Funding Opportunity: NSF Solicits Proposals for INCLUDES Coordination Hub
The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently released a solicitation for a Coordination Hub that would support the Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (INCLUDES) National Network. The mission of the INCLUDES initiative is to “enhance U.S. leadership in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) discoveries and innovations focused on NSF’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and broadening participation in these fields.” INCLUDES looks to expand the involvement of underserved and underrepresented groups in STEM fields, and the Coordination Hub would provide infrastructure, support, and guidance to individual INCLUDES Alliances and Design and Development Launch Pilots as well as for the overall program. In previous NSF communications, the Coordination Hub was referred to as a “national backbone organization.”
As part of the INCLUDES National Network, NSF previously awarded an initial set of Design and Development Launch Pilots and accepted proposals for additional Pilots as well as solicited other on-ramps to the INCLUDES National Network. Solicitations for another set of Pilots and NSF INCLUDES Alliances, which build off existing Pilots, have not yet been released, but are expected to have proposal deadlines in fiscal year (FY) 2018. The Coordination Hub will provide communication infrastructure for and promote collaboration with all parts of the National Network, help individual INCLUDES Alliances and Pilots with technical assistance and reinforcement, and focus on external engagement to further visibility and expansion of the INCLUDES network. The Coordination Hub will also be involved in Network evaluation and will coordinate metrics and data analysis across the INCLUDES Network.
NSF expects the Coordination Hub to involve a group of diverse partner organizations to work in collaboration with NSF to support the INCLUDES National Network. Competitive proposals should include partners with experience in “broadening participation, collaborative change, and complex organizational management to manage ideas and resources necessary to facilitate the broader NSF INCLUDES vision.”
Applicants should submit strategic, management, communications, and evaluation plans and demonstrate that they can offer sufficient infrastructure to support the technical, communication, and administrative needs of the National Network. Proposals should also demonstrate institutional support by including letters of collaboration from the organization’s leadership.
Total Funding and Award Information: Maximum funding available for the Coordination Hub is $10.5 million over five years. The Coordination Hub will be awarded as a Cooperative Agreement, and competitive renewal at the end of the initial award may be possible.
Due Dates: Proposal submissions are due November 27, 2017 by 5:00 pm submitter’s local time. Letters of Intent are not required.
Eligibility: “Partnering organizations may include academic institutions, professional organizations, businesses, industry groups, government organizations, non-profit companies, community-based organizations, informal science education organizations, and science- or industry-focused organizations.”
Sources and Additional Information:
- The full solicitation is available at https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=505289.
- More information on the INCLUDES initiative including awarded Pilots can be found athttps://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/nsfincludes/index.jsp.