(CLOSED) Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (STEM Ed PRF) Institutional Cohort (NSF 22-531)

Sponsor Name: 
Description of the Award: 

Institutional Limit: Each institution may be named in only one Institutional Cohort Postdoctoral Fellowship proposal per competition, in either a single institutional or collaborative institutional proposal. You must respond to this limited submission if you are proposing an Institutional Cohort as a Lead OR non-lead institution.

To realize its identified goals of promoting discovery, learning, research infrastructure and stewardship, NSF supports projects judged as promising to “advance the frontiers of knowledge, cultivate a world-class, broadly inclusive science and engineering workforce and expand the scientific literacy of all citizens, build the nation's research capability through investments in advanced instrumentation and facilities, and support excellence in science and engineering research and education through a capable and responsive organization” (https://www.nsf.gov/about/glance.jsp). Working towards the particular objective of furthering the Nation’s ability to develop an effective STEM workforce requires high-quality STEM education informed by robust STEM education research. The STEM Ed PRF program directly aligns with this work by funding projects designed to build STEM education research capacity and advance knowledge in STEM education.

The STEM Ed PRF program offers two tracks of fellowship opportunities for recent doctoral graduates: Track I - Individual Postdoctoral Fellowships and Track II- Institutional Cohort Postdoctoral Fellowships. For both tracks, the program encourages proposals to support postdoctoral experiences for those holding doctorates in STEM education research as well as those who have earned doctorates in STEM, STEM Education, Education, and related disciplines who have career interests in STEM education research. The Individual Postdoctoral Fellowships (Track I) provide an opportunity for recent doctoral graduates in these disciplines to receive training and mentorship under the direction of a sponsoring STEM education researcher(s) from a host institution. The Institutional Cohort Postdoctoral Fellowships (Track II) provide an opportunity for institutions to design a postdoctoral training and mentorship program and host a cohort of recent doctoral graduates in these disciplines.

As part of NSF’s goal to cultivate an inclusive world-class STEM workforce, the STEM Ed PRF program encourages proposals with a focus on broadening the participation of women and people who are members of groups underrepresented in the STEM workforce. The program affords multiple opportunities for broadening participation, including providing support for fellows who are members of groups underrepresented in STEM, supporting the involvement of MSIs in STEM education research, and funding projects that support fellows conducting research on broadening participation in STEM. Principal Investigators are encouraged to incorporate findings from the broadening participation literature in the design of their proposed projects as relevant. Examples include customizing research-based postdoctoral experiences that address the unique experiences of fellows who are members of groups underrepresented in STEM to ensure their retention and development as STEM education researchers and designing innovative higher-education consortia that include community colleges and/or MSIs as integral partners in the project.

Given the priorities outlined in the previous paragraphs, proposers should note that additional review criteria for evaluating the merit of proposals submitted to the STEM Ed PRF program will include the participation of women and persons from groups underrepresented in STEM in project designs; the inclusion of MSIs, community colleges, and institutions within EPSCoR jurisdictions in significant project roles and evidence of the appropriateness of project designs in meeting the unique needs of these groups and institutions. For a list of the criteria reviewers will use in assessing the merits of proposals submitted in response to this solicitation, please refer to section VI.A of this document.

Track 2: Institutional Cohort Postdoctoral Fellowships

Proposers for Institutional Cohort Postdoctoral Fellowships (Track II) may be an individual institution of higher education or a collaborative of multiple institutions (up to three institutions, including the lead institution). The primary (lead) institution must be accredited and include an active STEM education research program and experts prepared to actively mentor postdoctoral fellows. For collaborations of multiple institutions, the secondary (collaborating) institutions must be accredited two-year, four-year, or graduate-level institutions of higher education (including community colleges) or can be non-profit, non-academic organizations engaged in STEM education and/or STEM education research activities. While not all collaborating institutions must host a fellow or fellows, all institutions should have a substantive role and contribute significant value to the proposed project.

Limit (Number of applicants permitted per institution): 
Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Mar 01, 2022
OSVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

Interested applicants should upload the following documents in sequence in one PDF file (File name: Last name_NSF22-531_2022) 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) identifying the project scope that addresses the key aspects and elements of the sponsor's solicitation, principal investigators, collaborators, and partner organizations. References may be included on an additional page.

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)

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:
OSVPR Downselect Deadline: 
Wednesday, January 5, 2022 - 4:00pm
No Applicants. This is now offered on a first come, first served basis, contact limitedsubs@psu.edu if interested