Status:  Open – Full Proposals Due March 11 2024


S-STEM awards in Tracks 1, 2 and 3 facilitate the establishment of infrastructure and collaborations to: (1) provide scholarships to domestic low-income academically promising students with demonstrated financial need pursuing a degree in one of the S-STEM eligible disciplines; (2) adapt and implement evidence-based curricular and co-curricular activities to support NSF S-STEM scholars; (3) increase retention, student success, and graduation of these low-income students in STEM; (4) test strategies for systematically supporting student academic and career pathways in STEM in ways that are congruent with the institutional context and resources; and (5) disseminate findings on what works related to the supports and interventions undertaken by the project, in particular to other institutions working to support low-income STEM students.

In addition to providing funds for scholarships, the S-STEM program also supports the implementation and testing of an ensemble of existing effective evidence-based curricular and co-curricular activities featuring: (1) close involvement of faculty in S-STEM eligible disciplines, (2) one-on-one mentoring for students, (3) provisions and adaptation of activities that support student success, including the formation of student cohorts and other effective practices (e.g., student support services; professional and workforce development activities), (4) covering of academic expenses that become barriers for success for low-income students (e.g., graduation fees, standardize testing fees, graduate school application fees, etc.)

Track 1 (Institutional Capacity Building)

Track 1 projects seek to increase the participation of institutions that have never had an award from the S-STEM program or the STEM Talent Expansion (STEP) program. This requirement applies to the institution as a whole. A prior S-STEM or STEP award to any department or school within the institution makes the entire institution ineligible for a Track 1 award.

Track 1 projects must be led by a PI who is (a) a faculty member currently teaching in one of the S-STEM eligible disciplines being pursued by the targeted scholars, or (b) an academic administrator who has taught in one of the eligible disciplines within the two years prior to submission and can dedicate the time necessary to assure project success. The PI must be a member of the proposed project's leadership and management team. The leadership and management team should also include a STEM administrator (department head or above). Faculty members from all departments or academic units involved should have a role in the project either as Co-PIs, senior/key personnel, or scholar mentors.

Track 1 proposals may request up to $1,000,000 total for up to 6 years.

Additional information: