross boundaries, so that students gain the tools and knowledge needed to thrive in the technology revolution and become the creators/innovators of the future.

This DCL encourages proposals that reflect a coordinated effort from interdisciplinary research teams of at least two PIs from different disciplines. Such teams can make learning a convergence experience and accomplish learning goals that are not otherwise achievable. Examples include, but are not limited to: computational skills in an application area such as genetics; automation and sensing in natural and manufactured environments; calculus, modeling and simulation of physical contexts and objects; art, psychology, conceptual design and mechanical design for better product development; or sociology and earth sciences to address adaptation to our environment. Proposals that use convergence approaches to instill the development of needed non-technical abilities for the 21st century are also appropriate, including ones that focus on development of teamwork, higher level thinking, problem solving, creativity, adaptability, and the ability to communicate across disciplinary boundaries.

In summary, competitive proposals will propose an approach that reflects convergence in education and human resource development, using technology and data beyond disciplinary boundaries to create student outcomes that will benefit society.

Responding to the STEM Education for the Future DCL
Proposals responding to this DCL should be submitted by the due date of the applicable funding opportunities listed below.

To determine whether a research topic is within the scope of this DCL, principal investigators are strongly encouraged to contact the cognizant NSF Program Officer(s) of the participating program(s) to which they plan to submit their proposal. These programs include:

Program Program Link and
Solicitation
Due dates
EHR Accelerating Discovery:
Educating the Future STEM
Workforce (AD)
AD (PD 18-1998) April 2, 2018 - January 16, 2019
DUE Improving Undergraduate
STEM Education: Education and
Human Resources [i]
IUSE: EHR (NSF 17-590) Accepted anytime (Exploration and
Development Tier) Dec 11, 2018 (Development and
Implementation Tier)
DUE Advanced Technological
Education [ii]
ATE (NSF 17-568) October 4, 2018
DGE Innovations in Graduate
Education [iii]
IGE (NSF 17-585) September 27, 2018
HRD Historically Black Colleges
and Universities -
Undergraduate Program [iv]
HBCU-UP (NSF 18-522) See solicitation
HRD Tribal Colleges and
Universities Program [v]
TCUP (NSF 16-531) See solicitation
HRD/DUE Improving Undergraduate
STEM Education: Hispanic-
Serving Institutions (HSI Program) [vi]
HSI See program page
DRL Innovative Technology
Experiences for Students and
Teachers [vii]
ITEST (NSF 17-565)

 

August 8, 2018
DRL Advancing Informal STEM
Learning[viii]
AISL (NSF 17-573) November 7, 2018
BIO/EHR Research Coordination
Networks in Undergraduate
Biology Education [ix]
RCN-UBE (NSF 18-510) January 22, 2019
EEC Research in the Formation
of Engineers[x]
RFE (NSF 17-514) February 28, 2019
GEO Ocean Education Program [xi] OCE Contact Elizabeth Rom,
jmeriwet [at] nsf [dot] gov
GEO Polar Special Initiatives
Program [xii]

OPP

Contact Elizabeth Rom,
jmeriwet [at] nsf [dot] gov

To ensure proper consideration, principal investigators must indicate the relevant Big Idea(s) in the title, the overview statement of the Project Summary, and the Project Description. For example, the title of a proposal about the Future of Work at the Human Technology Frontier and Rules of Life should begin with "FW-HTF/RoL" and a proposal addressing educational challenges relevant to Harnessing the Data Revolution should precede its title with "HDR." Table 1 lists the NSF Big Ideas and designated acronyms. In summary, proposals responding to this DCL:

  1. Should focus on education and/or workforce development in the context of the Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier, Harnessing the Data Revolution, or both.
  2. May intersect with additional Big Ideas for Future NSF Investment.
  3. Should include PIs from different disciplines.
  4. Must be submitted to one of the programs listed in this DCL.
  5. Must comply with the relevant program/solicitation-specific requirements.
  6. Must present novel ideas or approaches (high risk/high reward proposals are encouraged).
  7. Must have titles that adhere to the naming convention noted above.

 

Table 1. NSF's Six Research Big Ideas for Future NSF Investment

The Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier FW-HTF
Harnessing the Data Revolution HDR
Understanding the Rules of Life: Predicting Phenotype RoL
Navigating the New Arctic NNA
Windows on the Universe: The Era of Multi-Messenger Astrophysics MMA
The Quantum Leap: Leading the Next Quantum Revolution QL

Sincerely,

William (Jim) Lewis
Assistant Director (Acting)
Directorate for Education & Human Resources

Joanne S. Tornow
Assistant Director (Acting)
Directorate for Biological Sciences

Dawn M. Tilbury
Assistant Director
Directorate for Engineering

William E. Easterling
Assistant Director
Directorate for Geosciences

___________________________________________

 

[i]The IUSE: EHR program supports projects that have the potential to improve student learning in STEM through development of new curricular materials and methods of instruction, and development of new assessment tools to measure student learning in science and engineering classrooms.

[ii]The Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program focuses on the education of technicians for the high-technology fields that drive our nation's economy. The program involves partnerships between academic institutions and industry to promote improvement in the education of science and engineering technicians at the undergraduate and secondary school levels. The ATE program supports curriculum development; professional development of college faculty and secondary school teachers; career pathways; and other activities.

[iii]The IGE program is designed to encourage the development and implementation of bold, new, and potentially transformative approaches to STEM graduate education and training. IGE projects pilot, test, and validate novel approaches and generate the knowledge required to add to our understanding of graduate student learning, thereby allowing others to adapt/adopt successful, evidence-based approaches.

[iv]HBCU-UP is committed to enhancing the quality of undergraduate STEM education and research at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) as a means to broaden participation in the nation's STEM workforce. The HRD HBCU-UP tracks realize this purpose by providing awards to develop, implement, and study innovative approaches for making dramatic improvements in the preparation and success of HBCU undergraduate students so that they may participate successfully in graduate programs and/or careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

[v]The Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP) provides awards to Tribal Colleges and Universities, Alaska Native-serving institutions, and Native Hawaiian-serving institutions to promote high quality science (including sociology, psychology, anthropology, economics, statistics, and other social and behavioral sciences as well as natural sciences and education disciplines), technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, research, and outreach. Support is available to TCUP-eligible institutions.

[vi]The HSI Program seeks to enhance the quality of undergraduate STEM education at HSIs and to increase retention and graduation rates of undergraduate students pursuing degrees in STEM fields at HSIs. In addition, the HSI Program seeks to build capacity at HSIs that typically do not receive high levels of NSF grant funding.

[vii]ITEST is a research and development program that supports projects to promote PreK-12 student interests and capacities to participate in the STEM and information and communications technology (ICT) workforce of the future

[vii]The AISL program seeks to advance new approaches to and evidence-based understanding of the design and development of STEM learning opportunities for the public in informal environments; provide multiple pathways for broadening access to and engagement in STEM learning experiences; advance innovative research on and assessment of STEM learning in informal environments; and engage the public of all ages in learning STEM in informal environments.

[ix]The goal of the RCN program is to advance a field or create new directions in research or education by supporting groups of investigators to communicate and coordinate their research, training, and educational activities across disciplinary, organizational, geographic, and international boundaries. The RCN-UBE program originated as a unique RCN track to "catalyze positive changes in biology undergraduate education" (NSF 08-035) and is now supported by the collaborative efforts of the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) and the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR). It has been responsive to the national movement to revolutionize undergraduate learning and teaching in the biological sciences. RCN-UBE accepts workshop proposals, incubator proposals, and full RCN proposals in undergraduate biology education.

[x]The RFE program advances research about the underlying processes and mechanisms involved in the formation of engineers by deepening our fundamental understanding of how professional formation is or can be accomplished.

[xi]The OCE Education program supports efforts to integrate ocean research and education. In particular, the program is interested in receiving proposals related to the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI).

[xii]Polar Special Initiatives Program welcomes proposals related to the training of students with "Big Data" tools focusing on polar regions' satellite imagery, digital elevation maps, "3D virtual" ice sheets dynamics and/or proposals related to Navigating the New Arctic.

Gates Foundation Grant Opportunities

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Global Challenges: Solving global health and development problems for those most in need

Dear Colleague,

We are excited to share the news about a particularly diverse set of grant opportunities across Grand Challenges initiatives open now from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other Grand Challenges funders. These opportunities are described in a blog and listed below.

Grand Challenges Explorations Grant Opportunities

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is inviting proposals for the next round of Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) for the following three challenges (application deadline is May 2, 2018):

  1. Innovations in Immunization Data Management, Use, and Improved Process Efficiency;
  2. Affordable, Accessible, and Appealing: The Next Generation of Nutrition;
  3. Tools and Technologies for Broad-Scale Disease Surveillance of Crop Plants in Low-Income Countries

GCE grants have already been awarded to more than 1300 researchers in more than 65 countries. Initial grants are for USD $100,000 and successful projects are eligible to receive follow-on funding of up to USD $1 million. Proposals are solicited twice a year for an expanding set of global health and development challenges. Applications are only two pages, and no preliminary data is required. Applicants can be at any experience level; in any discipline; and from any type of organization, including colleges and universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-profit organizations and for-profit companies.

Grand Challenges Grant Opportunities

  1. Grand Challenges: Campylobacter spp. Transmission Dynamics in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. Application deadline is May 2, 2018.
  2. Grand Challenges Explorations – Brazil: Data Science Approaches to Improve Maternal and Child Health in Brazil. Application deadline is May 2, 2018.
  3. Grand Challenges Explorations – India (Round 4). Application deadline is March 31, 2018.
  4. Misk Grand Challenges: Activating Global Citizenship: Building the Next Generation of Global Citizens for the Global Goals. Application deadline is May 2, 2018.
  5. Misk Grand Challenges: Reinventing Teaching and School Leadership: Preparing the Youth with the 21st Century Skills Needed for a Knowledge Economy. Application deadline is May 2, 2018.
  6. Grand Challenges for Development: Creating Hope in Conflict: A Humanitarian Grand Challenge. Application deadline is April 12, 2018.

Blog series on innovation: Trevor Mundel, the Gates Foundation’s President of Global Health, recently published two new blogs in his series on innovation, one on metabolic markers for gestational age assessment and one on surveying nutrient levels in breastmilk.

We look forward to receiving innovative ideas from around the world on the open grant opportunities listed above. If you have a great idea, please apply. If you know someone else who has a great idea, please forward this message. And we invite you to explore an interactive world map of ideas funded to date across the global Grand Challenges network.

Thank you for your commitment to solving the world's greatest health and development challenges.

The Grand Challenges Team

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives.

Visit our site

https://gcgh.grandchallenges.org/

NASA-Missouri Space Grant Consortium -- 2018 Community and Technical College Funding Opportunity

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The NASA Missouri Space Grant Consortium is accepting proposals to extend the Consortium’s capabilities and enhance collaborations with Missouri Community and Technical Colleges. The Consortium expects to award a total of approximately $42,500 under this solicitation for proposals with anticipated funding levels of up to $7,500 per proposal. Note that a one-to-one cost share match is required for all funds awarded as a result of this solicitation. The Missouri Space Grant Office reserves the right to partially fund proposals if deemed appropriate.

The main mission of the Consortium is to maintain and enhance, through the State's research universities and corporate partners, the Nation’s workforce capabilities in aerospace and space related science, engineering, and technology; and to aid in the dissemination of NASA related information to students, faculty, researchers, and the general public. The primary goal of the Consortium is to inspire, motivate, recruit, educate, and train students to be competent researchers at all academic levels in order to help meet Missouri’s and NASA’s need for skilled, knowledgeable, diverse, and high-performing professional scientists, engineers, technologists, and educators specializing in the fields of interest to NASA.

Eligibility

Eligibility is limited to accredited Community and Technical Colleges in Missouri.

Pertinent Dates

Date of Announcement: February 5th, 2018

       Proposal Due Date: March 16th, 2018

Period of Performance

January 1st, 2018 – December 31st, 2018

 

Download the Announcement of Proposal Guidelines HERE

Download the Budget Form to be submitted with the Proposal HERE

FAQs for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

NSF 18-016

HOW APPROPRIATE IS NSF SBIR/STTR FUNDING FOR A COMPANY/PROJECT?

  1. What are SBIR and STTR? What are the differences and which is more appropriate for my project?
  2. What are the funding priorities for NSF SBIR/STTR?
  3. What is the best way to gauge whether or not a research and development (R&D) project is innovative and technically challenging enough to be funded by the NSF SBIR/STTR program?
  4. What activities and expenses are appropriate to be funded on a Phase I NSF SBIR/STTR project? What activities and expenses are not permitted?
  5. Can NSF SBIR/STTR fund work on a product that has already been developed? Can the program fund small businesses to execute their business plan?
  6. Must Phase I NSF SBIR/STTR proposers submit preliminary data as part of the proposal?
  7. Are new small businesses (start-up companies) appropriate candidates for the NSF SBIR/STTR program?
  8. Are first-time entrepreneurs appropriate candidates to participate in the NSF SBIR/STTR program?
  9. What is the expected outcome (deliverable) of a Phase I project?
  10. Is there a "fast-track" option to skip to Phase II? Is there an option to apply for Phase I and Phase II simultaneously?
  11. Are examples available of recently-funded NSF SBIR/STTR Phase I proposals and/or awards?
  12. May a small business submit multiple Phase I proposals during the same submission cycle?
  13. What are the chances of receiving an NSF Phase I SBIR/STTR award?
  14. Can NSF SBIR/STTR fund work on products whose target customers will be in the defense sector, or whose customers or end users are government entities?
  15. Both NSF and NIH fund biomedical/health projects through the SBIR/STTR program. How are the programs different? Can a small business apply to both programs?
  16. May a small business submit identical or overlapping proposals to NSF SBIR/STTR and another federal agency?
  17. If a proposing small business elects to partner with a university or research institute as part of an STTR Phase I proposal, must the partner also be part of that Phase II proposal?
  18. What options are available for pre-submission feedback, and what should be expected from this feedback?
  19. What other reasons are there for a small business apply to NSF SBIR/STTR?

ELIGIBILITY

  1. Must the proposing legal entity be formed at the time of the Phase I proposal submission?
  2. Does NSF SBIR/STTR support non-U.S. companies or work that is performed abroad?
  3. What defines the Principal Investigator (PI) role on an NSF SBIR/STTR Phase I grant? What are the responsibilities of the PI? Does the PI need to have a PhD? Can the PI be a graduate student?
  4. May a faculty member at a college or university serve as the Principal Investigator on an NSF SBIR/STTR project?

PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND PROPOSAL SUBMISSION VIA FASTLANE (NSF'S ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION SYSTEM)

  1. When will the next SBIR/STTR solicitation be published?
  2. What are the first steps that a first-time proposer to the NSF SBIR/STTR program should take?
  3. What is the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG)? Some guidelines in the NSF PAPPG are not spelled out in the NSF SBIR/STTR Phase I solicitation or conflict with information in the solicitation. Which policy document should I follow?
  4. What are the rules or restrictions regarding contact with NSF SBIR/STTR Program Directors? Must a small business form a working relationship with a Program Director before submitting a proposal?
  5. Is help available for navigating FastLane or troubleshooting proposal submission problems?
  6. What if there are changes or updates after a proposal is submitted (but before the deadline)? Does NSF SBIR/STTR review proposal materials as soon as they are submitted?
  7. What rules must be followed to ensure that a proposal passes the initial administrative review for completeness and continues on to the peer review process?
  8. If the System for Award Management (SAM) indicates that it will take several weeks for a proposing business's registration to be complete, what should the business do?
  9. How does a proposer know that he or she has successfully submitted an NSF SBIR/STTR Phase I proposal?
  10. How can proposers check on the status of a Phase I SBIR/STTR proposal after it has been submitted?

