Education and Human Resources
Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC
on Jun 24, 2005
Purpose of this program:
To provide leadership and ensure the vitality of the Nation's science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education Enterprise. The Education and Human Resources (EHR) component of the National Science Foundation sponsors programs that support the development of models and strategies for providing all students with access to high-quality STEM education. The portfolio of EHR programs in STEM education is comprised of efforts spanning pre-K to 12 (with special emphasis on projects that join institutions of higher education with K-12 education units), undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral levels, as well as informal education and life-long learning. Long-term goals include: Supporting infrastructure (especially broad-based collaborative partnerships) that will enable development of high-quality educational experiences for all students; ensuring that our educational pathways yield an adequately educated and diverse corps of individuals for both the highly technical workplace and the professional STEM community; developing a cadre of professionally educated and well-trained teachers and faculty; and providing the research necessary to inform educational practice. The strength of EHR programming resides in its ability to integrate research and education, combining the expertise of the research and education communities. Its programs include support for STEM workforce development; educational materials, including use of learning technologies, effective in increasing student achievement; research on learning and teaching that informs education practice; strategies for developing deep content knowledge and teaching skills for K-12 teachers; and informal science education. The EHR activity also sponsors projects under the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program, which builds the capacity of participating states to compete successfully for Federal research funding. EHR programs are subject to continuous improvements based on program reviews, evaluation, dissemination of best practices, and educational research
Possible uses and use restrictions...
Grant funds may be used for costs necessary to conduct research, educational activities or studies, including salaries and expenses, permanent equipment, expendable materials and supplies, travel, publication costs, and other direct and indirect costs. Some programs provide funds for undergraduate scholarships managed by the awardee institution. Primary responsibility for general supervision of all grant activities rests with the grantee institution. Funds may not be used for purposes other than those specified in the award. Graduate fellowships provide for stipends and allowances to be paid to the awardee through his/her institution; a fixed cost-of-education allowance is paid directly to the institution.
Who is eligible to apply...
Graduate students, public and private colleges (2-year and 4-year) and universities, State and local education agencies, tribal entities, nonprofit and private organizations, professional societies, science academies and centers, science museums and zoological parks, other informal science education institutions, research laboratories, and other institutions with an educational mission may apply.
Proposals must be signed electronically by an official authorized to commit the institution or organization in business and financial affairs and who can commit the organization to certain proposal certifications. Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-21 for colleges and universities, No. A-87 for State and local governments, and No. A-122 for nonprofit organizations. Applicants for fellowship support must show evidence of ability such as academic records, letters of recommendation, graduate record examination scores, and grade point average.
Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.
About this section:
This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy.
For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree,
3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible.
Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they
Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications
are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs,
the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.
How to apply...
By electronic submission via FastLane of a formal proposal, and, in some programs, a preliminary proposal, describing the planned project and the proposed amount of the grant. For guidelines, see specific program announcements and "Grant Proposal Guide," NSF 04-2.
Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.
NSF staff members review and evaluate all proposals based on a set of criteria established by the National Science Board. In most cases reviews are undertaken with the advice of scientists, engineers, educators and other appropriate persons who are specialists in the fields covered by the proposals. External reviewers, who are conversant with the fields covered by the applications, review and evaluate all graduate fellowship applications. NSF makes awards on a competitive basis.
Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check.
Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office,
or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by
intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.
Deadlines and process...
Deadlines and target dates are published in the NSF bulletin and program announcements and solicitations.
When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will
be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received.
When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time
NSF is striving to be able to advise 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 or solicitation, or the date of proposal receipt (whichever is later). The time interval ends when the cognizant NSF Division Director accepts the Program Officer's recommendation.
In selected areas, discussion with NSF program staff is strongly recommended and/or submission of a preliminary proposal is required before submitting formal proposals. Other areas are eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process that the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.
This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units
prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.
The principal investigator may request, in writing within 90 days of a declination or return, that the Foundation reconsider its action in declining or returning any proposal or application.
In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission
of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or
applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
Contact NSF program staff for specific renewal policies and procedures.
In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.
Who can benefit...
Elementary, secondary and undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics teachers and faculty; preK-12, undergraduate and graduate students; public and private colleges (2-year and 4-year) and universities; State and local educational agencies; tribal entities, nonprofit and private organizations; professional societies; science academies and centers; science museums and zoological parks; other informal science education institutions, research laboratories, and other institutions with an educational mission.
About this section:
This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.
What types of assistance...
The funding, for fixed or known periods, of specific projects. Project grants can include fellowships, scholarships, research grants, training grants, traineeships, experimental and demonstration grants, evaluation grants, planning grants, technical assistance grants, survey grants, and construction grants.
How much financial aid...
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
$2,500 to $7,000,000; $128,125.
