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News Release 18-057

NSF announces first research awards under Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program

31 new projects aim to increase retention and graduation rates for STEM students attending HSIs

Conference room at Northeastern Illinois University filled with researchers sitting at tables listening to a lecture

NSF received valuable input from HSI conferences, like this one at Northeastern Illinois University.


August 8, 2018

The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program (HSI Program) today issued its first research awards for 31 projects totaling approximately $45 million.

Hispanics constitute 16 percent of the U.S. workforce, but they make up only 6 percent of the U.S. science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce. More than 60 percent of Hispanic students attend an HSI. NSF's HSI Program invests in projects that build capacity and increase retention and graduation rates for STEM students at HSIs. It also aims to build capacity at HSIs with little or no prior NSF funding.

"NSF has a long history of funding individual researchers and projects at HSIs," said Jim Lewis, acting NSF assistant director for Education and Human Resources. "This new program seeks to support growth at HSIs that have traditionally lacked federal resources, to assure that they can encourage the development of scientists and engineers."

Congress directed NSF to award grants to Hispanic-Serving Institutions. As a result, NSF built on decades of collaborative work with the broader community as well as lawmakers to find ways to improve the quality of undergraduate STEM education at HSIs.

"In designing the HSI Program, NSF sought input from various stakeholders. We funded conferences and conducted listening sessions with students, faculty, deans, and heads of professional organizations. We also received advice from 16 HSI campus leaders representing diverse geographic regions, public and private institutions and large and small schools," Lewis said. "This valuable input helped us develop a robust program that aligns with NSF's commitment to increase access, particularly for groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM."

Of the initial 31 projects, NSF issued awards to five community colleges and three universities that have received little to no previous NSF funding. In addition, a five-year grant will fund an HSI Resource Hub at New Mexico State University, in collaboration with Dona Ana Community College and California State University-Northridge. The HSI Resource Hub aims to reach HSIs across the nation to build partnerships that will support STEM education, increase STEM research and education capacity at HSIs, and encourage implementation of cutting-edge training in STEM education.

The 2018 awards and recipient institutions are listed below.

-NSF-

Media Contacts
Bobbie Mixon, NSF, (703) 292-8485, email: bmixon@nsf.gov

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2018, its budget is $7.8 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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