PROPOSAL BUDGET PREPARATION

  1. What is a reasonable salary for the PI and other personnel on the project?
  2. Can I list a Co-PI on an NSF SBIR/STTR proposal?
  3. How should indirect costs be structured for a Phase I SBIR/STTR project if the proposing small business does not have an established indirect cost rate?
  4. Can a person be listed on the budget as a subawardee (or consultant) and also on the main budget?
  5. May I budget a subaward to a federal lab or Federally-Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC)?
  6. What types of costs can be requested on a subaward budget?
  7. May proposers submit a proposal with more than one subaward (sub-budget?)
  8. How does NSF define a project participant as a consultant (line G.3 of the budget)?
  9. What are the budget requirements for consultants?
  10. If other R&D will be performed by the proposing small business, in parallel to the NSF SBIR/STTR-funded research, should those efforts be described in the proposal?
  11. How much of the NSF-funded research and development must be performed by the awardee? (In Phase I and Phase II)?

PROPOSAL REVIEW

  1. What criteria are used to evaluate NSF SBIR/STTR proposals?
  2. Who evaluates NSF SBIR/STTR proposals? What does the review process entail?
  3. How does NSF manage confidentiality and conflicts of interest during the peer review process? What can proposers do to ensure that their proprietary information is kept safe?
  4. How important are letters of support? What does a strong letter of support contain?
  5. Some NSF SBIR/STTR companies build on basic research that was also funded by the NSF. Are companies that are proposing projects that are NOT related to NSF or any federal funding at a disadvantage?
  6. When does NSF release proposal decisions? What feedback is provided?
  7. What if the company's R&D goals, business model, team, or vision change during the Phase I review period?
  8. How does the NSF weigh the two major SBIR/STTR review criteria, Intellectual Merit and Broader/Commercial Impacts, during the review process?

PHASE I AWARD AND BEYOND

  1. What are the conditions of an NSF Phase I SBIR/STTR award?
  2. What if there are changes to the business model or R&D strategy of a small business during the Phase I NSF SBIR/STTR project?
  3. Does NSF SBIR/STTR have a Phase III?

HOW APPROPRIATE IS NSF SBIR/STTR FUNDING FOR A COMPANY/PROJECT?

  1. What are SBIR and STTR? What are the differences and which is more appropriate for my project?

    The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are both Congressionally-mandated research and development (R&D) funding programs intended to support small businesses focused on bringing innovative technology to the marketplace. At NSF, both programs have identical philosophies, review criteria, processes, and award dollar amounts, and the two programs have similar success rates. The difference between SBIR and STTR programs at NSF is that small businesses which apply to the STTR program are required to partner with a not-for-profit research institution in their proposal. Such a partnership is optional for SBIR proposals.

    We recommend that potential applicants choose between these programs by determining which set of budget requirements (see Question 44) is more appropriate for their envisioned R&D effort.

  2. What are the funding priorities for NSF SBIR/STTR?

    The NSF SBIR/STTR portfolio is divided into broad technology areas, which are listed here: https://seedfund.nsf.gov/portfolio/. However, this list is NOT exhaustive. A small business has the freedom to pursue any technology and market area (with the exception of drug development). NSF SBIR/STTR proposal review does NOT take into account how well a proposal fits into a topic. Rather, Phase I proposals are evaluated based on the merit review criteria listed here: https://seedfund.nsf.gov/resources/review/peer-review/. The program seeks to support innovative, high-risk and high-impact R&D projects with a strong case made for commercialization.

  3. What is the best way to gauge whether or not a research and development (R&D) project is innovative and technically challenging enough to be funded by the NSF SBIR/STTR program?

    NSF SBIR/STTR seeks to fund R&D that involves a high degree of technical risk. It is a good sign if the R&D has never been attempted and/or successfully done before or is attempting to overcome significant technical hurdles. Innovation takes different forms in different fields. If this is a significant question that will determine whether or not you will submit a proposal, the best approach is to send an Executive Summary to an NSF SBIR/STTR Program Director (see Question 18) and specifically ask for guidance as to whether or not the project seems to meet the technical merit review criteria.

  4. What activities and expenses are appropriate to be funded on a Phase I NSF SBIR/STTR project? What activities and expenses are not permitted?

    NSF SBIR/STTR funding is for research and development (R&D) only. Generally, NSF SBIR/STTR funding can be used for salary and wages for company employees, associated fringe benefits, materials and supplies, and a number of other direct costs needed to carry out the proposed R&D. As appropriate, NSF SBIR/STTR projects may also fund consultants to the project and subawards to partner institutions. Some types of indirect costs that are necessary for the small business to carry out the project are also appropriate.

    NSF SBIR/STTR Phase I funds cannot be used for business development, marketing and sales, production, patent costs, or any activity unrelated to the research and development of your technology (either as direct or indirect costs). Equipment purchases are not permitted on a Phase I award but are permitted in Phase II. Please consult the solicitation for more information.

  5. Can NSF SBIR/STTR fund work on a product that has already been developed? Can the program fund small businesses to execute their business plan?

    NSF SBIR/STTR funding is for R&D only. The aim of a Phase I project should be to demonstrate the technical feasibility of the proposed innovation and thereby bring the innovation closer to commercialization. If the idea has been already proven to be technically feasible and capital is required simply to perform analytical testing on the product, execute the business plan, and/or begin manufacturing, the project is NOT a good candidate for NSF Phase I SBIR/STTR funding. Non-incremental innovations to an existing product might be appropriate if the innovation will significantly enhance commercial outcomes and if the small business must undertake R&D with a great degree of technical risk in order to achieve those outcomes. Projects that focus on incremental improvements on existing products will not be funded.

  6. Must Phase I NSF SBIR/STTR proposers submit preliminary data as part of the proposal?

    Preliminary data are not required for NSF SBIR/STTR Phase I proposals. However, in many cases, preliminary data can strengthen the case that the small business could demonstrate technical feasibility with the proposed Phase I research and development.

  7. Are new small businesses (start-up companies) appropriate candidates for the NSF SBIR/STTR program?

    Yes. NSF encourages proposals from a diversity of small businesses. In fact, most NSF SBIR/STTR Phase I awards are made to companies that are newly formed and very small. Companies with no current revenues and/or minimal history of operations are encouraged to apply. However, those small businesses must show that, if NSF SBIR/STTR funding is awarded, they have a clear plan to quickly stand up the company operations and bring together a team that is capable of carrying out the proposed Phase I project. Conversely, companies with significant history will be evaluated based on their track record of prior technology development and commercialization.

  8. Are first-time entrepreneurs appropriate candidates to participate in the NSF SBIR/STTR program?

    NSF encourages proposals from a diversity of entrepreneurs - new and seasoned. What is most important is that the team is committed to bringing the technological innovation to market. The lack of a commercialization track record does not disadvantage a team, as long as the proposers can show a path to successful commercial outcomes. Many NSF SBIR/STTR grantees are first-time entrepreneurs.

  9. What is the expected outcome (deliverable) of a Phase I project?

    The aim of the Phase I project should be to demonstrate the technical feasibility of the proposed innovation and thereby bring the innovation closer to commercialization. Typically, an expected outcome of a Phase I project is not a product that is fully ready for market launch. The R&D outcomes that can best demonstrate technical feasibility vary widely based on the technology area and the particulars of the project.

    The required deliverable at the end of an SBIR Phase I grant is a report that summarizes the project's technical accomplishments. Phase I outcomes take many forms depending on the technology area and stage of the research. Outcomes could be proof-of-concept data, a prototype, analytical/testing results of the product under development, etc.

    The Phase I R&D work is intended have high technical risk, therefore, it is understood that not all projects will achieve the desired technical outcomes. However, projects that are successful are in a better position to obtain follow-on funding, including an NSF SBIR/STTR Phase II grant. This is because a Phase I project should aim to de-risk the technical aspect or aspects of the innovation that are most important to future commercial success.

  10. Is there a "fast-track" option to skip to Phase II? Is there an option to apply for Phase I and Phase II simultaneously?

    Small businesses must receive a Phase I award before applying for a Phase II award at NSF.

  11. Are examples available of recently-funded NSF SBIR/STTR Phase I proposals and/or awards?

    Companies and projects funded by NSF SBIR/STTR can be explored on the portfolio page here: https://seedfund.nsf.gov/portfolio/. Company names and project titles and abstracts for recently funded Phase I awards in each topic area are provided on the topic webpages that are linked to from this page: https://seedfund.nsf.gov/awardees/phase-1/. NSF SBIR/STTR does not provide sample proposals.

  12. May a small business submit multiple Phase I proposals during the same submission cycle?

    No. A given small business may only submit ONE proposal to the same deadline (note that each deadline generally includes both an SBIR and an STTR solicitation). This requirement is intended to allow applicants to focus on submitting one strong proposal that best aligns with the commercial goals of their business and the NSF SBIR/STTR review criteria.

  13. What are the chances of receiving an NSF Phase I SBIR/STTR award?

    In fiscal year 2016, the Phase I funding rate was 15% for SBIR and 19% for STTR. Phase II funding rates typically vary between 30% and 55%. Although funding rate is a common question, generally, these data should not be relied upon too heavily in making a decision whether or not to submit a proposal. The possibility of receiving an award increases significantly with the fit of the project for the program and quality of the project and commercial opportunity proposed. Rather than focus on funding rate, proposers are encouraged to ensure that NSF SBIR/STTR is a good fit for their needs and that the proposed project aligns well with the program goals.

  14. Can NSF SBIR/STTR fund work on products whose target customers will be in the defense sector, or whose customers or end users are government entities?

    NSF SBIR/STTR does not dictate which markets or customers small businesses may serve. However, if an intended customer for the solution developed under the SBIR/STTR grant will be the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), proposers should consider applying through the SBIR/STTR programs at those respective agencies (DOD - http://www.acq.osd.mil/osbp/sbir/; DHS - http://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/sbir; NASA - https://sbir.nasa.gov/). Those agencies, and some others, focus on the acquisition of solutions developed under the SBIR/STTR program. The submission of an identical or overlapping proposal to both NSF and another agency is possible (see Question 16), if a project seems like it could be appropriate for both NSF and another agency.

  15. Both NSF and NIH fund biomedical/health projects through the SBIR/STTR program. How are the programs different? Can a small business apply to both programs?

    Generally, NSF SBIR/STTR funding is not aimed at supporting clinical trials, the clinical validation of information technologies or medical devices, or studies that are performed primarily for regulatory purposes. Limited studies with human subjects may be acceptable to the extent that they are performed in support of feasibility, proof-of-concept studies of early-stage technologies.

    More specific guidance on what is funded through NSF SBIR/STTR in the biomedical and biological technologies spaces can be found on the topic pages for Smart Health (https://seedfund.nsf.gov/portfolio/#smart-health-sh) and Biomedical Technologies (https://seedfund.nsf.gov/portfolio/#biomedical-technologies-bm) and Biological Technologies (https://seedfund.nsf.gov/portfolio/#biological-technologies-bt). These topics and subtopics are NOT restrictive but give a general sense of the types of proposals solicited.

    Another way to explore what is typically funded under NIH and/or NSF is via the Award Search at SBIR.gov, which reports on all SBIR/STTR awards, regardless of the agency under which it was funded.

    Finally, the submission of an identical or overlapping proposal to both NSF and NIH SBIR/STTR is possible (see Question 16). If more guidance is necessary to decide whether or not to submit a proposal, proposers are encouraged to contact the appropriate NSF SBIR/STTR Program Director (see Question 18).

  16. May a small business submit identical or overlapping proposals to NSF SBIR/STTR and another federal agency?

    Proposers may submit overlapping proposals to different agencies, but NSF will not make awards that duplicate research funded by, or anticipated to be funded by, other agencies. It is very important to note potential overlap on the cover page of the NSF proposal. If a proposer fails to disclose that another Federal Agency has received this proposal (or an equivalent or overlapping proposal) on the proposal cover page, the proposer could be liable for administrative, civil, or criminal sanctions.

    If a proposal is selected for award by NSF and another agency, the cognizant agencies will work together to determine which agency will fund the work. Sometimes, the project scope and/or budgets will be adjusted if both projects will be funded in order to ensure that no portion of the work is double-funded. However, NSF SBIR/STTR will not co-fund a single proposal with any other agency.

  17. If a proposing small business elects to partner with a university or research institute as part of an STTR Phase I proposal, must the partner also be part of that Phase II proposal?

    First, proposing small businesses are welcome to partner with a university or research institute for SBIR, not just STTR. See Question 51 or the solicitation for budget requirements that may help determine which program is more appropriate.

    For Phase II STTR, proposing small businesses must have a research partner, similar to Phase I. However, the research partner does not have to be the same partner that was a subawardee on the Phase I STTR effort.

    If a Phase I STTR awardee does not wish to work with a research partner for Phase II, they may submit a Phase II proposal to the NSF SBIR program instead.

  18. What options are available for pre-submission feedback, and what should be expected from this feedback?

    Sometimes, a small business reviews the information on the NSF SBIR/STTR website and in the current solicitation and is able to determine whether or not to submit a Phase I proposal. Small businesses with questions or a need for more advice about whether to submit may complete our short executive summary form - a program director will get back to you shortly. The summary should discuss: the company and team; the market opportunity, value proposition, and customers; the technology/innovation; the competition; and the key technology risks to be addressed by the project. This summary should not include highly proprietary information (though its contents will not be shared outside NSF). The Program Directors will be able to answer questions and provide feedback to help determine whether or not the project is a good fit.

  19. What other reasons are there for a small business apply to NSF SBIR/STTR?

    Like applying for any funding, be it angel investment, venture funding, state funding, etc., applying for NSF SBIR/STTR funding takes time and energy. However, there are significant benefits beyond the equity-free R&D funding:

    • Valuable feedback from technical experts and commercial reviewers for every proposal received through NSF's merit review process. Even proposers who do not receive a Phase I award can benefit from the process. All applicants receive detailed feedback from NSF's expert technical and commercial reviewers, and this information may positively impact the direction of the technology development as well as the company business model.
    • A "stamp of approval" when NSF has funded a Phase I or Phase II project as NSF's recognized peer review process gives confidence to investors and partners as to the novelty and innovation of the underlying technology and technical approach.
    • Follow-on funding: Only Phase I awardees may apply for a Phase II award, which is up to $750,000. Once a small business has obtained a Phase II award, it is eligible to apply for additional awards that could approach $1.5 million in total funding, including some of the supplemental opportunities available to Phase II awardees.
    • Mentoring and training provided by the Program Directors and program workshops in Phase I and Phase II add value above and beyond the R&D funding.
    • Access to a network of startups and small businesses.

ELIGIBILITY

  1. Must the proposing legal entity be formed at the time of the Phase I proposal submission?

    The proposing small business should be a legal entity at the time of proposal submission. A legal entity is required to complete all of the necessary registrations. Phase I applicant small businesses, however, need not have commenced company operations at the time of submission.

  2. Does NSF SBIR/STTR support non-U.S. companies or work that is performed abroad?

    SBIR/STTR eligibility guidelines state that the majority (more than 50%) of a small business' equity (e.g. stock) must be directly owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Additionally, NSF SBIR/STTR only supports work that is performed in the U.S. (including work performed by subawardees and consultants).

  3. What defines the Principal Investigator (PI) role on an NSF SBIR/STTR Phase I grant? What are the responsibilities of the PI? Does the PI need to have a PhD? Can the PI be a graduate student?

    The PI is often the technical lead on the project. However, another leader on the project may be named as PI as long as he or she is capable of tracking and communicating technical progress on the award. The PI is responsible for communicating with the cognizant Program Director and staff during the course of the award and monitors the performance of the project to assure adherence to performance goals, time schedules or other requirements as appropriate to the project or the terms of the grant. The PI is also responsible for submitting required reports to the NSF.

    The PI is NOT required to have a PhD or any other degree. Graduate students and post-doctoral researchers are eligible to be the PI on an NSF SBIR/STTR Phase I proposal. Many PIs have no graduate training.

    However, the PI MUST be more than 50 percent legally employed by the proposing small business by the time of the award and for the entire duration of the Phase I project. NSF normally considers a full time work week to be 40 hours and considers employment elsewhere of greater than 19.6 hours per week to be in conflict with this requirement. Additionally, anything that prevents an individual from meeting this legal employment requirement (including residency status or university policy) will make that individual ineligible to be PI.

    In addition, the PI must commit a minimum level of effort to the project described in the application (not to be confused with the greater than 50% employment requirement). The minimum level of effort for the PI is one person-month per six months of project duration.

