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EHR/Covid-19 Challenge


Covid-19 Challenge


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STEM Faculty Level

The long-term impacts of the pandemic on faculty are not completely understood, but early research on the impacts of COVID-19 on STEM faculty have found the following: increased workload for teaching, mentoring, and service during the pandemic; impacts on the work-life balance of faculty, especially those with dependent care giving responsibilities; research and teaching lab closures; reduced research time and/or funding for students and postdoctoral researchers; lay-offs or reductions in full-time status of non-tenure track and tenure track faculty; and reduced collaborative work due to national and international travel restrictions for faculty, students and postdoctoral researchers. At the same time, some faculty report positive impacts such as having time to write and submit papers for publication. Unfortunately, this is not a universal experience as we know from journal publishers that fewer STEM publications authored by women have been submitted during the pandemic, and this could be detrimental for early career faculty who are in the midst of data collection and who are seeking their first research grants. The differential impact on research productivity is a concern as it may result in wide variations in STEM faculty career development during this time and could exacerbate systemic disparities already experienced by diverse STEM faculty.

Therefore, we are seeking submissions that describe actions such as new or revised policies and practices that address the possible long-term impacts of the pandemic on the diversity, equity, and inclusion of the current STEM faculty and the future STEM faculty in both tenured and tenure track positions (TTT) as well as non-tenure track positions (NTT; challenge category 4). Submissions should describe actions that the IHE has implemented or will implement to mitigate negative long-term impacts of the pandemic on faculty DEI such as the retention, success, and advancement of diverse STEM faculty and/or the recruitment and hiring of diverse STEM faculty candidates. 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 STEM Faculty Challenge information under the Important Additional Eligibility Information section of the the Eligibility/Rules page. Additional Eligibility information for Undergraduate Challenge and Graduate and Postdoctoral Researcher Challenge does not apply to proposals focused on faculty. Proposals focused on policies, procedures, and practices that impact STEM Faculty are welcomed from 2-year Undergraduate; 4-year Undergraduate; and Graduate and Postdoctoral Institutions of Higher Education.

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)