workforce development

Dear Colleague Letter: Fundamental Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER) Focused on Undergraduate and Graduate STEM Education within the EHR Core Research (ECR) Program

Thursday, March 14, 2019

NSF 19-044

Dear Colleagues:

The EHR Core Research (ECR) program of National Science Foundation's (NSF) Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) wishes to notify the community of its intention to support, through EHR Core Research (ECR) program solicitation NSF 19-508, fundamental discipline-based education research (DBER) focused on undergraduate and graduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. The NSF intends to foster DBER to develop foundational knowledge in STEM education at the undergraduate and graduate levels in each of ECR's three tracks: STEM Learning and Learning Environments, Broadening Participation in STEM, and STEM Workforce Development.

DBER is defined as "an empirical approach to investigating learning and teaching that is informed by an expert understanding of [STEM] disciplinary knowledge and practice".[1] DBER addresses complex problems in STEM education by integrating expert knowledge of particular STEM disciplines' models, theories, culture and educational challenges with relevant models, theories and research methodologies from a variety of fields such as education, the learning sciences, psychology, and many more. With this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), NSF invites proposals that request support to conduct fundamental DBER (basic or use-inspired) focused on developing and testing models or theories in undergraduate or graduate STEM education, including all areas of STEM supported by NSF including interdisciplinary or convergent topics.

As described in ECR solicitation NSF 19-508, the program will support a wide range of fundamental research activities in STEM education. As outlined by the National Research Council (NRC) DBER report, some key goals of DBER include, but are not limited to, understanding how people learn the concepts, practices, and ways of thinking in particular STEM disciplines; understanding the nature and development of expertise in a discipline; identifying and measuring appropriate learning objectives and instructional approaches for a particular STEM discipline; contributing to the knowledge base in a way that guides the translation of DBER findings to classroom practice; and identifying approaches to make STEM education and the STEM workforce broad and inclusive. With respect to broadening participation in STEM, DBER research is needed to develop and test theories that contribute to the understanding of the effects of discipline-based education strategies on the culture of STEM classrooms, student affect, persistence, graduation, and learning outcomes of women and underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities within and across different STEM disciplines. In addition, the 2018 report on Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century recommends research to better understand graduate STEM education including, but not limited to, the effects of the several models of graduate education on student knowledge, competencies, mind-sets, and career outcomes; and studies on how the various STEM disciplines can integrate the changing scientific enterprise into graduate education.[2] ECR is also interested in supporting synthesis projects and conference proposals related to DBER focused on undergraduate or graduate STEM education.

For information on how to develop a strong ECR proposal, please refer to the guidance in the ECR program solicitation, NSF 19-508. Note that the ECR program places emphasis on the rigorous development of theory, and therefore proposers must clearly articulate theoretical underpinnings and how the proposed research would advance fundamental knowledge of STEM education at the undergraduate or graduate level.

The deadline for submission of proposals to NSF 19-508 is October 3, 2019, and the first Thursday in October annually thereafter. When responding to this DCL, please begin your proposal title with "ECR DBER DCL: ". Submissions should follow the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) and the guidelines in ECR solicitation NSF 19-508.

Principal investigators with questions pertaining to this DCL may contact:

  • STEM Learning & Learning Environments: Dawn Rickey, Program Director, drickey [at] nsf [dot] gov
  • Broadening Participation in STEM: Jessie Dearo, Program Director, jdearo [at] nsf [dot] gov
  • STEM Workforce Development: Earnestine Easter, Program Director, eeaster [at] nsf [dot] gov

Sincerely,

Karen Marrongelle 
Assistant Director, EHR

References

[1] National Research Council. 2012. Discipline-Based Education Research: Understanding and Improving Learning in Undergraduate Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/13362.

[2] National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25038.

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.

Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier: Core Research (FW-HTF)

Monday, January 7, 2019

Program Solicitation
NSF 19-541

Synopsis of Program

In 2016, the National Science Foundation (NSF) unveiled a set of “Big Ideas,” 10 bold, long-term research and process ideas that identify areas for future investment at the frontiers of science and engineering (see https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/big_ideas/index.jsp). The Big Ideas represent unique opportunities to position our Nation at the cutting edge of global science and engineering leadership by bringing together diverse disciplinary perspectives to support convergence research. As such, when responding to this solicitation, even though proposals must be submitted to the Directorate for Engineering (ENG), Office of Emerging Frontiers and Multidisciplinary Activities (ENG/EFMA), once received the proposals will be managed by a cross-disciplinary team of NSF Program Directors.

The Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier (FW-HTF), one of the Big Ideas, is one mechanism by which NSF is responding to the challenges and opportunities for the future of jobs and work. The overarching vision is to support convergent research to understand and develop the human-technology partnership, design new technologies to augment human performance, illuminate the emerging socio-technological landscape, understand the risks and benefits of new technologies, understand and influence the impact of artificial intelligence on workers and work, and foster lifelong and pervasive learning.

The landscape of jobs and work is changing at unprecedented speed, enabled by advances in computer and engineering technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics, deeper understanding of societal and environmental change, advances in the learning sciences, pervasive, intelligent, and autonomous systems, and new conceptions of work and workplaces. This technological and scientific revolution presents a historical opportunity to the Nation and its people, in the creation of new industries and occupations, enhanced productivity and quality of work life, and the potential for more people to participate in the workforce, ultimately yielding sustained innovation and global leadership. But, as history teaches, such changes also come with risks. Some risks are immediate, such as jobs lost to automation or demand for skills not met by current educational pathways. Other equally important risks include new security threats, algorithmic biases, unanticipated legal consequences including privacy implications, dependence on technology and erosion of human knowledge and skills, inadequate workplace policies and practices, or undesirable impact on the built environment.

The specific objectives of the Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier program are (1) to facilitate convergent research that employs the joint perspectives, methods, and knowledge of computer science, engineering, learning sciences, research on education and workforce training, and social, behavioral, and economic sciences; (2) to encourage the development of a research community dedicated to designing intelligent technologies and work organization and modes inspired by their positive impact on individual workers, the work at hand, the way people learn and adapt to technological change, creative and supportive workplaces (including remote locations, homes, classrooms, or virtual spaces), and benefits for social, economic, and environmental systems at different scales; (3) to promote deeper basic understanding of the interdependent human-technology partnership to advance societal needs by advancing design of intelligent work technologies that operate in harmony with human workers, including consideration of how adults learn the new skills needed to interact with these technologies in the workplace, and by enabling broad workforce participation, including improving accessibility for those challenged by physical or cognitive impairment; and (4) to understand, anticipate, and explore ways of mitigating potential risks arising from future work at the human-technology frontier. Ultimately, this research will advance our understanding of how technology and people interact, distribute tasks, cooperate, and complement each other in different specific work contexts of significant societal importance. It will advance the knowledge base related to worker education and training and formal and informal learning to enable all potential workers to adapt to changing work environments. It will advance our understanding of the links between the future of work at the human-technology frontier and the surrounding society, including the intended potential of new technologies and the unintended consequences for workers and the well-being of society.

For the purposes of this solicitation, work is defined as mental or physical activity to achieve tangible benefit such as income, profit, or community welfare. The Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier is, in turn, a conceptualization of work in the future that will be enabled or improved by advances in intelligent technology and their synergistic integration with human skill to achieve broad participation in the workforce and improve the social, economic, and environmental well-being of society. To reach this goal, research is sought that is anchored in work. Proposals must clearly define the work and work context addressed by the research. Technology should be integrated with learning sciences, research on education and workforce training, and social, behavioral, and economic science perspectives to advance the science of the human-technology team. Potential results should contribute to fundamental advances in the science and technology of future workforce development and education, work environments, and positive work outcomes for workers and society at large. Proposals are encouraged that are oriented toward the future of work at the human-technology frontier and that are not overly couched in current technology or work practices.

A proposal for a research grant in this program must focus on advancing fundamental understanding of future work, and potential improvements to work, workplaces, workforce preparation, or work outcomes for workers and society. It must be convergent research that addresses the technological as well as the human and societal dimensions and potential impact of future work, and in doing so, make significant contributions to both intellectual merit and broader impact. Achieving this goal requires integration and convergence of disciplines across computer science, engineering, learning sciences, research on education and workforce training, and social, behavioral, and economic sciences. A convergent perspective is essential to understand and shape long-term social and economic drivers, so that advanced intelligent technology will strengthen the social fabric. A convergent perspective also provides insights into education and re-skilling, so that the benefits of emerging technology can be conferred upon all citizens.

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award: Standard Grant

Estimated Number of Awards: 30

Up to 15 Planning Grant Awards and up to 15 Research Grant Awards.

The number of awards is dependent upon the proposals received and the degree to which proposals meet the solicitation goals and NSF merit review criteria.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $30,000,000

Two classes of proposals will be considered through this solicitation:

  1. FW-HTF Planning Grants (FW-HTF-P) may be requested for a total budget not to exceed $150,000 for a period of 1 year.
  2. FW-HTF Research Grants (FW-HTF-R) may be requested at two levels:
    1. Medium FW-HTF-R proposals may request support for a period of up to 3 years, with a total budget not to exceed $1,500,000.
    2. Large FW-HTF-R proposals may request support for a period of up to 4 years, with a total budget between $1,500,001 and $3,000,000.

FW-HTF program funding is pending the availability of funds.

Eligibility Information

Who May Submit Proposals:

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:

  • Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) - Two- and four-year IHEs (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the US, acting on behalf of their faculty members. Special Instructions for International Branch Campuses of US IHEs: If the proposal includes funding to be provided to an international branch campus of a US institution of higher education (including through use of subawards and consultant arrangements), the proposer must explain the benefit(s) to the project of performance at the international branch campus, and justify why the project activities cannot be performed at the US campus.
  • Non-profit, non-academic organizations: Independent museums, observatories, research labs, professional societies and similar organizations in the U.S. associated with educational or research activities.

Who May Serve as PI:

PIs must hold appointments at U.S.-based campuses/offices of eligible organizations (IHEs or Non-profit, non-academic organizations). There are no restrictions, beyond the eligibility outlined in the PAPPG Chapter I.E, on who may serve as Co-PIs, Senior Personnel or Consultant (see Categories of Proposers in PAPPG Chapter I.E).

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization:

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI: 1

An individual may appear as PI, Co-PI, Senior Personnel, Other Personnel, or Consultant on only one proposal submitted in response to this solicitation. This eligibility constraint will be strictly enforced. In the event an individual exceeds this limit, the first proposal received prior to the deadline will be accepted and the remainder will be returned without review. This limitation includes proposals submitted by a lead organization, collaborative non-lead proposals, and any subawards included as part of a collaborative proposal involving multiple institutions. No exceptions will be made.

Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

  • Letters of Intent: Not required
  • Preliminary Proposal Submission: Not required

B. Budgetary Information

  • Cost Sharing Requirements:

    Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.

  • Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations:

    Not Applicable

  • Other Budgetary Limitations:

    Not Applicable

C. Due Dates

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

         March 06, 2019

Dear Colleague Letter: STEM Workforce Development Utilizing Flexible Personal Learning Environments

Thursday, December 13, 2018

December 4, 2018

Dear Colleagues:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) seeks new proposals and supplemental funding requests to existing awards that support flexible personalized learning to prepare the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce of the future. NSF envisions projects that collectively apply to all learners, from young children to those already in the workforce. In particular, we would like to support research that complements an anticipated future funding opportunity made possible by a gift from the Boeing Corporation, which was announced on September 24, 2018 (https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=296700).

The Boeing gift established a partnership between NSF and Boeing to accelerate training in crucial skill areas for the future U.S. workforce. It will be used to support design, development, implementation, and analysis of online courses in model-based engineering, model-based systems engineering, mechatronics, robotics, data science and sensor analytics, program management, and artificial intelligence. These courses will use personalized learning systems to maximize their effectiveness for diverse learners.

There will be two parallel funding opportunities to support STEM workforce preparation. One will be made possible by the Boeing gift and the other involves the efforts funded in response to this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL). For the opportunities in response to this DCL, NSF seeks proposals that will broadly inform development of personalized learning systems or generalize the research results generated during the deployment of online courses. This could be accomplished either by using the data generated by those systems or by studying the systems themselves. NSF encourages innovative educational research and development proposals that will help the nation educate the STEM workforce of the future.

NSF invites proposals to existing programs listed below and requests for supplemental funding to existing awards that engage a convergent science approach (https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/big_ideas/convergent.jsp). Such an approach often benefits from interdisciplinary teams representing multiple fields. Such teams can make learning a convergent experience and accomplish learning goals that are not otherwise achievable.

The outcomes of successful proposals responding to this DCL will advance evidence-based understanding of STEM workforce development at any level. Successful proposals will include a well-developed research plan that specifies how the project will strengthen the research base that informs investments in STEM workforce preparation and development. For example, proposals may address topics including, but not limited to:

  • effective design of personalized learning systems for STEM education at any level;
  • factors that increase persistence, motivation, self-efficacy, and retention of learners;
  • the influence of public/private partnerships on workforce preparation;
  • the design of educational interventions that meet workplace expectations for knowledge and competencies; and
  • measuring the effectiveness of these interventions for different audiences.

Proposers are encouraged to leverage current and anticipated future NSF investments (e.g., interdisciplinary research centers, large facilities, funded workforce development projects) as research bases. NSF anticipates that coordinated synergistic efforts are likely to be more fruitful than fragmented individual contributions.

RESPONDING TO THIS DCL

Proposals responding to this DCL should be made through one of the existing NSF programs listed below. Supplemental funding requests responding to this DCL for existing awards in the programs listed below are also welcome. To determine whether a research topic is within the scope of this DCL, principal investigators are strongly encouraged to contact the managing NSF Program Officer(s) of the participating program(s) to which they plan to submit their proposal. These programs include:

For new proposals to ensure proper consideration, principal investigators must refer to this DCL in the overview statement of the Project Summary and in the Project Description. Requests for supplemental funding to existing awards must also include a reference to this DCL. The Project Description or supplemental funding request should also include a brief description about how the project supports flexible personalized learning, thus complementing the work funded by the Boeing gift.

In summary, proposals responding to this DCL:

  1. could be high-risk, but have the potential for high reward;
  2. should include multidisciplinary leadership teams;
  3. will advance evidence-based understanding of STEM workforce development at any level (K-12 through workplace);
  4. must inform development of personalized learning systems or generalize the research results generated during the deployment of those systems;
  5. must include a research plan that will contribute new knowledge about STEM workforce preparation and development;
  6. must be submitted to one of the programs listed in this DCL; and
  7. must comply with the relevant program/solicitation-specific requirements.

CONTACTS

For questions about any of the programs listed above, please contact one of the programs officers listed in the respective solicitation. General questions about this Dear Colleague Letter may be addressed to:

  • R. Steven Turley, rturley [at] nsf [dot] gov, (703) 292-2207
  • John C. Cherniavsky, jchernia [at] nsf [dot] gov, (703) 292-5136
  • David Haury, dhaury [at] nsf [dot] gov, (703) 292-5102
  • Ann Rivet, arivet [at] nsf [dot] gov, (703) 292-4764
  • Heather Watson, hwatson [at] nsf [dot] gov, (703) 292-7091

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

Training-based Workforce Development for Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (CyberTraining)

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

NSF 17-507

Synopsis of Program:

The overarching goal of this program is to prepare, nurture and grow the national scientific workforce for creating, utilizing, and supporting advanced cyberinfrastructure (CI) that enables cutting-edge science and engineering and contributes to the Nation's overall economic competitiveness and security. For the purpose of this solicitation, advanced CI is broadly defined as the resources, tools, and services for advanced computation, data handling, networking and security. The need for such workforce development programs are highlighted by the (i) National Strategic Computing Initiative announced in 2015 (NSCI), which is co-led by NSF and aims to advance the high-performance computing ecosystem and develop workforce essential for scientific discovery; (ii) 2016 National Academies' report on Future Directions for NSF Advanced Computing Infrastructure to Support U.S. Science and Engineering in 2017-2020; and (iii) Federal Big Data Research and Development Strategic Plan, which seeks to expand the community of data-empowered experts across all domains.

This solicitation calls for developing innovative, scalable training programs to address the emerging needs and unresolved bottlenecks in scientific and engineering workforce development of targeted, multidisciplinary communities, at the postsecondary level and beyond, leading to transformative changes in the state of workforce preparedness for advanced CI in the short and long terms. A primary goal is to broaden CI access and adoption by (i) increasing or deepening accessibility of methods and resources of advanced CI and of computational and data science and engineering by a wide range of institutions and scientific communities with lower levels of CI adoption to date; and (ii) harnessing the capabilities of larger segments of diverse underrepresented groups. Proposals from and in partnership with the aforementioned communities are especially encouraged. For student training, a key concern is not to increase the time to degree; hence the emphasis shall be on out-of-class, informal training.

Prospective principal investigators (PIs) are encouraged to engage all relevant stakeholders by forging alliances, and forming backbones for collective impact, which is particularly necessary in order to address unresolved bottlenecks (John Kania & Mark Kramer, “Collective Impact,” Stanford Social Innovation Review, Winter 2011). PIs may seek public-private partnerships for relevance, enrichment, pursuit of national and international dimensions, and sustainability. All projects shall include training activities. In the short term, the projects shall result in innovative, scalable, informal training models and pilot activities, complementing and leveraging the state of art in curricular offerings, material, and best practices in academia and elsewhere. In the long term, the projects should contribute to the larger goals of an educational ecosystem enabling “Computational and Data Science for All,” with an understanding of computation as the third pillar (President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee Report, Computational Science: Ensuring America’s Competitiveness, 2005) and data-driven science as the fourth pillar of the scientific discovery process (2016 National Academies report), in addition to the traditional first and second pillars, respectively, of theory and experimentation. Furthermore, in the long term, projects should contribute toward an ubiquitous educational cloud infrastructure for online, dynamic, personalized lessons and certifications in CI and other multidisciplinary areas (Continuous Collaborative Computational Cloud in Higher Education, Chapter 1, NSF Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure Task Force on Cyberlearning and Workforce Development Report, 2011).

There are three tracks for submissions:

(i) CI Professionals (CIP): aimed at the training and career pathway development of research cyberinfrastructure and professional staff who develop, deploy, manage, and support effective use of advanced CI for research;

(ii) Domain science and engineering (DSE): aimed primarily at the communities of CI Contributors and sophisticated CI Users, and aligned with the research and education priorities of the participating domain directorates; and

(iii) Computational and data science literacy (CDL): aimed at the CI User community at the undergraduate level.

The communities of CI Professionals, Contributors, and Users supported by the above three tracks are defined in Section I - Introduction.

Each CyberTraining award shall range from $300,000 to $500,000 per award and shall be up to 3 years in duration. Based on the community response and needs, the CyberTraining solicitation may be expanded to accommodate larger projects in the future.

Programmatic Areas of Interest

The CyberTraining program includes all divisions within the Directorates of Engineering (ENG), Geosciences (GEO), and Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), as well as the Divisions of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (ACI) and Computing and Communication Foundation (CCF) in the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), and the Division of Graduate Education (DGE) in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR). The appropriate contact for the CyberTraining program in any directorate/division is the Cognizant Program Officer (PO) for the respective directorate/division listed.

All projects must advance cyberinfrastructure training and education goals as described in the full text of this solicitation, in addition to addressing specific domain needs. Not all directorates/divisions are participating at the same level and some have specific research and education priorities as described below. Prospective PIs are strongly encouraged to contact the Cognizant Program Officers in CISE/ACI and in the participating directorate/division(s) relevant to the proposal to ascertain whether the focus and budget of the proposed activities are appropriate for this solicitation. Such consultations should be completed at least one month in advance of the submission deadline. PIs should include the names of the Cognizant Program Officers consulted in their Project Summary as described in Section V(A) - Proposal Preparation Instructions.

The Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) supports the development of a diverse and well-prepared workforce of scientists, technicians, engineers, mathematicians and educators. EHR is interested in engaging the CI and education research communities to use advanced cyberinfrastructure and other approaches to analyze, visualize, and harness data to better understand issues of workforce development in science and engineering. Topics of particular interest include preparation of the workforce in areas of data security and privacy in connection with EHR’s investment in the CyberCorps(R): Scholarships for Service (SFS) and Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) programs, as well as the other aspects associated with preparation of the technical workforce for proficiency in using advanced cyberinfrastructure, which is supported by EHR’s Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program. In this context, EHR is interested in supporting: (a) innovations in formal and informal educational settings that lead to the broadest participation by all learners; (b) advances in pedagogical curricular design, and introduction of research and internship opportunities; and (c) assessments of training, learning and program evaluation. Prospective PIs may wish to separately submit proposals to the EHR Core Research (ECR) program, which welcomes proposals seeking to advance basic research on the learning of challenging CI content in formal and informal settings, exploring the evaluation of models for broadening participation such as collective impact, and studying the development of the STEM professional workforce.

The Directorate for Engineering (ENG) is interested in training students, postdocs and educators in the areas of reusable, sustainable high-performance computing software tools, models and algorithms; Big Data management and analytics tools to advance research across the domain areas of ENG; fluidic processes and materials; catalysis and biocatalysis; and those supported by the Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS), Understanding the Brain (UtB), and Nanoscale Science and Engineering (NSE) programs. Proposals are also invited to address training and education needs in advanced multi-scale, multi-physics computational models and simulations for engineering for natural hazards mitigation suitable for community sharing on the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) cyberinfrastructure (http://designsafe-ci.org/). In support of the broader goals of this solicitation, proposals for workshops and summer institutes are encouraged; lectures, problem sessions, and hands-on activities are expected to achieve the intended impact.

The Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) is interested in supporting workshops and summer schools focused on training students and postdocs in computational methods on advanced computing architectures. High-performance computing and data analytics methods are to be introduced in the context of specific scientific applications relevant to the MPS communities. Lectures must be accompanied by problem sessions and hands-on activities on the actual machines. Online sharing of workshop materials and recorded presentations on dedicated websites is strongly encouraged.

The Directorate of Geosciences (GEO), and the Divisions of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (ACI) and Computing and Communication Foundation (CCF) in the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) are not highlighting specific areas in the context of this solicitation. Rather, they welcome proposals that broadly enhance the communities of CI Professionals, Contributors, and Users in consultation with the Cognizant POs.

Investments through this solicitation at the undergraduate and graduate levels complement NSF’s Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) and graduate education strategic frameworks, respectively. IUSE is NSF's comprehensive, Foundation-wide framework for an integrated vision of the agency's investments in undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Similarly, NSF has recently published a Strategic Framework for Investments in Graduate Education (https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2016/nsf16074/nsf16074.pdf).

Prospective PIs contemplating submissions that primarily target communities relevant to those directorates/divisions that are not participating in this solicitation are directed to instead explore the education and workforce development programs of the respective directorates/divisions.

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.