  4. May a faculty member at a college or university serve as the Principal Investigator on an NSF SBIR/STTR project?

    In most cases, employment as a faculty member at a college or university conflicts with the primary employment requirement for the PI of an SBIR/STTR project (see Question 22). However, in some cases, the college or university can grant a leave of absence or otherwise indicate that the faculty member is permitted to be employed more than 50% of their time employed by the small business.

PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND PROPOSAL SUBMISSION VIA FASTLANE (NSF'S ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION SYSTEM)

  1. When will the next SBIR/STTR solicitation be published?

    There are no guarantees on when solicitations will be published, but for the last several years, NSF SBIR/STTR Phase I solicitations have been published twice per year. One solicitation is published in March, with a June deadline, and another is published in September, with a December deadline. The minimum amount of time between the publication of the solicitation and the deadline for proposals will be 90 days.

  2. What are the first steps that a first-time proposer to the NSF SBIR/STTR program should take?

    Once you've decided to submit a proposal, we recommend that the small business complete four required registrations: FastLane, DUNS, System for Award Management (SAM) and SBIR Company Registry.

    1. A DUNS and Employer Identification Number (EIN) are required for FastLane registration.
    2. Register the small business AND the PI in FastLane, NSF's electronic submission system (https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov). For help in determining who should be the PI on the project, see Question 21. Registering in FastLane allows you to see the proposal submission, with the modules that correspond to different parts of the application. Taking a look early will help you better understand the information available on the "Apply" page: https://seedfund.nsf.gov/apply/.

      Please note that NSF SBIR/STTR proposals must be submitted via FastLane and will NOT be accepted via Research.gov or Grants.gov.

    3. Register the small business in the System for Award Management (SAM): https://www.sam.gov/.
    4. Register with the SBIR Company Registry. See the "Registrations" page for more details: https://www.sbir.gov/registration.

    Lastly, letters of support from outside individuals or organizations are an important part of the proposal. However, these letters take time to obtain. Proposers are recommended to start obtaining these letters as early as possible. See Question 47 for more information.

  3. What is the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG)? Some guidelines in the NSF PAPPG are not spelled out in the NSF SBIR/STTR Phase I solicitation or conflict with information in the solicitation. Which policy document should I follow?

    The NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) contains NSF's general proposal preparation and submission guidelines. The SBIR/STTR programs have solicitations that modify the general provisions of the PAPPG, and, in such cases, the guidelines provided in the SOLICITATION must be followed.

    The SBIR/STTR Phase I solicitations include MANY instructions that deviate from the PAPPG. As such, the solicitations strive to include, as much as possible, the rules and guidelines that proposers should know in order to submit a proposal, referencing the PAPPG when necessary.

  4. What are the rules or restrictions regarding contact with NSF SBIR/STTR Program Directors? Must a small business form a working relationship with a Program Director before submitting a proposal?

    Small businesses are permitted to contact the NSF SBIR/STTR program directors at any time. However, program directors become increasingly busy as each proposal deadline approaches, so small businesses are strongly encouraged to contact them as early as possible, if they wish to seek guidance on submitting their proposal. If a small business does choose to engage a NSF program director, please do not contact multiple program directors in parallel without notifying them.

    However, there is absolutely no requirement to form a working relationship with a program director prior to submission. Additionally, ALL proposals that pass the initial screening for completeness undergo a rigorous peer review and will be considered for award.

  5. Is help available for navigating FastLane or troubleshooting proposal submission problems?

    The FastLane Step-by-Step Guide is a great first resource: https://seedfund.nsf.gov/fastlane/.

    As a reminder, if this guide and the solicitation conflict, the solicitation rules apply.

    For advanced questions and troubleshooting, the FastLane Help Desk is another resource and can be reached at 1-800-673-6188 (available 7 am to 9 pm Eastern time). NSF SBIR/STTR staff can be helpful regarding the contents of the proposal, but the experts for technical issues with FastLane are the FastLane Help Desk staff.

  6. What if there are changes or updates after a proposal is submitted (but before the deadline)? Does NSF SBIR/STTR review proposal materials as soon as they are submitted?

    NSF SBIR/STTR does not start processing or viewing proposals until after the deadline date. If a proposal is submitted before the deadline date and needs to be updated (also before the deadline date, proposers may perform a Proposal File Update (PFU). Instructions are located in the FastLane Guide (https://seedfund.nsf.gov/fastlane/). See "Proposal File Update."

  7. What rules must be followed to ensure that a proposal passes the initial administrative review for completeness and continues on to the peer review process?

    Please see the "DOs and DON'Ts list" in the current Phase I solicitation.

  8. If the System for Award Management (SAM) indicates that it will take several weeks for a proposing business's registration to be complete, what should the business do?

    If the SAM registration for a company is not active by the NSF SBIR/STTR Phase I submission deadline (or does not match exactly the other company information registered in FastLane), the proposer will receive a warning when trying to submit a proposal. The proposer should continue past that warning, as it will NOT stop submission. The small business should continue to pursue SAM registration once the proposal submission is complete, because an active SAM registration is required to receive an award.

  9. How does a proposer know that he or she has successfully submitted an NSF SBIR/STTR Phase I proposal?

    When a proposal has been received by NSF, the proposer will receive a proposal number that is seven digits long and starts with the last two digits of the current federal government fiscal year. For example, proposal numbers for proposals submitted from October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017 should be seven digits long and begin with "17".

    If the final proposal number has not been given, it is likely that the PI submitted the proposal but has not yet performed the final step, which is to forward to the small business's Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR)/Sponsored Research Officer (SRO), who signs and submits the proposal. Instructions for this step can be found in the FastLane Step-by-Step Guide: https://seedfund.nsf.gov/fastlane/.

  10. How can proposers check on the status of a Phase I SBIR/STTR proposal after it has been submitted?

    The listed Principal Investigator (PI) on a given proposal can log in to Fastlane, (http://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/jsp/homepage/proposals.jsp) and click "Proposal Functions", then "Proposal Status." Proposals and their statuses will be listed. Navigating to an individual proposal will enable proposers to view reviewer comments, when they are available.

PROPOSAL BUDGET PREPARATION

  1. What is a reasonable salary for the PI and other personnel on the project?

    The best way to ensure that salary requests are appropriate is to justify proposed salaries that do not exceed the median levels based on Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Wage Data for the same geography and job title. More information on using BLS Wage Data can be found here: https://www.bls.gov/bls/blswage.htm.

  2. Can I list a Co-PI on an NSF SBIR/STTR proposal?

    NSF SBIR proposals do NOT have Co-PIs. Proposals may include subawardees, but they should not list a Co-PI. NSF STTR proposals, MUST have a subawardee research institution, with a Co-PI from that institution listed on the cover page and on the subaward budget.

  3. How should indirect costs be structured for a Phase I SBIR/STTR project if the proposing small business does not have an established indirect cost rate?

    Small businesses without an established indirect cost rate are recommended to make an estimate based on itemizing and estimating specific indirect costs that it expects to incur during the Phase I project. Common types of indirect costs are rent, utilities, some types of insurance, and other company expenses that are not directly required by the NSF project but are necessary for the overall operation of the business. It is recommended that small businesses without an established indirect cost rate keep their request for indirect costs and fringe benefits at or below the "safe rate" (i.e., total indirect costs plus fringe do not exceed 50% of total direct salaries and wages).

  4. Can a person be listed on the budget as a subawardee (or consultant) and also on the main budget?

    In general, no person should request funds (or financially benefit) through more than one institutional affiliation for a single NSF SBIR/STTR project. Therefore, individuals with a financial interest in the proposing small business (this includes company equity holders or projected employees) cannot request funds through a subaward budget or as a consultant. In rare cases, this requirement might prove unusually burdensome; therefore, it is possible to grant an exception, only if recommended by the Program Director and approved by the Division Director for the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships.

  5. May I budget a subaward to a federal lab or Federally-Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC)?

    Yes, FFRDCs and federal labs are eligible to be subawardees. A list of FFRDCs is located at: https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/ffrdclist/.

  6. What types of costs can be requested on a subaward budget?

    A subaward budget (sub-budget) may request funds on the same lines as are permitted for the main project budget, but with two main exceptions. First, if the subaward is to a research institution, the sub-budget may contain a request for funds for Postdoctoral Scholar(s) in Line B.1, Other Personnel (whereas the main budget cannot). Second, subaward budgets may NOT contain funds on Line K, which is used for a fee that may only be requested by the proposing small business in the main budget.

