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Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP)

Program Solicitation



LETTER OF INTENT DUE DATE(S) (optional): September 30, 2002

FULL PROPOSAL DEADLINE(S): December 2, 2002 by 5:00 P.M. local time.


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Program Title: Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP)

Synopsis of Program: This program provides awards to enhance the quality of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) instructional and outreach programs at historically black colleges and universities as a means to broaden participation in the Nation's STEM workforce. Support is available for the implementation of comprehensive institutional approaches to strengthen STEM teaching and learning in ways that improve access to, retention within, and graduation from STEM programs. Proposed activities should be the result of a careful analysis of institutional needs, address institutional and NSF goals, and have the potential to result in significant and sustainable improvements in STEM program offerings. Typical project implementation strategies include: curriculum enhancement, faculty professional development, undergraduate research, academic enrichment, infusion of technology to enhance STEM instruction, collaborations with research institutions and industry, and other activities that meet institutional needs.

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s):




A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

B. Budgetary Information

C. Deadline/Target Dates

D. FastLane Requirements





    1. Proposal Preparation Instructions
    2. Budgetary Information
    3. Deadline/Target Dates
    4. FastLane Requirements
    1. NSF Proposal Review Process
    2. Review Protocol and Associated Customer Service Standard
    1. Notification of the Award
    2. Award Conditions
    3. Reporting Requirements


Programs managed by the Division of Human Resource Development (HRD), within the Directorate for Education and Human Resources, seek to increase the participation and advancement of underrepresented groups and institutions at every level of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and research. In so doing, these programs contribute to attainment of an outcome goal of the NSF Strategic Plan FY 2001-2006: A diverse, internationally competitive and globally engaged workforce of scientists, engineers, and well-prepared citizens.

The programs of the ethnic diversity continuum (Tribal Colleges and Universities Program, Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program, Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation, Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate, and Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology) provide coordinated and integrated approaches to developing and leveraging individual talents and institutional infrastructures in order to increase substantially the number of underrepresented ethnic minorities well prepared for participation and leadership in the STEM workforce. Managed synergistically, these programs enable seamless student transitions from undergraduate study at the associate and baccalaureate levels to the attainment of doctoral degrees. These programs also strengthen the research vigor and competitiveness of graduate students and faculty at participating institutions.

Although programs in the Division of Human Resource Development focus primarily on underrepresented communities, all NSF programs encourage proposals that incorporate this goal. See the NSF Guide to Programs (NSF 02-03), available at:, for descriptions of all NSF funding opportunities.


The Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) promotes sustainable improvements of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, instructional and outreach programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Support is available for the implementation of comprehensive institutional approaches to strengthen STEM teaching and learning in ways that improve access to, retention within and graduation from STEM disciplines. Through this program, assistance is provided to eligible institutions in their efforts to prepare students for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. The National Science Foundation intends to allow maximum flexibility in the design of efforts to improve undergraduate STEM education. However, proposed activities should be the result of a careful analysis of institutional needs, address institutional and NSF goals, and have the potential to result in significant and sustainable improvements in the quality of STEM programs. The examples provided below illustrate the possible scope of implementation project activities.

Typical project implementation strategies include: course and curriculum development, reform and enhancement; faculty professional development; the integration of active learning pedagogies into the STEM curriculum; K-12 outreach; student support, academic enrichment activities and internships; student retention and placement; infusion of technology to enhance STEM instruction; collaborations with research institutions, business and industry; and other activities that meet institutional needs. While the primary focus of HBCU-UP is at the associate and baccalaureate degree levels, projects are encouraged to address student advancement through critical transition points during STEM education -- the transition between high school and college, between 2- and 4-year colleges, from undergraduate to graduate studies, and from college to the workplace.

Course and curriculum development or enhancement are critical to achieve sustainable institution-wide improvements in undergraduate STEM education. Applicants may include plans to strengthen and update STEM curricula through the development, adaptation and implementation of instructional materials, experiences and practices. Supportable activities include, but are not limited to:

A well-trained faculty with continuous learning opportunities remains an integral part of a strong institutional infrastructure that positively impacts the quality of undergraduate education. Faculty development activities suitable for HBCU-UP support include, but are not limited to the following:

Stipends may be provided to students (U.S. citizens and permanent residents only) at eligible institutions who are engaged in STEM related research or training activities. Research experiences may be provided on campus with local investigators or at off-campus sites (e.g., industrial, academic, or government research laboratories). Activities suitable for HBCU-UP support include, but are not limited to:

Implementation projects should establish an external advisory committee, normally chaired by the college or university president. This committee will help guide the implementation and assessment of project activities. The size of the committee is left to the discretion of the applicants. However, there should be adequate representation from partner institutions, industry, and the local community. Prospective candidates for the committee should be identified in the Project Description.

Project staffing requirements will depend on the design, scope, and the discipline focus. General NSF provisions allow salaries of project staff to be requested as direct costs. However, implementation proposals should include plans to sustain project activities after NSF funding has ended. In addition to the Principal Investigator who is normally the chief academic officer of the institution, typical implementation project management consists of a Project Manager and a Steering Committee with faculty from the relevant disciplines or programs.

Implementation projects will be funded up to five years and should be designed to produce significant and sustainable improvements in undergraduate STEM education. Information bearing on project implementation, faculty participation, and student participation and performance will be required on an annual basis. Planning grants will have a duration of up to twelve (12) months. In support of the total time-frame, both types of proposals must include a detailed management plan and activity timeline covering the entire duration of the project. Major activities, milestones and the responsibilities of each participating academic program or partner organization should be included.

Ideally, implementation projects should seek to influence all STEM program offerings. Applicants should clearly state the academic programs, numbers of faculty and students that will benefit from project activities. The scope of the project should be clearly defined within the context of the institution.

Technical assistance will be offered through regional proposal development workshops for eligible institutions that submit a letter of intent in response to this program solicitation. Dissemination of "best practices" and post-award general technical assistance will be offered to grantee institutions through regional workshops.

Planning grants will be supported to fund institutional self-assessments and the development of action plans to enhance STEM instruction. Proposals should: (1) describe the current status of the institution's STEM program, infrastructure and student enrollment; and (2) describe the activities to be supported through the planning grant, including surveys, research, consultations, program evaluations, and development of models or strategic plans to improve STEM instruction. Planning grant activities suitable for support include, but are not limited to: faculty reassigned time or released time to participate in appropriate project activities, visiting faculty or consultants, computer services, and professional travel that will contribute to the quality of the planning effort.


Organizations eligible to submit proposals include those historically black colleges and universities that currently offer associate, baccalaureate, master's, or doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.


Estimated program budget, number of awards, and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds. Implementation grants are expected to range from $200,000 to $500,000 per year for up to five years. Proposing institutions must contribute from non-federal sources one half of the cost of any equipment that is requested through this program. Equipment costs may not exceed 30% of the total budget request.

Support is also available for planning grants of up to $50,000 with a 12-month duration to fund institutional self assessments and the development of action plans to enhance SMET programming.

Funds should be budgeted for the project director to attend a two-day grantee meeting in the Washington, DC area each award year.


A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

Letters of Intent: Letters of intent are optional and will be used to offer proposal preparation assistance through regional workshops.

Full Proposal:

Proposals submitted in response to this program announcement/solicitation should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the general guidelines contained in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG). The complete text of the GPG is available electronically on the NSF Web Site at:
. Paper copies of the GPG may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (301) 947-2722 or by
e-mail from

FastLane, NSF's interactive system to conduct business over the Internet, must be used to prepare and submit proposals to the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program. Adobe Reader must be installed on your computer in order to use FastLane. Proposal Preparation Instructions are available at Your organization must register with NSF as a FastLane organization. Your institution's sponsored research office or equivalent will be our primary contact point and will be responsible for the initial FastLane access. If you have technical questions related to using FastLane, you can contact the FastLane Help Desk at 1-800-673-6188. The FastLane HelpDesk can also be contacted by sending your questions to

