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Education and Special Programs (ESP)
The Education and Special Programs (ESP) unit of the Division of Astronomical Sciences administers or advises on programs that have significant educational components and/or emphasis on broadening participation in astronomy, as well as several Foundation-wide programs that support the professional development of scientists and engineers.
Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Sites and Supplements, a program that supports undergraduate students to participate in active research;
ADVANCE, a program to develop systemic approaches to increase the representation and advancement of women in the scientific and engineering workforce;
The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program, a Foundation-wide activity that offers prestigious awards in support of early career-development activities of teacher-scholars; and
The Partnerships in Astronomy & Astrophysics Research and Education (PAARE) Program, which aims to enhance diversity in astronomy and astrophysics research and education by stimulating the development of formal, long-term, collaborative research and education partnerships among minority-serving institutions and partners at research institutions.
Full descriptions of these programs can be found by visiting the NSF home page and choosing "Crosscutting, NSF-wide" as the Program Area, or by visiting the Division of Astronomical Sciences home page.
ESP also accepts unsolicited proposals with a significant emphasis on astronomy education and broadening participation on a rolling basis. Unsolicited proposals submitted to ESP before March 1 in any given year will be considered for funding in the concurrent fiscal year ending September 30. Prospective PIs are strongly encouraged to contact the cognizant Program Officer prior to submission.