  7. May proposers submit a proposal with more than one subaward (sub-budget?)

    Proposers may request funds for multiple subawards, as long as the requirements about total budget allocations are met (see the solicitation). For each subaward you request, a full subaward budget must be prepared, with an accompanying subaward budget that explains and justifies the subaward costs with the same level of detail as the main project budget.

  8. How does NSF define a project participant as a consultant (line G.3 of the budget)?

    Consultants (also referred to as "contractors") are persons who will work on the project, but who are not employees of the company. Consultants typically do not receive a W-2 tax form from the small business, and are often used to provide a specific service or skill based on hourly or daily compensation. Consultant services include specialized work that will be performed by professionals that are not employees of the proposing small business. Purchases of analytical services, other services, or fabricated components from commercial sources should not be listed under consultant services and should instead be reported in the budget under Other Direct Costs/Other (Line G.6). No person who is an equity holder, employee, or officer of the proposing small business may be paid as a consultant unless an exception is recommended by the Program Director and approved by the Division Director for the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships. All research on an SBIR project, including that conducted by consultants, must be carried out in the U.S.

  9. What are the budget requirements for consultants?

    Each consultant included in the budget should provide a signed commitment letter, to be included in the budget justification, stating a) what they will specifically be doing in the project; b) the number of hours or days that they are committing to the project; and c) the agreed-upon level of compensation which is not to exceed the NSF maximum of $1,000 per day (NSF defines a day as 8 hours). The budget justification must address how the consultant effort will contribute to the project. The biographical sketch of each consultant should also be included as part of the "biographical sketches" section of the proposal. If the company wishes to compensate a consultant at a higher rate, it must supply the additional funding from sources outside the NSF grant (and should explicitly state this in the budget justification).

  10. If other R&D will be performed by the proposing small business, in parallel to the NSF SBIR/STTR-funded research, should those efforts be described in the proposal?

    The funds provided by an NSF SBIR/STTR Phase I project are rarely sufficient to bring a new product to market. The NSF SBIR/STTR project focuses on specific technical goals that must be met in order to ensure the commercial success of the product or service under development. Therefore, an NSF SBIR/STTR proposal should primarily address the R&D effort proposed with the NSF funds only. Other R&D that may be performed with or funded by partners can be mentioned briefly, but the R&D plan should concentrate on only NSF-funded work.

    Any resources at the disposal of the small business or volunteered by the small business itself but will not be compensated via the Phase I award may be listed in the Facilities, Equipment, and other Resources section of the proposal if proposers are concerned about the appearance of cost sharing.

  11. How much of the NSF-funded research and development must be performed by the awardee? (In Phase I and Phase II)?

    These requirements differ for SBIR and STTR awards. For Phase I SBIR awards, a minimum of two-thirds (66%) of the R&D, as measured by the budget, must be performed by the awardee. For Phase II SBIR projects, a minimum of one-half (50%) of the R&D must be performed by the awardee. For Phase I and Phase II STTR projects, a minimum of 40% of the R&D, as measured by the budget, must be performed by the small business, and a minimum of 30% of the R&D, as measured by the budget, must be performed by the partner research institution.

PROPOSAL REVIEW

  1. What criteria are used to evaluate NSF SBIR/STTR proposals?

    All NSF proposals are reviewed for Intellectual Merit and Broader Impact. In addition, SBIR/STTR proposals have a set of additional criteria covering Commercial Impact. For more information on what this means for SBIR/STTR proposals, please see the following webpage: https://seedfund.nsf.gov/resources/review/peer-review/. The merit review criteria are also listed in the solicitation document.

  2. Who evaluates NSF SBIR/STTR proposals? What does the review process entail?

    In Phase I, technical reviewers with expertise in the field of research being proposed and/or the target market area proposed are asked to confidentially review the proposals. These technical reviewers always possess technical training and expertise in relevant areas of science, engineering, or technology. The Phase I review process relies heavily on input from these technical reviewers, with some reviewers having a mix of commercial and technical expertise. Dedicated commercial reviewers are sometimes asked to participate on Phase I panels. In addition, SBIR/STTR Program Directors with relevant technical and commercial expertise lead this process, and also directly help evaluate the technical and commercialization details of each proposal.

    In most cases, similar proposals are typically placed into groups of 4-18 called a "panel." A group of three to 10 external reviewers is assigned to a panel, with each proposal being reviewed by at least three of these reviewers. The reviewers read their assigned proposals and provide feedback, and then all of the reviewers meet in person at NSF or via video conference or conference call to discuss all of the proposals in the panel.

    In many cases, applicants still in consideration for an award will be contacted directly by NSF staff following this external review, with additional questions or concerns for the applicant to address.

    The Phase II process is similar, but a greater amount of time and effort is dedicated to the evaluation and discussion of each proposal. Additionally, each Phase II proposal generally is assigned to more reviewers. In Phase II, in addition to the technical reviewers, a minimum of two commercial reviewers review each proposal, paying particular attention to the commercialization plan.

  3. How does NSF manage confidentiality and conflicts of interest during the peer review process? What can proposers do to ensure that their proprietary information is kept safe?

    NSF proposals are considered confidential. They are not made public and are not considered a public disclosure. Proposals are kept within NSF staff and the external reviewers, who certify that no conflicts of interest are present and that they will keep the proposal documents and review contents confidential (see the Conflict of Interest form on the peer review page at: https://seedfund.nsf.gov/resources/review/peer-review/).

    SBIR/STTR data are protected from disclosure by the participating agencies for a period of not less than 4 years from end of the relevant Phase II award (or the relevant Phase I award, if no follow-on Phase II award is granted). The protection period is extended with each subsequent related award or supplement in order to avoid harmful disclosure. The SBA has a full set of FAQ items that address data rights here: http://www.sbir.gov/faq/data-rights.

    Even when SBIR/STTR data are no longer under the mandatory protection, NSF still does not generally release proposal information publically. One exception occurs in the event of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, which is a rare occurrence. Any sections of the proposal marked as proprietary will not be made available to the requestor, so it is important to mark sensitive sections of the proposal as clearly proprietary. In the event of a FOIA request, if the NSF is still able to contact the SBIR/STTR small business, there is a second opportunity for the business to redact proprietary information from the proposal. Because of the nature of this process, proposers are asked NOT to mark the entire proposal as proprietary.

  4. How important are letters of support? What does a strong letter of support contain?

    Letters of support are extremely important for both Phase I and Phase II proposals. Letters of support are often intended to help convince the reviewers that the proposed innovation, if developed, would solve a real market need. More generally, letters of support help validate claims made in the proposal about commercial impacts. Therefore, letters from potential end users of the technology (customers) and corporate partners/collaborators are appropriate. Letters from actual or potential investors can also help. Proposers are recommended to start early in trying to obtain these letters.

  5. Some NSF SBIR/STTR companies build on basic research that was also funded by the NSF. Are companies that are proposing projects that are NOT related to NSF or any federal funding at a disadvantage?

    No. All proposals are evaluated according the merit review criteria, and only the best proposals are funded. NSF seeks to understand how basic research, and in particular NSF-funded research, can lead to technological innovation and potentially commercialization. Therefore, proposers are encouraged to provide information about the scientific research that has led to the proposed innovation. For both SBIR and STTR, proposals based on NSF-funded basic research are welcomed. A solid base in fundamental research lends credibility to the intellectual merit of the proposal. NSF "lineage" alone (or lack of it) should not dramatically alter the fate of a proposal.

  6. When does NSF release proposal decisions? What feedback is provided?

    The schedule and pace of NSF SBIR/STTR Phase I peer review is affected by many factors. However, several general guidelines are provided below for proposals that undergo peer review. Proposers whose proposals did not pass the administrative review, and therefore are not sent to the panel review stage, may learn of this decision earlier in the process (this decision is called "return without review").

    2-4 months after the deadline date - Proposers, especially those in consideration for funding, may be contacted by the Program Director any time after the panel if the panel or Program Director have questions that must be answered in order for the proposal to be fairly and completely evaluated. This process of interaction with the Program Director is called "due diligence".

    4-6 months after the deadline date - Phase I proposals that are chosen for award or have been declined will receive their official notification. All proposals which undergo the full merit review process will be notified of the decision and will receive anonymous written reviews that can contain helpful information on how the proposal could be improved. If the reviews are unclear or more information is desired to be able to resubmit in the next cycle, proposers may contact the Program Director that managed the review process to ask for clarification and guidance.

    6-7 months after the deadline date - Phase I awards begin. Proposals submitted in June will have a start date (first funds disbursed) no later than January 1 of the next year. For December proposals, the start date is typically no later than July 1 of the next year. Many Phase I proposals will start up to six weeks earlier than these dates (i.e. as early as mid-May or mid-November).

  7. What if the company's R&D goals, business model, team, or vision change during the Phase I review period?

    Applying to NSF SBIR/STTR should not change the strategy of a small business or slow down its progress. If, during the Phase I review process, a small business makes progress on some of the technical objectives or challenges that are included in a Phase I proposal that is recommended for award, the program will typically work with the proposer to update the work plan and objectives for the Phase I project. It is very rare for a Phase I award to be jeopardized because a proposing small business has continued to conduct R&D in parallel with the Phase I review process. However, we encourage all applicants to update NSF staff of any significant changes in company status, team, or technology, if contacted by NSF during the review process.

  8. How does the NSF weigh the two major SBIR/STTR review criteria, Intellectual Merit and Broader/Commercial Impacts, during the review process?

    Intellectual Merit and Broader/Commercial Impacts are equally important for the purposes of making award recommendations.

PHASE I AWARD AND BEYOND

  1. What are the conditions of an NSF Phase I SBIR/STTR award?

    NSF SBIR/STTR award conditions can be found here: https://www.nsf.gov/awards/managing/special_conditions.jsp in the section at the bottom of the page. The headings at the top of the award conditions show topics of interest, like Patent Rights, Payment Schedule, and Reporting Rights.

  2. What if there are changes to the business model or R&D strategy of a small business during the Phase I NSF SBIR/STTR project?

    NSF SBIR/STTR understands that small businesses, especially those in the very early stages of development, may undergo business model changes. This may include choosing a different niche market, a different product format, etc. During Phase I, NSF SBIR/STTR works with grantees to adjust (within reason) the Phase I project objectives, work plan, and budget to reflect changes in the market understanding and business model. However, changes to a Phase I project that completely shift the focus of the project away from the initially proposed core innovation are generally not permitted. Additionally, NSF SBIR/STTR will not support alternative R&D if the work no longer meets the Phase I program standards for high technical risk.

  3. Does NSF SBIR/STTR have a Phase III?

    Some agencies that run acquisition-based SBIR/STTR programs, such as the Department of Defense, feature Phase III. In this phase, the agency chooses to enter into another agreement with the company to continue R&D related to the project. This project must be supported by non-SBIR/STTR funds.

    NSF does not acquire technologies that are developed under the SBIR/STTR program and therefore does not offer a Phase III program.

    NSF does offer Phase II grantees a number of supplemental opportunities, including a chance at up to $500,000 in additional funding under the Phase IIB program, which matches third-party investment or product/service revenues that derive from the NSF-supported project(s). See more on all these opportunities here: https://seedfund.nsf.gov/resources/awardees/supplement/overview/

Invitation: Free SBIR Entrepreneurship Workshop

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The workshop will take place on September 8, 2016 at the Arkansas Small Business & Technology Development Center (http://www.astate.edu/a/sbtdc/) on the Arkansas State University campus in Jonesboro, AR. The sessions will be broadcast online as well for those who cannot attend in person. Space will be limited for in-person attendance.

Register online: http://goo.gl/forms/Mj2Vy05iHt8socXj1

 

The National STEM Report Released

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The ACT has released its 2015 National STEM Report this week, which assesses levels of achievement and levels of interest in STEM among college-ready high school students. STEM is Science, Computer Science and Mathematics, Medical and Health, and Engineering and Technology. The report found that about half of US high school graduates have expressed interest in STEM majors and careers. Other key findings include:

  1. Interest in STEM remains high
  2. Students with STEM interest that is both expressed and measured outperformed their peers
  3. For the first time, students are measured against the ACT STEM College Readiness Benchmark
  4. Interest in teaching STEM subject areas continues to lag

This report shows achievement levels in each area of STEM on the national level, as well as the actual number and percentage of students interested in specific majors and occupations.

View the report here or by clicking the image below:

NSF INCLUDES Supplemental Funding and Conference Funding Opportunities

Event date(s): Monday, April 15, 2019


NSF 19-038

Dear Colleague Letter: Supporting the Re-Entry of Women and Women Veterans in the STEM Workforce through NSF INCLUDES

February 8, 2019

Dear Colleague:

NSF will consider supplemental funding requests for traineeships and conference proposals that support efforts aimed at enhancing the science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) knowledge base, skillset, leadership and management capacities, and/or contributions to the STEM enterprise of women following a career break. Women veterans' entry or re-entry into the STEM workforce is of particular interest. NSF invites submission of supplemental funding requests to current NSF INCLUDES awards or other NSF-funded awards in the programs described below to support traineeships for undergraduate and graduate students after a career break. Supplements to support traineeships for women who are veterans and women who have interrupted their studies at the undergraduate level and want to enter or re-enter a STEM career are especially encouraged. Conference proposals should address research to enhance understanding of the process of entry and re-entry in STEM after a career break (e.g., factors associated with access, retention and inclusion) as well as related barriers and opportunities women face entering and re-entering the STEM workforce, especially in the technical fields.

In this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), a career break is defined as a period of at least one year resulting in the need for an individual to gain skills and experience to enter or re-enter the STEM workforce. Circumstances that may necessitate a career break include (but are not limited to): family care, military service, professional volunteerism (e.g., Teach for America), or child rearing. For traineeships, the onus will be on the proposer to justify the need for the traineeship.

To address the underrepresentation of women in STEM technical fields, traineeships in the applied sciences, skilled trades, and modern technologies are of particular interest. Applicable fields might include but are not limited to, advanced manufacturing, agriculture, computer and information science, energy, engineering, geospatial sciences, micro- and nano-technology, and safety and security. This DCL will not support traineeships for individuals who wish to pursue careers as health, veterinary, or medical technicians.

Collaborations with professional societies, national laboratories, field stations, NSF- funded centers, informal science centers and organizations, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations and academic partners (especially community and technical colleges and minority-serving institutions) are encouraged.

The overarching goal of NSF INCLUDES is to achieve significant impact at scale in transforming STEM education and workforce development by educating a diverse, STEM-capable workforce that includes talented individuals from all sectors of the Nation's population. This DCL seeks innovative approaches to better understand women's engagement in STEM by focusing on women's experience with re-entry to the STEM workforce. This DCL leverages the NSF INCLUDES National Network to expand the ranks of women in STEM, as well as research capacity and understanding of women's re-entry into the STEM workforce.

This special funding opportunity is partially funded by a generous gift from The Boeing Company as part of its Women Make Us Better and Women in Leadership Initiatives. Awards may also be co-funded by other NSF programs.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY

This DCL encourages submission of (1) traineeship supplemental funding requests and (2) conference proposals that are aligned with the tenets described above as well as the broader vision of NSF INCLUDES.

  1. Traineeship Supplements - The purpose of traineeships is to develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies required to pursue and succeed in a STEM career. Special emphasis should be placed on training and professional development, including significant mentorship and leadership development. Direct support could include tuition and fees for classes to support skillset development, and internships and research experiences designed to provide rigorous training. Women who are veterans and women who have interrupted their studies at the undergraduate or graduate level and want to enter or re-enter a STEM career are encouraged to apply.

    Recipients of traineeships must be U.S. citizens or nationals, or permanent residents.

  2. Conferences - Proposals for conferences or special convenings that lead to a better understanding of issues involving the entry or re-entry of women, in particular women veterans, to STEM careers after a break will be considered for support. Conferences could explore and discuss issues such as the current knowledge base about the experience of re-entry into STEM among women in general and women veterans in particular; how women veterans navigate STEM pathways to enter or re-enter the STEM workforce; and/or the unique challenges to working in STEM fields for women who have experienced a break in their career. Conferences and convenings should be outcomes-based, and a final report should include recommendations and a statement of the impacts of the event. Awardees should plan to publish conference proceedings, and otherwise widely disseminate the discussion and outcomes. Proposals that include participation by organizations involved in the NSF INCLUDES National Network are especially encouraged.

