Education and Broadening Participation DEB supplement requests:

The information below describes education and broadening participation supplement requests that are considered by the Division of Environmental Biology. These include:

  • Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)
  • Research Experience for Teachers (RET)
  • Research Assistantships for High School Students (RAHSS)
  • Research Opportunity Award (ROA)

Other types of supplement requests should be discussed with your program officer. If you have any additional questions, please contact the relevant DEB Program (check the DEB staff listings on the NSF website).

Target Date:

Requests for this set of DEB supplements (RET, RAHSS, ROA, REU) should be submitted by the third Tuesday in January annually. This is a target date, requests beyond the target date will be considered only as budgets allow. Supplement requests must be submitted through FastLane.

Eligibility:

Supplements are only available to PIs and Co-PIs with active awards. If you have more than one award, you may request supplements for each award. Please note that some of the special programs accept supplement requests, and others do not. If your program is not listed here and/or if you have questions about supplement eligibility, please contact your cognizant Program Officer.


Program

RET

RAHSS

ROA

REU

Core DEB

Y

Y

Y

Y

EEID

Y

Y

Y

Y

Genealogy of Life

Y

Y

Y

Y

CNH

N

N

N

N

Dimensions of Biodiversity

N

N

N

N


Before submitting a supplement request, review the guidance for that specific type of supplement and keep the following in mind:

  • no supplements can be awarded if there are any overdue project reports associated with anyone on the award including Co-PIs and all members of a collaborative,
  • supplemental funds generally must be expended by the expiration date of the original award
  • the IRB/IACUC documentation must be up-to-date and include the timeframe of the supplement
  • if the award budget already included Participant Support funds to support students or teachers, you must clearly explain the extenuating circumstances leading to the request for more such funding
  • as budgets allow, DEB typically provides funds for one REU student per year, but will consider supporting two REU students if the PI can demonstrate a unique opportunity for broadening participation from traditionally underrepresented groups in the biological sciences.

How to Submit: To submit a supplement request, go to https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/fastlane.jsp. Click on "Proposals, Awards, Status", Log in, Click on "Award and Reporting Functions", Click on "Supplemental Funding Request". You will be presented with a list of your current awards. Choose the one that you wish to supplement and follow the instructions. If you wish to request more than one type of supplement (i.e., an REU and an RET), please submit each one separately in FastLane. For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact the FastLane Help Desk: fastlane@nsf.gov or telephone 1-800-673-6188.

After you have prepared the request for supplemental funding, forward it to your organization's Sponsored Research Office for submission.

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Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)

The “Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)” supplements (NSF 13-542) support NSF awardees in providing integrated research experiences for undergraduates.

Preference for post-award REU supplements will be given to requests that aim to broaden participation in STEM fields. This could include participation of individuals from underrepresented groups, including minorities, persons with disabilities, veterans, and first-generation college students. The Higher Education Act defines the term "minority" as an American Indian, Alaskan Native, Black (not of Hispanic origin), Hispanic (including persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Central or South American origin), Pacific Islander, or other ethnic group underrepresented in science and engineering (which may vary according to discipline). http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/edlite-minorityinst-list.html.

High-quality mentoring is important in REU Supplements and REU projects should involve students in meaningful ways in research projects. An REU supplement should enable undergraduates to participate fully in a research enterprise, from inception and design of the project, to completion and dissemination of results. Additionally, investigators should give serious attention not only to developing students' research skills, but also to involving them in the culture of research in the discipline and connecting their research experience with their overall course of study (e.g., opportunities for high-quality interaction with faculty and/or other research mentors, access to appropriate facilities, and professional development opportunities).

Hence, the request should emphasize expected student involvement in all aspects of the project, and include a detailed plan for mentoring.

DEB programs normally consider supplement requests to fund one REU student per year, per award, but exceptions will be considered if well justified.

