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Opportunities for Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences (OEDG): Call for Ideas

The OEDG Program was established in FY 2002 to serve a critical role in focusing the geoscience community on efforts designed to address the fact that certain groups are underrepresented in the geosciences relative to their proportions in the general population. The primary goal of the OEDG Program has been to increase participation in the geosciences by African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans (American Indians and Alaskan Natives), Native Pacific Islanders (Polynesians or Micronesians), and persons with disabilities. A secondary goal of the program has been to increase the perceived relevance of the geosciences among broad and diverse segments of the population. The OEDG Program has supported a variety of effective pilot projects and full-scale projects that include activities to increase the number of members of underrepresented groups who:

  • Are involved in formal pre-college geoscience education programs;
  • Pursue and earn Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral degrees in the geosciences;
  • Enter geoscience careers; and
  • Participate in informal geoscience education programs, including research experiences.

After a decade of OEDG investments, and in light of other recent advances in the science of broadening participation, the time is right for taking a short hiatus in order to review the accomplishments and impacts of our past investments and reconsider where the emphasis should be placed in OEDG program solicitation priorities going forward. The "Strategic Framework for Education and Diversity, Facilities, International Activities, and Data and Informatics in the Geosciences" document (www.nsf.gov/geo/acgeo/geovision/geo_strategic_plans_2012.pdf) released in 2012 as a companion to the GEO Vision Report, articulates GEO's overarching objectives and near-term priorities for advancing the geoscience community's goals related to broadening participation. This framework acknowledges the complex factors that challenge our ability to engage a more diverse geoscience community and identifies a number of potential areas of investment. During FY 2013, NSF needs to identify the most important targets for funding, as well as the most efficient approaches for engaging relevant stakeholders and implementing/scaling-up evidence-based best practices and resources, so as to optimize its return-on-investment.



DEADLINE EXTENDED TO: November 9, 2012
Ideas submitted after this deadline will not be considered.

To read the Dear Colleague Letter associated with this submission page please go to:[INSERT LINK]


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WHY WE NEED THIS INFORMATION: We are currently in the process of re-focusing the OEDG program and invite the broader research community to provide their suggestions for topic areas.

HOW THE INFORMATION WILL BE USED: All the information you submit will remain confidential. NSF staff will review all submitted comments/ideas, in consultation with external experts. NSF expects to synthesize these comments and convene webinars and online discussions with the geosciences community later in the fall, to further refine concepts that may ultimately be incorporated in a revised OEDG program solicitation. NSF will not be able to provide responses to individual comments.

T H I N K  F O R W A R D

The comments and ideas that you submit should provide forward-looking views, informed by current research on broadening participation in STEM. Comments that identify community opportunities to leverage other NSF or Federal agency resources to achieve maximum impact related to broadening participation in the geosciences are especially encouraged.

The comments should not simply summarize or justify your own ongoing research, education or outreach activities.


The description should contain a title, name(s) of submitter(s), and organization(s) of submitter(s).

Note: Topics that can be addressed through other funding opportunities at NSF (e.g., the programs in EHR/HRD) should not be included.

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THANK YOU for your consideration and taking the time to provide your suggestions for increasing diversity in the geosciences.

If you have any questions, please email: jkarsten@nsf.gov





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