(CLOSED) NSF 20-569 Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES) 2020

Sponsor Name: 
Description of the Award: 

The NSF INCLUDES Big Idea is a comprehensive national initiative 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. The vision of NSF INCLUDES is to catalyze the STEM enterprise to work collaboratively for inclusive change, resulting in a STEM workforce that reflects the population of the Nation. More specifically, NSF INCLUDES seeks to improve collaborative efforts aimed at enhancing the preparation, increasing the participation, and ensuring the contributions of individuals from groups that have been historically underrepresented and underserved in the STEM enterprise such as African Americans, Alaska Natives, Hispanics, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians, Native Pacific Islanders, persons with disabilities, persons from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, and women and girls. Significant advancement in the inclusion of underrepresented groups in STEM will result in a new generation of STEM talent and leadership to secure our nation’s future and long-term economic competitiveness.

The NSF INCLUDES National Network is composed of:

  • Alliances,
  • Design and Development Launch Pilots,
  • Coordination Hub,
  • Other NSF funded projects,
  • Federal Coordination in STEM (FC-STEM) agencies,
  • Scholars engaged in broadening participation research, and
  • Organizations that support the development of talent from all sectors of society to build an inclusive STEM workforce.

A hallmark of NSF INCLUDES is the focus on the five design elements of collaborative infrastructure to achieve systemic change. Collaborative infrastructure refers to the process by which partnering organizations come together to map out mutually reinforcing activities through: (1) shared vision, (2) partnerships, (3) goals and metrics, (4) leadership and communication, and (5) expansion, sustainability and scale. Through these five design elements of collaborative infrastructure, the successful implementation of NSF INCLUDES will result in substantial advances toward a diverse, innovative, and well-prepared STEM workforce to support our Nation’s economy and continued U.S. leadership in the global STEM enterprise. It is anticipated that NSF’s investment will contribute to new and improved STEM career pathways, policies, opportunities to learn, and practices for equity and inclusion. The initiative is supported by the NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub (www.includesnetwork.org) that provides a framework for communication and networking, network assistance and reinforcement, and visibility and expansion for the NSF INCLUDES National Network as a whole.

Through this solicitation, NSF INCLUDES will support the establishment and growth of new Alliances that employ a collaborative infrastructure approach to address a critical broadening participation challenge in STEM at scale.

The five design elements of collaborative infrastructure are critical for each NSF INCLUDES Alliance and require Alliances to:

  • Develop a shared vision and strategy (e.g., problem statement and theory of change) for broadening the participation of the target population(s) in STEM along with relevant metrics of success and key milestones/goals to be achieved during the project’s lifecycle;
  • Develop multi-stakeholder partnerships and build infrastructure among them to decrease social distance and achieve progress on common goals targeted by the Alliance;
  • Contribute to the knowledge base on broadening participation in STEM through broadening participation and implementation research, sharing project evaluations, data, new scientific findings/discoveries, and promising practices;
  • Establish a "backbone" or support organization that provides a framework for communication and networking, network assistance and reinforcement, visibility and expansion of the Alliance and its partners, that will collaborate with the NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub;
  • Advance a logic model or other heuristic that identifies Alliance outcomes that reflect implementation of change at scale and progress toward developing an inclusive STEM enterprise.

Collectively, NSF INCLUDES Alliances:

  • Participate in a network of peer alliances to achieve long-term goals of the NSF INCLUDES Big Idea;
  • Collaborate with the NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub to build critical knowledge that shows measurable progress toward short-term and long-term goals; and
  • Work to build connections to other organizations and broadening participation stakeholders to join in and expand the NSF National Network.

In addition to addressing the five design elements of collaborative infrastructure, Alliances connect and contribute to the NSF INCLUDES National Network through the Alliance backbone support organization, the NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub, current and potential partnerships, capacity building, resource sharing and/or other mechanisms.

Proposals are especially encouraged that address broadening participation challenges not yet represented in the NSF INCLUDES portfolio of Alliances. For more information on funded NSF INCLUDES projects, see: https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/simpleSearchResult?queryText=nsf+includes.

NSF INCLUDES is one of the NSF 10 Big Ideas for future investment. Broadening participation challenges that connect to the other NSF 10 Big Ideas might also be considered. The other Big Ideas include: Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier, Growing Convergence Research, Harnessing the Data Revolution, Mid-scale Research Infrastructure, Navigating the New Arctic, NSF 2026, Quantum Leap, Understanding the Rules of Life, and Windows on the Universe. For more information regarding the NSF 10 Big Ideas, see: https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/big_ideas/.

Sponsor LOI Deadline: 
Oct 06, 2020
Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Jan 26, 2021
OVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

Interested applicants should upload the following documents in sequence in one PDF file (File name: Last name_NSF-20-569_2020 no later than 4:00 p.m. on the internal submission deadline:

1. Cover Page(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 Summary (no more than 1 page) Provide an overview of the proposed NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub and Separately address the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts.

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

4. Two-page CV's of Investigators

5. Summary of current and pending support of all PIs and Co-PIs

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: 
Thursday, July 23, 2020 - 4:00pm
No Applicants