SUBMISSION AND REVIEW

Supplemental funding requests and conference proposals must be received by 5 p.m., submitter's local time, on April 15, 2019.

  1. Traineeship Supplements

    Funds may be used for salary or stipend, travel (relocation costs), tuition and fees, health insurance, and materials and supplies to support the trainee. The grantee is permitted to request indirect costs in accordance with the negotiated rate in effect at the time of the award. If requesting support for more than one trainee, the individual requests may be combined into one supplemental funding request.

    Each supplemental funding request must include "NSF INCLUDES DCL" in the first sentence of the summary section of the request for supplemental funding along with the following components for each trainee:

    1. A two-page summary that describes the traineeship. The request must include a concise statement describing how the activities will prepare the trainee to enter or re-enter the STEM workforce.
    2. A resume of the proposed trainee (up to two pages) that contains (but not limited to) the following information:
      1. educational preparation;
      2. professional employment history; and
      3. other information relevant to the proposed traineeship.
    3. A letter from the proposed mentor describing the mentoring and training that will be provided to the trainee during the period of support.
    4. A budget and budget justification.

      The amount requested for supplemental support must be less than 20% of the original award amount, with total costs not to exceed $150,000. Funding is dependent on the availability of funds. Supplemental funding requests should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the guidance in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), Chapter VI.E.4.

      Principal Investigators with current NSF INCLUDES awards or current awards in the programs listed below are eligible to apply for traineeship supplements through this DCL:

    For more information about the programs listed above, please consult with the point of contact for the program of interest denoted on the program webpage.

    Eligible Principal Investigator(s) of NSF awards should contact their cognizant Program Director(s)AND NSF INCLUDES via email at nsfincludes [at] nsf [dot] gov (nsfincludes [at] nsf [dot] gov) to discuss their request for supplemental support by March 29, 2019.

    The proposals will be reviewed internally by NSF Program Officers. All supplements are subject to (a) the availability of funds, and (b) review of the quality of the supplemental funding request.

  2. Conferences

    Conference proposals are new proposals and not requests for supplemental funding to existing NSF awards.

    Conference proposals will be funded for up to 2 years and a $250,000 maximum.

    They should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the guidance in PAPPG Chapter II.E.7, designating HRD -NSF INCLUDES (032Y) as the cognizant program.

    The "Conference" proposal type should be selected in the proposal preparation module in FastLane or Grants.gov and include "NSF INCLUDES DCL" in the title and first sentence of the project summary of the proposal.

    Conference proposals will be reviewed by a panel of external experts and are subject to the availability of funds.

    The NSF Advanced Technological Education Program (ATE) is especially interested in providing partial support for strong, innovative conference proposals submitted to NSF INCLUDES through this DCL that align with the goals of the ATE program and the tenets of this DCL.

    Interested proposers should contact NSF INCLUDES via email at nsfincludes [at] nsf [dot] gov by March 29, 2019 to discuss their conference idea.

STELAR Webinar Series: Work at the Human-Technology Frontier

Event date(s): Thursday, January 25, 2018 to Thursday, March 8, 2018


Four sessions beginning on Thursday, January 25 at 2 PM ET

Join STELAR for a four-part webinar series on our recent white paper: Building the Foundational Skills Needed for Success in Work at the Human-Technology Frontier available for download from Education Development Center's website.

Each webinar will explore the educational and social implications of living, learning and working in a future driven by technology. Read on to learn the focus of each session, then register for the entire series, or individual dates of interest. 

We hope that this paper will provoke both dialog and debate, and invite you to join the discussion!

 

Part 1: Future Work at the Human-Technology Frontier

January 25, 2018 2:00-3:00 pm ET

Link: http://stelar.edc.org/events/stelar-webinar-future-work-human-technology-frontier

What does work look like at the Human-Technology Frontier? What will workers need to know and be able to do to succeed there?

Advances in technology, automation, and artificial intelligence predict fundamental changes that have the potential to impact “work” in all regions of the country, for people at all socioeconomic levels. Although the future of work is unclear, thought leaders around the world, including those at the U.S.. National Science Foundation (NSF), assert that the Internet of Things, robotics, and machine learning will be ubiquitous in tomorrow’s workplaces. In this new machine age, various technologies (sensors, communication, computation, and intelligence) will be embedded around, on, and in us; humans will shape technology and technology will shape human interaction; and technologies and humans will collaborate to discover and innovate in short, the Human-Technology Frontier. 

During this webinar STELAR's Joyce Malyn-Smith, Sarita Pillai and Caroline Parker will share descriptions of future work environments provided by interviewees from high tech industries currently working at that frontier, and describe the types of skills, knowledge and dispositions our students need to develop to set them on a pathway to success in work at the Human-Technology Frontier.

 

Part 2: The Psychology of Working

February 8, 2018 2:00-3:00 pm ET

Link: http://stelar.edc.org/events/stelar-webinar-psychology-working

How does work contribute to our social and psychological well-being and the stability of our nation?

Join STELAR as we host Dr. David Blustein of Boston College, as he describes his new Psychology of Working Theory (PWT) and the future of work. Building off research from vocational psychology, multicultural psychology, intersectionality, and macro-levels analyses of work, PWT proposes that contextual factors are fundamental  to career attainment and, also, highlights the importance of K–12 education as a way of mitigating some of the contextual factors while also strengthening students’ career adaptability (capacity for exploration and planning) and sense of proactivity. By addressing these psychosocial factors through both STEM content and guided STEM career-development activities, ITEST helps youth develop the tools they will need to access and persist on the STEM career path of their choosing.

 

Part 3: Educational Implications of future work at the Human-Technology Frontier

February 22, 2018 2:00-3:00 pm ET

Link: http://stelar.edc.org/events/stelar-webinar-educational-implications-work-human-technology-frontier

What Career Competencies should K-12 students develop to prepare for success in work at the Human-Technology Frontier?

The worker of the future will require a deep knowledge of science, technology, and engineering coupled with the technical skills and understanding of how computers, robots, and other machines work. This technological grounding, however, will not be enough to succeed. Optimal new workers will be curious, self-directed, and resilient. They will be lifelong learners willing to be disruptive and innovative, while also being cooperative and interpersonally competent. They will think outside the box; solve problems and risk failure; work in dynamic, cross-disciplinary teams; and lead those teams to consensus. All of their work will be characterized by insight, interpretation, diligence, persistence, and cooperation.

Join the STELAR’s Joyce Malyn-Smith and ITEST PIs as they discuss the STEM Career Competencies that students should develop in K-8 to set them on a pathway towards success in work at the Human-Technology Frontier.

 

Part 4: Policy Implications of future work at the Human-Technology Frontier

March 8, 2018 2:00-3:00 pm ET

Link: http://stelar.edc.org/events/stelar-webinar-policy-implications-future-work-human-technology-frontier

How are NSF programs laying a foundation for success in work at the Human-Technology Frontier?

The rise of inequality in the labor market is highly challenging, with major consequences to both political and social trends in many societies around the globe. Education and training have long been viewed as important means of enhancing social mobility. The NSF’s commitment to increasing equity in access to the STEM workplace is a good example of efforts to broaden participation in undergraduate and graduate programs, preparing students for immediate transition into the STEM workforce. The ITEST program reflects a concerted effort by the NSF to develop new evidence-based pre-K–12 curricular and programmatic initiatives that optimally may enhance participation of girls and historically marginalized students (e.g.., youth of color and those from low-SES backgrounds) in the STEM educational pipeline.

Join STELAR PI Sarita Pillai and NSF Program Officers as we discuss existing programs that support success at the frontier, and examine key policy levers that can greatly contribute to the development of a robust future STEM workforce, help ensure the well-being  of that workforce, and support and sustain a strong innovation economy for our country.

Register for the Series

 

Supplementary Links:

Download the white paper from Education Development Center's website

Read an article introducing the paper by STELAR Senior Advisor Joyce Malyn-Smith

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