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News Release 18-083

NSF awards 6 Louis Stokes regional centers of excellence to broaden participation in STEM

Centers aim to increase STEM workforce participation among traditionally underrepresented groups

Students explaining a poster.

Student poster session at the 2017 Louis Stokes Midwest Regional Center of Excellence.

September 19, 2018

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced awards for six Louis Stokes regional centers of excellence (LSRCEs) that will support recruitment and retention of minority undergraduate and graduate students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The centers will conduct broadening participation research and STEM implementation activities that lead to degree completion for minority students traditionally underrepresented in the STEM marketplace. The goal is to broadly disseminate successful practices to ensure that students underrepresented in STEM can compete in today's job market. Five of the center awards are new and one is a renewal.

"With national news reporting that more than 2 million science-related jobs remain unfilled, NSF views broadening participation to achieve workforce diversity as a key driver for the nation's economic productivity and societal well-being," said Jermelina Tupas, acting division director of NSF's Human Resource Development Division (HRD).

The Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation program in HRD funds the centers. LSAMP addresses STEM degree completion for traditionally underrepresented minorities who participate in the program -- primarily at the undergraduate and post-baccalaureate levels..

Eleven collaborative awards comprise the six centers, which are in the eastern, southeastern and midwestern regions of the nation and the U. S. Virgin Islands. The new awards range from $1.5 million for 36 months to $2.5 million for more than 60 months.

Two- and four-year institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions and Tribal Colleges and Universities, received center awards, as well as majority-serving institutions and institutions in states that participate in NSF'sEstablished Programs to Stimulate Competitive Research. There also are partnerships with other federal agencies, including NASA and the Department of Energy.

Additionally, the LSRCEs received funding from the NSF INCLUDES program -- one of NSF's "10 Big Ideas for Future NSF Investment" -- to engage the broader STEM community in the development of the NSF INCLUDES National Network. NSF INCLUDES also recently issued new awards.

The activities of the LSRCEs contribute to the NSF INCLUDES National Network through its coordination hub activities.

The following is a list of the new centers, their collaborating institutions and a brief description of their anticipated activities.

Established in 1991, LSAMP was designed to increase the participation of African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Native Pacific Islanders in the STEM workforce.The main goal of the program is to increase STEM degrees in this traditionally underrepresented population.

The LSAMP program provides support to 56 alliances of institutions and other projects that contribute to diversifying STEM talent across the nation.


Media Contacts
Bobbie Mixon, NSF, (703) 292-8485, email:

Program Contacts
Martha L. James, NSF, (703) 292-7772, email:

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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