(WITHDRAWN - PSU ineligible due to active SEPA award) PAR-20-153 NIH Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) (R25 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Sponsor Name: 
Description of the Award: 

The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research educational activities that complement other formal training programs in the mission areas of the NIH Institutes and Centers. The over-arching goals of the NIH R25 program are to: (1) complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs; (2) encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, to pursue further studies or careers in research; (3) help recruit individuals with specific specialty or disciplinary backgrounds to research careers in biomedical, behavioral and clinical sciences; and (4) foster a better understanding of biomedical, behavioral and clinical research and its implications.

The overarching goal of this R25 program is to support educational activities that complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs.

To assure the vitality and continued productivity of the research enterprise, the NIGMS provides leadership in training the next generation of scientists, in enhancing the diversity of the scientific workforce, and in developing research capacity throughout the country.

The SEPA program supports P-12 and informal science education (ISE) activities that: (1) enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research workforce and (2) foster a better understanding of NIH-funded biomedical, behavioral and clinical research and its public health implications.The SEPA program targets two primary audiences: (1) SEPA formal or classroom-based projects, provide STEM content, pedagogical expertise, and problem solving skills to teachers, students, and families in communities not generally supported by advanced and innovative educational practices: (2) SEPA informal science education (ISE) activities, conducted in outside-the-classroom venues as well as in science centers and museums, target both workforce diversity and improved public health literacy.

Applications that target pre-kindergarten to grade 12 (P-12) or ISE topics that are not be addressed by existing school, community, or ISE-based activities are encouraged.

Proposed projects:

  • May focus on any area of NIH-funded research
  • Must address broader impact issues, i.e., the potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired workforce diversity and capabilities, societal, and health literacy outcomes.

To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support innovative educational activities with a primary focus on:

  • Courses for Skills Development : For example, advanced courses in a specific discipline or research area, or specialized research or analytical skills such as biostatistics and datascience.
  • Research Experiences: Research experiences for P-12 teachers and students that will provide hands-on exposure to research methods and concepts that are not available through conventional teacher training or classroom activities.
  • Mentoring Activities: Programs that provide mentors and near-peer role models, in terms of age, gender, race, and ethnicity, for P-12 students.
  • Curriculum or Methods Development: For example, to improve biomedical, behavioral, or clinical science education, or to develop novel instructional approaches or computer and data science-based educational tools.
  • Outreach: Activities that enhance workforce diversity, community health and medicine knowledge through dissemination of educational resources and biomedical, behavioral and clinical research findings.

New areas of high SEPA programmatic interest include:

  1. Educational activities, where participants have access to research-generated data, that will train students for informatics, bioinformatics, data science careers.
  2. Embedded math and reading content for projects targeting P-8 student participants.
  3. Adaptations of successful SEPA programs in new locations or with new populations.

NOTE: SEPA funding does not support large scale STEM or ISE projects where the total cost of the project will exceed the total amount of the requested SEPA award, e.g., "seed money" for a project larger and longer term than the proposed SEPA project.

Limit (Number of applicants permitted per institution): 
Sponsor LOI Deadline: 
Jun 15, 2020
Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Jul 14, 2020
OVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 


nterested applicants should upload the following documents in sequence in one PDF file (File name: Last name_NIH 20-153_2020 no later than 4:00 p.m. on the internal submission deadline:

1. Cover Letter (1 page, pdf):

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • PI name, departmental affiliations(s) and contact information
  • Co-PI's names and departmental affiliation(s)
  • Names of other key personnel
  • Participating institution(s)
  • Number and title of this funding opportunity

2. Project Description (no more than two pages, pdf) and identify the project scope that addresses the key aspects and elements, principal investigators, collaborators, and partner organizations.

3. 2-page CV's of Investigators

Formatting Guidelines:

Font/size: Times New Roman (12 pt.)
Document margins: 1.0” (top, bottom, left and right)
Standard paper size (8 ½” x 11)
Questions concerning the limited submissions process may be submitted to limitedsubs@psu.edu.

To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
This limited submission is in downselect: 
Penn State may only submit a specific number of proposals to this funding opportunity. The number of NOIs received require that an internal competition take place, thus, a downselect process has commenced. No Penn State researchers may apply to this opportunity outside of this downselect process. To apply for this limited submission, please use this link:
OVPR Downselect Deadline: 
Wednesday, May 13, 2020 - 4:00pm