Components to include in an REU Supplement request (limited to 3 pages of project description):

  • A specific statement in the project summary that this is a request for an REU supplement
  • A detailed mentoring plan, and a plan to measure the impact of the research experience on the student.
  • A description of the form and nature of the student's involvement in the PI's NSF research project, including expected learning outcomes for the student.
  • An explanation of the unforeseen circumstances that led to this request for post-award supplemental funding.
  • A description of the selection criteria used for selecting the student participant(s) ? or a detailed description of the process that will be used to select the participant(s). Remember that priority will be given to requests that aim to broaden participation in STEM fields (as described above). Additionally, the student must be an undergraduate throughout the entire period of the REU supplement (REU supplements may be used to support high school students who have been accepted to college), and be a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. or its possessions (or will be by the REU start date).
  • A brief description of the PI's prior experience involving undergraduates in research - results from the most recent REU supplement must be described, if applicable.
  • The desired start date and duration of supplement.
  • The expiration date of the parent award (the supplement must be expended by the time the award expires).
  • A brief biographical sketch of the student(s) if already selected should be included in Supplementary Documents.

Budget for an REU supplement request:

  • DEB guidelines for budget development suggest that student stipends for summer projects should be approximately $500 per student per week, in addition to other participant costs which should be explained in the budget justification, such as: (which would be "other" in section F of the budget), room and board, fees, and travel. Academic-year stipends should be comparable on a pro rata basis.
  • All person-related costs, including stipends, travel, room and board, and fees, should be placed in Participant Support Costs (section F) on the budget.
  • A modest amount of materials and supplies can be requested, and should be included under section G.1. of the budget.
  • All costs should be clearly explained in the budget justification.
  • DEB recommends costs on the order of $6250 per student, although they have ranged from $6000-$8000 in the past depending on the proposed activities and availability of funds.
If you have questions, please contact the cognizant DEB Program (check the DEB staff listings on the NSF website).

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Research Experience for Teachers (RET)

The Dear Colleague Letter: Research Experience for Teachers (RET): Funding Opportunity in the Biological Sciences describes how NSF awardees can provide integrated research and education experience for K-12 teachers by including the active participation of these teachers in funded research projects. The Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) enthusiastically supports these supplemental awards.

The intent of this endeavor is to facilitate professional development of K-12 science teachers through research experience at the cutting edge of science.

We strongly recommend discussing a potential RET submission with a program director after studying the “Dear Colleague Letter” and prior to submitting the proposal.

Components to include or consider in an RET Supplement request (limited to 3 pages of project description):

  • A specific statement in the project summary that this is a request for an RET supplement.
  • Clearly articulate, in some detail, the form and nature of the prospective teacher's involvement in the PI's research.
  • A description of the selection process used for identifying the teacher(s). DEB encourages the recruitment of teachers who are members of underrepresented groups (including minorities, persons with disabilities, veterans) or whose school is located in an underserved community. Please note that RET support is limited to U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  • Describe how the experience will lead to transfer of new knowledge to classroom activities, and how those activities help fulfill curriculum goals or teacher training stated by the relevant school system. The inclusion of a plan for broad dissemination of new teaching products is encouraged.
  • Describe what follow-up would be provided to help in translating the teacher's research experience into classroom practice.
  • An explanation of the unforeseen circumstances that led to this request for post-award supplemental funding.
  • A brief description of prior experience working with K-12 teachers - results from the most recent RET supplement must be described, if applicable.
  • The desired start date and duration of supplement. The duration of the RET supplement will generally be one year and the project may be carried out during summer months, during the academic year, or both.
  • The expiration date of the parent award (the supplement must be expended by the time the award expires).
  • Include a biographical sketch for each teacher of no more than 2-pages in Supplementary Documents.

Budget for an RET supplement request:

  • Person-related costs, such as stipends, travel, and lodging should be entered in Participant Support Costs (section F) on the budget. Non-person related costs, such as materials or supplies, should be appropriate for the proposed activities and included under section G.1. of the budget.
  • All costs should be clearly explained in the budget justification.
  • DEB guidelines for budget development suggest the inclusion of a teacher's stipend and up to $1,000 for the cost of materials, equipment, software and other supplies for developing classroom instructions and experiments.
  • Total expenses for each teacher participant should generally be under $15,000.
  • Funds may be available for up to two teachers, but exceptions will be considered. If exceptional circumstances require additional funds, please consult with the relevant DEB Program Officer.
If you have questions, please contact the relevant DEB Program (check the DEB staff listings on the NSF website).

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Research Assistantships for High School Students RAHSS

The Dear Colleague Letter: Research Assistantships for High School Students (RAHSS): Funding to Broaden, Participation in the Biological Sciences describes how NSF awardees can foster interest in the pursuit of studies in the Biological Sciences; and Broaden participation of high school students, particularly those who are underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and women in sub-disciplines where they are underrepresented. The Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) enthusiastically supports these supplemental awards.

Components to include in an RAHSS Supplement request (limited to 3 pages of project description):

  • A specific statement in the project summary that this is a request for an RAHSS supplement.
  • Clear description of the meaningful and challenging activities in which the student(s) will be involved.
  • A detailed mentoring plan, and a plan to measure the impact of the research experience on the student(s).
  • A plan for encouraging the advancement of the RAHSS student(s) beyond participation in the research program.
  • An explanation of the unforeseen circumstances that led to this request for post-award supplemental funding.
  • A brief description of the PI's other experience involving high school students in research. Results from the most recent RAHSS supplement must be described, if applicable.
  • The desired start date and duration of supplement
  • The expiration date of the parent award (the supplement must be used up by the time the grant expires).
  • A brief biographical sketch of the student(s) if already selected should be included in Supplementary Documents.

Budget for an RAHSS supplement request:

  • Budgets for RAHSS activities are generally under $6,000 per student, and should include a student stipend.
  • Person-related costs, such as stipends, travel, and lodging should be entered in Participant Support Costs (section F) on the budget. Non-person related costs, such as materials or supplies, should be appropriate for the proposed activities and included under section G.1. of the budget.
  • All costs should be clearly explained in the budget justification.
  • If exceptional circumstances require additional funds, please consult with the relevant DEB Program Officer

If you have questions, please contact the cognizant DEB Program (check the DEB staff listings on the NSF website).

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Research Opportunity Award (ROA)

The goal of a Research Opportunity Award (ROA) activity is to enhance the research productivity and professional development of science faculty at primarily undergraduate institutions (including community colleges) through research activities that enable them to explore the emerging frontiers of science. Such research not only contributes to basic knowledge in science but also provides an opportunity to integrate research and undergraduate education. The Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) enthusiastically supports this activity. Further information is available in the RUI Program Announcement NSF-14-579.

We strongly recommend discussing a potential ROA submission with a Program Officer prior to submitting the proposal. The following can assist you in preparing an ROA supplement request:

  • The formal ROA supplement request should clearly describe, in some detail: the research to be conducted by the ROA visitor, a statement from the host about his/her role in the proposed research efforts, the contribution of the proposed work to the visitor's future research plans and impact on his/her home institution, a budget with appropriate explanatory justification, and a biographical sketch for the visitor.
  • ROA activities are most frequently summer experiences, but partial support of sabbaticals may also be provided.
  • ROA supplements are generally about $25,000, including indirect costs.
  • Except for major instrumentation or equipment, almost anything allowable in a regular grant proposal (see the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) for details) may be included in an ROA budget.

The decision to award an ROA supplement will be based on internal review by the Program Officer and availability of funds.

If you have questions, please contact the cognizant DEB Program (check the DEB staff listings on the NSF website).

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Broadening Participation at the National Science Foundation: A Framework for Action, 2008 https://www.nsf.gov/od/broadeningparticipation/framework_report.jsp

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