Organizations applying for the first time, or which have not received an NSF award within the preceding two years, should refer to the Grant Policy Manual (GPM), Section 501 (, for instructions on specific information that may be requested by NSF or consult the Prospective New Awardee Guide (NSF 02-044) on the NSF website at To facilitate proposal preparation, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding proposal preparation and submission are available electronically on the NSF website at

The Grant Proposal Guide ( provides guidance for the preparation and submission of proposals to NSF. Additional guidance regarding the preparation of educational and training proposals is available in A Guide for Proposal Writing (NSF 98-91).

Proposals submitted to the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program should contain the following sections:

Institutions that are eligible to submit proposals to the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program may apply for a planning grant to help the institution conduct an assessment of its STEM infrastructure and develop an institutional plan to enhance its STEM program. Proposals for planning grants should include the sections indicated above presenting a clear picture of the planned activities, goals, and methods and indicating the impact of NSF support. HBCU-UP planning grants are expected to provide up to $50,000 for 12 months. These awards are non-renewable. Project Directors are welcome to confer with NSF HBCU-UP staff prior to proposal submission.

Proposers are reminded to identify the program solicitation number (NSF-02-162) in the program announcement/solicitation block on the proposal Cover Sheet. Compliance with this requirement is critical to determining the relevant proposal processing guidelines. Failure to submit this information may delay processing.

B. Budgetary Information

If equipment is requested, the proposing institution must contribute from non-federal sources one half of the equipment cost.

The proposed cost sharing must be shown on Line M on the proposal budget. Documentation of the availability of cost sharing must be included in the proposal. Only items which would be allowable under the applicable cost principles, if charged to the project, may be included as the awardee's contribution to cost sharing. Contributions may be made from any non-Federal source, including non-Federal grants or contracts, and may be cash or in-kind (see OMB Circular A-110, Section 23). It should be noted that contributions counted as cost-sharing toward projects of another Federal agency may not be counted towards meeting the specific cost-sharing requirements of the NSF award. All cost-sharing amounts are subject to audit. Failure to provide the level of cost-sharing reflected in the approved award budget may result in termination of the NSF award, disallowance of award costs and/or refund of award funds to NSF.

Other Budgetary Limitations: Equipment costs may not exceed 30% of the total budget request.

C. Deadline/Target Dates

Proposals must be submitted by the following date(s):

Letters of Intent (optional): September 30, 2002
Full Proposals by 5:00 PM local time: December 2, 2002.

D. FastLane Requirements

Proposers are required to prepare and submit all proposals for this Program Solicitation through the FastLane system. Detailed instructions for proposal preparation and submission via FastLane are available at: For FastLane user support, call the FastLane Help Desk at 1-800-673-6188 or e-mail The FastLane Help Desk answers general technical questions related to the use of the FastLane system. Specific questions related to this Program Solicitation should be referred to the NSF program staff contact(s) listed in Section VIII of this announcement/solicitation.

Submission of Electronically Signed Cover Sheets. The Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) must electronically sign the proposal Cover Sheet to submit the required proposal certifications (see Chapter II, Section C of the Grant Proposal Guide for a listing of the certifications). The AOR must provide the required electronic certifications within five working days following the electronic submission of the proposal. Proposers are no longer required to provide a paper copy of the signed Proposal Cover Sheet to NSF. Further instructions regarding this process are available on the FastLane website at:


A. NSF Proposal Review Process

Reviews of proposals submitted to NSF are solicited from peers with expertise in the substantive area of the proposed research or education project. These reviewers are selected by Program Officers charged with the oversight of the review process. NSF invites the proposer to suggest, at the time of submission, the names of appropriate or inappropriate reviewers. Care is taken to ensure that reviewers have no conflicts with the proposer. Special efforts are made to recruit reviewers from non-academic institutions, minority-serving institutions, or adjacent disciplines to that principally addressed in the proposal.

