NSF Stimulus Funds for Science Master's Programs

August 21, 2009

The last National Science Foundation (NSF) solicitation under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) [a.k.a. stimulus funds] was released today - the solicitation for proposals to catalyze the creation of Science Master's Programs (SMPs). Highlights of this new program include:

NSF defines a Science Master's Program as a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) based graduate education curriculum broadened with education that provides additional skills, such as through specially tailored courses in business and management, research experiences, and internship experiences, that prepare students to work in business, industry, government agencies, or nonprofit organizations.

Proposals should feature partnerships with potential employers to determine the high workforce need areas and the relevant training required. Recruitment and retention of students from groups underrepresented in science and engineering are also emphasized. Proposals that demonstrate a readiness to start the new SMP expeditiously will be given priority.

NSF seeks to support institution-based efforts that can be sustained without federal funding beyond the grants made in this competition.

NSF expects to make 21 awards, each for up to $700,000 over three years. The bulk of the funds must be used for graduate student stipends and educational and training activities. Letters of intent are required and are due October 5, with full proposals due November 20. Each institution can be the lead on only one proposal in response to this solicitation.

Further details may be found at:

Program Web Site: http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503428

Solicitation: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2009/nsf09607/nsf09607.htm

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