This document has been archived. For current NSF funding opportunities, see
for Education and Human Resources
Division of Human Resource Development
The Division of Human Resource Development
(HRD), located in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources, serves
as a focal point for NSF's agency-wide commitment to enhance the quality
and excellence of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)
education and research by broadening the participation of underrepresented
groups and institutions. HRD's programs aim to increase the participation
and advancement of minority-serving institutions, women and girls, and persons
with disabilities at every level of science and engineering enterprises
including underrepresented minorities. By doing so, these programs contribute
to the development of a diverse, internationally competitive, and globally
engaged workforce of scientists, engineers, and well-prepared citizens.
All HRD programs seek to encourage access to and equity within STEM education.
Thematically, these goals are realized via:
- education research and demonstration;
- enhancement of institutional education
- enhancement of institutional research capacity;
- large-scale implementation;
- recognition and dissemination.
HRD Programs According to Theme and Population
Minorities and Minority-Serving Institutions
Women And Girls
Persons with Disabilities
Education Research and Demonstration
Enhancement of Institutional Education
Enhancement of Institutional Research
Recognition and Dissemination
And Minority Serving Institutions
Minority groups underrepresented in science, technology, engineering,
and mathematics (STEM) disciplines include American Indians/Alaskan Natives
(Native Americans), African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Pacific
Islanders. The Division of Human Resource Development (HRD) supports efforts
that are focused on two major objectives: (1) supporting student activities
and (2) strengthening the research capabilities of minority institutions.
HRD programs represent a coherent effort to stimulate organizational and
institutional change; markedly improve the quality of education opportunities
available to minority and other students; and increase the quality and quantity
of students pursuing degrees in STEM disciplines.
1. Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP)
The AGEP Program seeks to significantly increase the number of American
Indian/Alaskan Native (Native American), African American, Hispanic American,
and Native Pacific Islander students receiving doctoral degrees in science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields customarily supported
by NSF. The lack of role models and mentors in the professoriate constitutes
a significant barrier to producing minority STEM doctoral graduates. NSF
is particularly interested in increasing the number of minorities who will
enter the professoriate in these disciplines.
Specific objectives of AGEP are to (1) develop and implement innovative
models for recruiting, mentoring, and retaining minority students in STEM
doctoral programs and (2) develop effective strategies for identifying and
supporting underrepresented minorities who want to pursue academic careers.
The AGEP Program also supports a research effort to identify major factors
that promote the successful transition of minority students from (1) undergraduate
through graduate study; (2) course-taking in the early years of the graduate
experience to independent research required for completion of a dissertation;
and (3) the academic environment to the STEM workplace. To accomplish this,
the research component will be informed by a portfolio of federal and private
efforts in this arena in order to identify factors underlying exemplary
as well as unsuccessful efforts.
Eligibility Requirements for AGEP
Alliances that consist of STEM doctoral degree-granting institutions are
eligible to apply to the program. One institution must be designated as
the lead institution for the project. Institutions in the United States
and its territories that have documented success in graduating minority
students at the Ph.D. level are strongly encouraged to participate. Alliances
are encouraged to establish partnerships with minority-serving undergraduate
institutions to enhance recruitment efforts, where appropriate.
2. Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST)
NSF recognizes that academic institutions with significant minority student
enrollments play a vital role in conducting the research that contributes
to our knowledge base in all disciplines and in educating minority students
who go on to careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics
The CREST Program makes substantial resources available to upgrade the
capabilities of the most research-productive minority institutions. The
program develops outstanding research centers through the integration of
education and research. In addition, it serves to promote the production
of new knowledge; increase the research productivity of individual faculty;
and expand a diverse student presence in STEM disciplines. CREST projects
enhance the effectiveness of related science and engineering activities
within the project's area of research focus.
Eligibility Requirements for CREST
Institutions eligible to participate in CREST Research Infrastructure
Improvement (RII) awards must have the following:
- Enrollments of 50 percent or more members of minority groups
underrepresented in advanced levels of science and engineering (e.g., Alaskan
Natives [Eskimo or Aleut], American Indian, African American, Native Pacific
Islanders [Polynesian or Micronesian], Hispanic or Latino);
- Graduate programs
in NSF-supported fields of science or engineering;
- Demonstrated strengths
in NSF-supported fields, as evidenced by an existing or developing capacity
to offer doctoral degrees in one or
more science and engineering disciplines;
- A willingness and capacity to
serve as a resource center in one or more research thrust areas;
- A demonstrated
commitment and track record in enrolling and graduating minority scientists
and engineers; and
- Strong collaborations in the proposed field of research.
3. Historically Black Colleges and Universities – Undergraduate
HBCU-UP seeks to enhance the quality of undergraduate science, technology,
engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education at Historically Black Colleges
and Universities as a means to broaden participation in the Nation’s
STEM workforce. The program provides support for the implementation of comprehensive
institutional strategies to strengthen STEM teaching and learning in ways
that will improve the access and retention of underrepresented groups in
STEM. Typical project implementation strategies include STEM course and
curricular reform and enhancement; faculty professional development; supervised
research and other active learning experiences for STEM undergraduates;
student support; scientific instrumentation to improve STEM instruction;
and other activities that meet institutional needs.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities that currently offer associate,
baccalaureate, or graduate degrees in STEM fields are eligible.
4. Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP)
The LSAMP Program is designed to develop the comprehensive strategies
necessary to strengthen the preparation and increase the number of minority
students who successfully complete baccalaureates in science, technology,
engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. This objective facilitates the
long-term goal of increasing the production of doctorates in STEM fields,
with an emphasis on entry into faculty positions.
