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NSF 23-111

Dear Colleague Letter: High School Student Research Assistantships in the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE-High)

May 17, 2023

Dear Colleagues:

This letter invites requests for supplemental funding to existing NSF awards to provide high school students with a meaningful research experience in the SBE sciences. Especially encouraged are requests that broaden participation of high school students from groups and geographies from diverse talent pools that have not yet been fully tapped in the SBE sciences.

Supplemental Funding Requests

Supplemental funding requests to an active SBE award must be prepared and submitted through in accordance with the instructions in Chapter VI.E.5 of the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG). Please consult the list of SBE programs currently participating in the SBE-High opportunity. PIs should first contact the managing program officer for their existing award and receive permission to submit the supplemental funding request. A copy of the email allowing submission should be included in the request as a supplementary document.

Reminder: Any supplemental funding awarded by NSF must be expended by the end date of the original award.

The request must include the following components:

  • A specific statement in the Summary of Proposed Work section that this is a request for an SBE-High supplement.
  • In the Justification for Supplement section, include a description (not to exceed 3 pages, single spaced) of the proposed SBE-High that includes:
    • A clear description of the meaningful and challenging activities in which the student(s) will be involved and how the student(s) will be mentored.
    • A brief, one-paragraph description of the candidate student(s) background and interests.
    • A brief plan for encouraging the advancement of the SBE-High student(s) beyond participation in the research program.
    • A brief description of the PI's experience with involving high school students in research, if applicable.
  • Budgets for SBE-High activities are generally under $6,000 per student. Student stipend and expenses (materials and supplies needed to directly support the student’s research experience) should be entered in "Participant Support Costs" in the budget. All expenses should be explained in the budget justification. Support for up to two students can be included in one request.
  • Desired start date and duration of the supplement (typically a summer experience).
  • As a supplementary document: A document from the place of performance confirming that child protection training and laboratory policies are practiced to ensure the well-being and laboratory safety of the high school student(s). The document should also state that the place of performance supports the work and should be signed by a department chair, dean or director.
  • As a supplementary document: The email from the program director providing approval for submission of the request.

The decision to award a supplement will be based on an internal merit review by the program director and availability of funds.

Contact Personnel

Please contact the managing program director for your current NSF award to determine whether that program is participating in this initiative and to receive permission to submit.

Sylvia Butterfield, Ph.D.
Acting Assistant Director
Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences