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Dear Colleague Letter:  Requirement of a Departmental Plan for Broadening Participation in the CRIF: MU competition for Fiscal Year 2008 Awards

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Dear Colleague:

Beginning with the next competition (June 25, 2007 deadline), proposals submitted to the Chemistry Research Instrumentation and Facilities: Departmental Multi-User Instrumentation (CRIF: MU) program will be required to include a departmental plan that outlines strategies and activities to increase participation by underrepresented groups.  An additional review criterion has been added to the solicitation to assess how the acquisition or upgrade of the requested instrumentation supports the departmental plan.  While the departmental plan itself will not be assessed as part of the proposal review, it must be included as a supplemental document.  The plan is limited to three pages and while not formally prescribed, it is recommended that the plan address leadership, strategic planning, statistics & analysis, human resources focus, and results with respect to broadening participation.  Further guidance can be sought from the cognizant program officers.

The National Science Foundation, its Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), and the Division of Chemistry within the MPS Directorate, have embraced the need for broad inclusion of diverse segments of the population in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields (STEM).  As stated in the NSF FY 2006-2011 Strategic Plan, an essential core value for NSF is to reach out to groups that have been underrepresented in STEM fields; to leverage resources to integrate research with education; and to explore every opportunity for successful engagement and partnership. In striving for the highest standards of excellence in chemistry research and education, the NSF Division of Chemistry has embarked on a comprehensive strategy to incorporate the principles of broadening participation in all of its activities and we welcome your partnership in this important goal.

Thank you for your cooperation and shared commitment to broadening participation in chemistry.


Luis Echegoyen
Director, Division of Chemistry, NSF