The LSAMP Program requires each awardee to establish meaningful partnerships
among academic institutions and encourages the inclusion of government agencies
and laboratories, industry, and professional organizations. It is expected
that successful partnerships will enable the development of approaches tailored
to the institutional setting for achievement of program goals in STEM undergraduate
education. Activities supported include student enrichment such as collaborative
learning, skill development, and mentoring; academic enrichment, such as
curricular and instructional improvement; and direct student support, such
as summer activities.
With justification, nonprofit organizations may serve as members of the
partnership. Academic institutions with a track record of educating underrepresented
minority students in STEM disciplines are eligible to apply to the LSAMP
5. Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP)
TCUP provides awards to enhance the quality of science, technology, engineering,
and mathematics (STEM) instruction and outreach programs, with an emphasis
on the leveraged use of information technologies at Tribal Colleges and
Universities, Alaskan Native-serving institutions, and Hawaiian Native-serving
institutions. Support is available for the implementation of comprehensive
institutional approaches to strengthen STEM teaching and learning in ways
that improve access to, retention within, and graduation from STEM programs,
particularly those that have a strong technological foundation. Through
this program, assistance is provided to eligible institutions in their efforts
to bridge the “digital divide” and prepare students for careers
in information technology, science, mathematics, and engineering fields.
Proposed activities should be the result of careful analysis of institutional
needs, address institutional and NSF goals, and have the potential to result
in significant, sustainable improvement in STEM program offerings.
Typical TCUP project implementation strategies include curriculum enhancement,
faculty professional development, undergraduate research and community service,
academic enrichment, infusion of technology to enhance STEM instruction,
collaborations, and other activities that meet institutional and community
Eligibility Requirements for TCUP
Organizations that are eligible include Tribal Colleges and Universities,
Alaskan Native-serving institutions, and Native Hawaiian-serving institutions.
Gender Diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
All of the divisions within NSF’s Directorate for
Education and Human Resources encourage projects that will increase the
participation of women
and girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
Because women are underrepresented in many disciplines, HRD supports research
on focused interventions that are directed toward increasing the number
of fully participating women in the mainstream of the Nation’s scientific
and technological enterprises. GDSE specifically supports the following
- Research—This area seeks to enhance the multidisciplinary
understanding of gender differences in human learning—behavioral,
cognitive, affective, and social aspects—through sociopsychological,
ethnographic, statistical, anthropological, economic, and organizational
studies. The efforts in this area provide a research foundation for educational
approaches, curriculum materials, and technological tools that are already
developed or can be developed in the future. Emphasis is also placed on
bridging research and educational practice in settings such as classrooms,
informal learning sites, and technological learning environments. Results
of PGE research projects should be cumulative, reproducible, sustainable,
and scalable, supporting sustained improvement in educational practice.
- Demonstration or "Model" Projects—This area employs
evaluation methods to determine the effectiveness of new learning tools,
pedagogies, professional development, or student programs and services.
Demonstration projects apply research findings about girls’ learning
preferences in the design of new curriculum materials, services, pedagogy,
or instructor development programs. Successful or “model” projects
may be institutionalized and replicated. Teacher and faculty development
demonstrations test new ways to integrate the understanding and awareness
of gender-inclusive practices into preservice and in-service programs and
into professional standards and policies. It is anticipated that participants
in demonstration projects will directly benefit from the learning experience
and assimilate new behaviors.
- Information Dissemination Activities—This area of GDSE
supports projects focusing on the dissemination of research results or
strategies for reducing the barriers for women and girls in STEM fields.
activities include media (e.g., videotapes and brochures), conferences,
teleconferences, symposia, and workshops that bring together experts to
discuss issues, projects, policies, and research related to the participation
and achievement of women and girls in STEM. Dissemination projects take
exemplary models and materials to a significant national audience.
Research in Disabilities Education (RDE)
The Research in Disabilities Education (RDE) Program supports efforts
to increase the participation and achievement of persons with disabilities
in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and
careers. Meritorious projects from diverse institutions are supported via
RDE demonstration, enrichment, and information dissemination (RDE-DEI) standard
grants. Promising research efforts may then be developed further via continuing
grants under the focused-research initiatives (RDE-FRI) program track. Finally,
broadly applicable methods and products are disseminated for widespread
use, commercialization, or inclusion in the activities of program-sponsored
Regional Alliances for persons with disabilities in STEM education (RDE-RAD).
RDE Alliances serve to inform the public, government, and industry about
proven good practices in the classroom; promote broader awareness of disabilities
issues; and define specific areas of accessibility and human learning in
need of further attention by educators and the research community.
Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering
The White House established the PAESMEM Program to recognize the importance
of role models and mentors in the academic, professional, and personal development
of students underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics
(STEM) fields. PAESMEM identifies outstanding mentors and mentoring programs
that enhance the experiences of underrepresented students in the sciences,
mathematics, and engineering. At the individual and institutional levels,
PAESMEM awardees have been exemplary in their demonstration of the idea
that the Nation must fully develop its human resources in STEM disciplines
through the support of increased access by, and inclusion of, diverse populations.
Nominees, both individual and institutional, must have served as mentors
or facilitated mentoring services for at least 5 years. Awards are made
to (1) individuals who have demonstrated outstanding and sustained mentoring
and effective guidance to a significant number of students at the K–12,
undergraduate, or graduate level of education and (2) institutions that
have, through their programming, enabled a substantial number of students
from groups traditionally underrepresented in science, mathematics, and
engineering to pursue and complete relevant degree programs successfully.
At the postsecondary level, these efforts must show that students have completed
either a baccalaureate, masters, or doctoral degree.