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EHR/Covid-19 Challenge


Covid-19 Challenge


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STEM Graduate and Postdoctoral Level

The impacts of the pandemic on STEM graduate students and postdoctoral researchers are varied from institution to institution and the long-term impacts on their transitions to the STEM workforce are not yet known. We know that some graduate STEM degree programs have been closed and that some institutions have delayed graduate admissions decisions. Additionally, some graduate students and postdoctoral researchers have lost research results and/or lab time for conducting experiments. Doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers have reported increased stress and time commitments necessary to care for family members with COVID-19 or their children who are unable to go to school or child-care facilities. Doctoral candidates and postdoctoral researchers who are searching and interviewing for faculty positions are finding significant delays and decreases in STEM faculty hiring.

Concerns about underlying issues, policies, and practices that are failing to address the possible long-term impacts of COVID-19 on the participation, transition, and advancement of diverse STEM graduate student and postdoctoral researchers along the pathways into the STEM professoriate should be addressed. We are seeking institutional actions such as new and revised policies and practices that IHEs have implemented, or will implement, to address the negative impacts of the pandemic such as the retention, success, and advancement of diverse STEM graduate students and postdoctoral researchers (challenge category 3). The IHE does not need to have a grant from NSF to be eligible to submit an entry.

Cash Prizes Breakdown:


Prize Amount & Honorable Mentions

First Place


Second Place


Third Place


Honorable mention

Up to 10 (no cash award)

Who can submit? Please refer to the Graduate and Postdoctoral Researcher Challenge information under the Important Additional Eligibility Information section of the the Eligibility/Rules page..

Sponsoring NSF Programs: Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP), NSF ADVANCE, and NSF Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES)