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This program has been archived.

Division of Equity for Excellence in STEM

Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) and HBCU Research Infrastructure for Science and Engineering (HBCU-RISE)

CREST: New solicitations coming soon!

The CREST Solicitation (NSF 18-509) is under revision. New solicitations supporting CREST Centers, CREST HBCU-RISE, and postdocs will be available soon.

Thank you for your patience!

CREST/HBCU-RISE: Important Notification regarding the December 2022 Deadlines

In anticipation of the release of a new solicitation(s), please note the following important information for proposers submitting to the HBCU-RISE and CREST Postdoctoral Research Fellowship programs:

  • HBCU-RISE: We will not be accepting Letters of Intent for the December 2, 2022 deadline
  • CREST Postdoctoral Research Fellowship: We will not be accepting full proposals for the December 2, 2022 deadline

CREST Center: Proposers invited to submit a CREST Center full proposal should continue to follow the guidance and instructions contained in the current solicitation (NSF 18-509) and submit by the December 2, 2022 deadline.

CREST and HBCU-RISE: PI Meeting Feb 8-9, 2023

The objective of the HBCU‐UP/CREST PI-PD Meeting is to provide PIs, Co-PIs, Project Directors, and other project personnel with an opportunity to: (1) learn about and share project results; (2) learn about and share innovative strategies for recruiting, preparing, and retaining a diverse pool of undergraduate and graduate students in STEM; (3) learn about other grant opportunities at NSF; and (4) make new connections and develop potential collaborations.

For more meeting and registration information, please visit here.

CREST: Areas of Strong National Interest

In addition to all other NSF supported disciplines, the CREST Centers, HBCU-RISE, and CREST-PRF invite applications in areas of strong national interest: 

Become a CREST Program Reviewer

If you are interested in becoming a reviewer for the Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) program, please fill out the survey linked here.

New CREST Directory

The Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) and HBCU Research Infrastructure for Science and Engineering (RISE) program has published a directory of Centers sites. You may find the list of sites here.

Name Email Phone Room
Luis  A. Cubano (703) 292-7941   
Regina  Sievert (703) 292-2808   
Nicole  E. Gass (703) 292-8378   


Solicitation  18-509

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after October 4, 2021. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 22-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.




The Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) program provides support to enhance the research capabilities of minority-serving institutions (MSI) through the establishment of centers that effectively integrate education and research. MSIs of higher education denote institutions that have undergraduate enrollments of 50% or more (based on total student enrollment) of members of minority groups underrepresented among those holding advanced degrees in science and engineering fields: African Americans, Alaska Natives, American Indians, Hispanic Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Native Pacific Islanders. CREST promotes the development of new knowledge, enhancements of the research productivity of individual faculty, and an expanded presence of students historically underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. CREST Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (PRF) awards provide research experience and training for early career scientists at active CREST Centers. HBCU-RISE awards specifically target HBCUs to support the expansion of institutional research capacity as well as the production of doctoral students, especially those from groups underrepresented in STEM, at those institutions.

 The CREST program supports the following types of projects:

CREST Center awards provide multi-year support (typically 5-years) for eligible minority-serving institutions that demonstrate a strong research and education base, a compelling vision for research infrastructure improvement, and a comprehensive plan with the necessary elements to achieve and sustain national competitiveness in a clearly defined area of national significance in science or engineering research.  Successful Center proposals will demonstrate a clear vision and synergy with the broad goals of the CREST Program and the Human Resource Development Division with respect to development of a diverse STEM workforce.  CREST Centers are expected to provide leadership in the involvement of groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM at all levels (faculty, students, and postdoctoral researchers) within the Center.  Centers are required to use either proven or innovative mechanisms to address issues such as recruitment, retention and mentorship of participants from underrepresented groups. 

CREST Partnership Supplements support the establishment or strengthening of partnerships and collaborations between active CREST Centers and nationally or internationally recognized research centers including NSF-supported research centers, and private sector research laboratories, K-12 entities including museums and science centers or schools, as appropriate to enable the CREST Centers to advance knowledge and education on a research theme of national significance. 

CREST Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (PRF) awards recognize beginning CREST Center investigators with significant potential and provide them with research experiences that broaden perspectives, facilitate interdisciplinary interactions and establish them in positions of leadership within the scientific community. Fellows conduct research on topics aligned with the research focus of the host CREST Center. The fellowships are also designed to provide active mentoring to the Fellows by the sponsoring CREST Center scientists who, in turn, will benefit from the incorporation of these talented scientists into their research groups.

HBCU Research Infrastructure for Science and Engineering (RISE) awards support the development of research capability at Historically Black Colleges and Universities that offer doctoral degrees in science and engineering disciplines. Supported projects must have a unifying research focus in one of the research areas supported by NSF, a direct connection to the long-term plans of the host department(s), institutional strategic plan and mission, and plans for expanding institutional research capacity as well as increasing the production of doctoral students, especially those underrepresented in STEM.

SBIR/STTR Phase IIa Diversity Collaboration Supplements provide an opportunity for existing SBIR/STTR Phase II projects to initiate collaborations with minority-serving institutions that have active CREST Center or HBCU-RISE awards. These supplemental proposals are administered by and co-funded with the NSF Directorate for Engineering Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (ENG/IIP).


This program provides educational opportunities for  Undergraduate Students, Graduate Students, Postdoctoral Fellows. This program provides indirect funding for students at this level or focuses on educational developments for this group such as curricula development, training or retention. To inquire about possible funding opportunities not directly from NSF, please look at the active awards for this program.


What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program