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NSF 16-032

Dear Colleague Letter: Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program Master Teaching Fellowship track

December 31, 2015

Dear Colleagues:

The purpose of this Dear Colleague Letter is to inform the community of a significant change in the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program's Master Teaching Fellowships (MTF) track. The National Science Foundation's Division of Undergraduate Education in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources wishes to indicate an anticipated change in the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program that would expand opportunities in the Master Teaching Fellowships track. This change results from Public Law 114-59, the "STEM Education Act of 2015," signed on October 7, 2015.

This "STEM Education Act of 2015" amends Section 10A of the NSF Authorization Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 1862n-1a) to allow for the support of Master Teaching Fellowships for teachers with a master's or bachelor's degree in their field. While previously only teachers with a master's degree were eligible for support in the MTF track, this insertion of "or bachelor's" allows for the potential of the expanded opportunity in the Master Teaching Fellowships track of the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program.

As you consider this expanded opportunity, it is important to know that the legislation (42 U.S.C. 1862n-1a) has a "Matching" requirement for those seeking funding for the Master Teaching Fellowships. It states:

"An eligible entity receiving a grant under this section shall provide, from non-Federal sources, to carry out the activities supported by the grant:

  1. in the case of grants in an amount of less than $1,500,000, an amount equal to at least 30 percent of the amount of the grant, at least one half of which shall be in cash; and
  2. in the case of grants in an amount of $1,500,000 or more, an amount equal to at least 50 percent of the amount of the grant, at least one half of which shall be in cash."

This matching requirement has not changed from the previous legislation. P.L. 114-59 impacts only the Master Teaching Fellowships track of the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program.

NSF anticipates issuing a new solicitation for the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program in 2016. There will be a minimum of ninety days between the release of the next solicitation and the next due date for submissions to this program.

For questions in regard to this DCL, please contact Kathleen Bergin, kbergin@nsf.gov.

Sincerely,

Joan Ferrini-Mundy
Assistant Director
Directorate for Education and Human Resources
National Science Foundation