The two National Science Board approved merit review criteria are listed below (see the Grant Proposal Guide Chapter III.A for further information). The criteria include considerations that help define them. These considerations are suggestions and not all will apply to any given proposal. While proposers must address both merit review criteria, reviewers will be asked to address only those considerations that are relevant to the proposal being considered and for which he/she is qualified to make judgements.

NSF staff will give careful consideration to the following in making funding decisions:

B. Review Protocol and Associated Customer Service Standard

All proposals are carefully reviewed by at least three other persons outside NSF who are experts in the particular field represented by the proposal. Proposals submitted in response to this announcement/solicitation will be reviewed by Panel Review.

Reviewers will be asked to formulate a recommendation to either support or decline each proposal. The Program Officer assigned to manage the proposal's review will consider the advice of reviewers and will formulate a recommendation.

A summary rating and accompanying narrative will be completed and submitted by each reviewer. In all cases, reviews are treated as confidential documents. Verbatim copies of reviews, excluding the identities of reviewers, are sent to the Principal Investigator/Project Director by the Program Director. In addition, the proposer will receive an explanation of the decision to award or decline funding.

In most cases, proposers will be contacted by the Program Officer after his or her recommendation to award or decline funding has been approved by the Division Director. This informal notification is not a guarantee of an eventual award.

NSF is striving to be able to tell applicants whether their proposals have been declined or recommended for funding within six months. The time interval begins on the closing date of an announcement/solicitation or the date of proposal receipt (whichever is later). The interval ends when the Division Director accepts the Program Officer's recommendation.

In all cases, after programmatic approval has been obtained, the proposals recommended for funding will be forwarded to the Division of Grants and Agreements for review of business, financial, and policy implications and the processing and issuance of a grant or other agreement. Proposers are cautioned that only a Grants and Agreements Officer may make commitments, obligations or awards on behalf of NSF or authorize the expenditure of funds. No commitment on the part of NSF should be inferred from technical or budgetary discussions with a NSF Program Officer. A Principal Investigator or organization that makes financial or personnel commitments in the absence of a grant or cooperative agreement signed by the NSF Grants and Agreements Officer does so at one's own risk.


A. Notification of the Award

Notification of the award is made to the submitting organization by a Grants Officer in the Division of Grants and Agreements. Organizations whose proposals are declined will be advised as promptly as possible by the cognizant NSF Program Division administering the program. Verbatim copies of reviews, not including the identity of the reviewer, will be provided automatically to the Principal Investigator. (See section VI.A. for additional information on the review process.)

B. Award Conditions

An NSF award consists of: (1) the award letter, which includes any special provisions applicable to the award and any numbered amendments thereto; (2) the budget, which indicates the amounts, by categories of expense, on which NSF has based its support (or otherwise communicates any specific approvals or disapprovals of proposed expenditures); (3) the proposal referenced in the award letter; (4) the applicable award conditions, such as Grant General Conditions (NSF-GC-1)* or Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) Terms and Conditions;* and (5) any announcement or other NSF issuance that may be incorporated by reference in the award letter. Cooperative agreement awards also are administered in accordance with NSF Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions (CA-1). Electronic mail notification is the preferred way to transmit NSF awards to organizations that have electronic mail capabilities and have requested such notification from the Division of Grants and Agreements.

*These documents may be accessed electronically on NSF's Web site at Paper copies may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (301) 947-2722 or by e-mail from

More comprehensive information on NSF Award Conditions is contained in the NSF Grant Policy Manual (GPM) Chapter II, available electronically on the NSF Web site at The GPM is also for sale through the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402. The telephone number at GPO for subscription information is (202) 512-1800. The GPM may be ordered through the GPO Web site at

C. Reporting Requirements

For all multi-year grants (including both standard and continuing grants), the PI must submit an annual project report to the cognizant Program Officer at least 90 days before the end of the current budget period.

Within 90 days after the expiration of an award, the PI also is required to submit a final project report. Approximately 30 days before expiration, NSF will send a notice to remind the PI of the requirement to file the final project report. Failure to provide final technical reports delays NSF review and processing of pending proposals for that PI. PIs should examine the formats of the required reports in advance to assure availability of required data.

NSF has implemented an electronic project reporting system, available through FastLane. This system permits electronic submission and updating of project reports, including information on project participants (individual and organizational), activities and findings, publications, and other specific products and contributions. PIs will not be required to re-enter information previously provided, either with a proposal or in earlier updates using the electronic system.


General inquiries regarding  Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program  should be made to: For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:


The NSF Guide to Programs is a compilation of funding for research and education in science, mathematics, and engineering. The NSF Guide to Programs is available electronically at General descriptions of NSF programs, research areas, and eligibility information for proposal submission are provided in each chapter.

Many NSF programs offer announcements or solicitations concerning specific proposal requirements. To obtain additional information about these requirements, contact the appropriate NSF program offices. Any changes in NSF's fiscal year programs occurring after press time for the Guide to Programs will be announced in the NSF E-Bulletin, which is updated daily on the NSF web site at, and in individual program announcements/solicitations. Subscribers can also sign up for NSF's Custom News Service ( to be notified of new funding opportunities that become available.

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program is among a number of NSF programs that promote the involvement of underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and foster innovation in education for all students. Related programs in the Division of Human Resource Development include the Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP) (NSF 02-019), Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) (NSF 01-14), Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) (NSF 98-19), and Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) (NSF 00-53).

The following programs might also be of interest:


The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. Awardees are wholly responsible for conducting their project activities and preparing the results for publication. Thus, the Foundation does not assume responsibility for such findings or their interpretation.

NSF welcomes proposals from all qualified scientists, engineers and educators. The Foundation strongly encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities to compete fully in its programs. In accordance with Federal statutes, regulations and NSF policies, no person on grounds of race, color, age, sex, national origin or disability shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from NSF (unless otherwise specified in the eligibility requirements for a particular program).

Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities (FASED) provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities (investigators and other staff, including student research assistants) to work on NSF-supported projects. See the program announcement/solicitation for further information.

The National Science Foundation has Telephonic Device for the Deaf (TDD) and Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) capabilities that enable individuals with hearing impairments to communicate with the Foundation about NSF programs, employment or general information. TDD may be accessed at (703) 292-5090, FIRS at 1-800-877-8339.

The National Science Foundation is committed to making all of the information we publish easy to understand. If you have a suggestion about how to improve the clarity of this document or other NSF-published materials, please contact us at


The information requested on proposal forms and project reports is solicited under the authority of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended. The information on proposal forms will be used in connection with the selection of qualified proposals; project reports submitted by awardees will be used for program evaluation and reporting within the Executive Branch and to Congress. The information requested may be disclosed to qualified reviewers and staff assistants as part of the proposal review process; to applicant institutions/grantees to provide or obtain data regarding the proposal review process, award decisions, or the administration of awards; to government contractors, experts, volunteers and researchers and educators as necessary to complete assigned work; to other government agencies needing information as part of the review process or in order to coordinate programs; and to another Federal agency, court or party in a court or Federal administrative proceeding if the government is a party. Information about Principal Investigators may be added to the Reviewer file and used to select potential candidates to serve as peer reviewers or advisory committee members. See Systems of Records, NSF-50, "Principal Investigator/Proposal File and Associated Records," 63 Federal Register 267 (January 5, 1998), and NSF-51, "Reviewer/Proposal File and Associated Records," 63 Federal Register 268 (January 5, 1998). Submission of the information is voluntary. Failure to provide full and complete information, however, may reduce the possibility of receiving an award.

Pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.5(b), an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to an information collection unless it displays a valid OMB control number. The OMB control number for this collection is 3145-0058. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 120 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions. Send comments regarding this burden estimate and any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to: Suzanne Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, Division of Administrative Services, National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA 22230, or to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for National Science Foundation (3145-0058), 725 17th Street, N.W. Room 10235, Washington, D.C. 20503.

OMB control number: 3145-0058.