The NSF Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (INCLUDES) has released its program solicitation (NSF 17-522) for 2017. NSF INCLUDES is seeking proposals aimed at “enhancing the preparation, increasing the participation, and ensuring the contributions of individuals from groups that have traditionally been underrepresented and underserved in the STEM enterprise: women, persons with disabilities, African Americans/Blacks, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Native Pacific Islanders, and persons from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.” This solicitation is only accepting Design and Development Launch Pilots proposals. The agency expects to fund up to 25 two-year design/pilot projects at $300,000 or less.
Preliminary proposals will be accepted until February 14, 2017. Full proposals will be due on May 16, 2017.
“NSF INCLUDES Design and Development Launch Pilots: Two-year pilot projects that explore the feasibility of bold, innovative ways for solving a broadening participation challenge in STEM. Successful pilots will deliver models or prototypes, which incorporate data and measurement infrastructures, supporting collective efforts aimed at increasing the active participation of those who have been traditionally underserved and underrepresented in all STEM fields.”
“Successful pilots will deliver models or prototypes for collective efforts aimed at increasing the active participation of those who have been traditionally underserved and underrepresented in all fields of STEM. Teams of organizations might come together locally, regionally, nationally, or by disciplinary focus. Key to a successful proposal will be the identification of a specific goal and measurable objectives, and an argument that the set of partners being assembled includes all who are needed to successfully address the objective. The plan must articulate its potential for scaling. These planning and start-up activities are aimed at engaging appropriate communities in testing the feasibility of developing a full-scale plan and process for change, including identifying other support mechanisms for sustaining the efforts.”
The most competitive preliminary proposal project narratives for the Design and Development Launch Pilots will address the following questions:
- “Vision: What broadening participation challenge(s) will be addressed and what is the broader vision of the partnership, network, or alliance for effecting change? What innovative strategies will be used? How do those strategies build upon previous efforts? How are the strategies unique from what was done in the past by the participating organizations?
- Partnerships: Which institutions are the proposed partners and what is the evidence that the partnership will be able to use social innovation frameworks such as collective impact to achieve the goals of the project? What expertise do the partnering organizations bring to the effort?
- Goals and Metrics: What is the preliminary strategic plan to address the broadening participation challenge(s) identified above, including goals and measurable objectives? Which specific objectives will be addressed by the pilot, and why will successfully addressing these objectives position the PIs to launch a successful, expanded NSF INCLUDES Alliance? What types of data will be collected and how will data be used?
- Leadership and Communication: How will the collaboration build capacity for leadership among all partnering organizations? How will the network provide for collective leadership among the partnering organizations? How will project activities and outcomes be broadly shared with the communities of interest?
- Potential for Expansion, Impact and Scale: How will the pilot project’s activities contribute to next steps for a research agenda and development plan to expand the network of organizations and activities into a broader alliance? What strategies will be used to getting the project to scale? What will be the overall contribution to broadening participation in the nation’s scientific workforce?”