This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.
(Grants) FY 03 $934,880,000 (Excludes H-1B Nonimmigrant Petitioner Fees); FY 04 est $938,980,000; and FY 05 est $771,360,000.
The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.
Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program.
This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.
Examples of funded projects...
1) In FY 2004, over 8,900 applications were received in HER's Graduate Research Fellowships (GRF) program and 1,020 awards were made. For example, the GRF program supports the efforts of a U.S. biomedical engineering student to work at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. She has developed an alternative method for assessing the clotting potential of artificial heart valves prior to clinical trials. She has also been involved in a number of outreach and mentoring programs in Scotland, including working at the Edinburgh International Science Festival and helping to teach basic science concepts to young children. 2) A study conducted under a grant to the University of Texas at Austin supported by HER's Research on Learning and Education (ROLE) program analyzed how curriculum and course taking shape high school students' progress through science and mathematics and into science and teaching professions. Results show that minority students and those from families with lower socioeconomic status tend to have less access to advanced coursework from the start of their high school years and that this gap continues to grow throughout their high school years. The study analyzed the relationship between access to quality courses and overall achievement in the science, mathematics, and engineering fields. 3) Funded by HER's Teacher Professional Continuum (TPC) Program, the Toledo Area Partnership in Education: Support Teachers as Resources to Improve Elementary Science (TAPESTRIES), represents a partnership among the Toledo Public Schools, Springfield Local Schools, and the Colleges of Education and Arts and Sciences at The University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University. TAPESTRIES implemented teacher-based leadership and other support structures of inquiry-based science curriculum and instructional strategies caused Ohio's Proficiency Test scores at the 4th- and 6th-grade levels to show gains in student learning. 4) HER's Instructional Materials Development (IMD) Program supported Everyday Mathematics (EM), a research-based curriculum developed by the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project in the 1980s at the time of a growing consensus that our nation was failing to provide U.S. students with an adequate mathematical education. Elements of EM include problem solving in everyday situations, linking past experiences to new concepts, and developing solutions through multiple strategies. In FY 2003, both New York City and Chicago have made major adoptions of the curriculum and EM curriculum is expected to reach nearly 4,000,000 elementary students by the fall of 2004.5) The NSF Graduate Teaching Fellowships in K-12 Education (GK-12) program supports graduate students in STEM fields while providing them an opportunity to serve as resources in K-12 schools. A GK-12 Fellow at North Carolina State, who is fluent in American Sign Language, worked with hearing-impaired students at nearby Combs Elementary School, and discovered that many science concepts have no unique signs; for example, chemistry and physics have the same sign. As a result, the Fellow worked with teachers at Combs to produce a handbook for interpreting science to hearing impaired students, including a list of standardized science signs to be used county wide. Interest in science increased dramatically among the hearing impaired students. The resulting hands-on activities brought to their classroom made it possible for them to understand a subject that had previously been inaccessible to them. 6) With a grant from the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeships (IGERT) program, the University of Arizona is providing graduate students unique opportunities by incorporating several scientific disciplines (including anthropology, the geosciences, physics, materials science and engineering) into archaeological science research - the first major
About this section
This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.
In fiscal year 2003, approximately 1,100 awards were made, and 3,800 proposals were received for competitive review. In fiscal year 2004, approximately 1,150 awards will be made, and 4,000 proposals will be received for competitive review. In fiscal year 2005, it is anticipated that approximately 1,050 awards will be made, and 4,000 proposals will be received for competitive review. In addition, H-1B Nonimmigrant Petitioner scholarship activity made over 80 awards to institutions in fiscal year 2003, resulting in over 9,500 scholarship opportunities, as the program ends.
Criteria for selecting proposals...
The National Science Board approved revised criteria for evaluating proposals at its meeting on March 28, 1997 (NSB 97-72). All NSF proposals are evaluated through use of the two merit review criteria. In some instances, however, NSF will employ additional criteria as required to highlight the specific objectives of certain programs and activities. On July 8, 2002, the NSF Director issued Important Notice 127, Implementation of new Grant Proposal Guide Requirements Related to the Broader Impacts Criterion. This Important Notice reinforces the importance of addressing both criteria in the preparation and review of all proposals submitted to NSF. NSF continues to strengthen its internal processes to ensure that both of the merit review criteria are addressed when making funding decisions. In an effort to increase compliance with these requirements, the January 2002 issuance of the GPG incorporated revised proposal preparation guidelines relating to the development of the Project Summary and Project Description. Chapter II of the GPG specifies that Principal Investigators (PIs) must address both merit review criteria in separate statements within the one-page Project Summary. This chapter also reiterates that broader impacts resulting from the proposed project must be addressed in the Project Description and described as an integral part of the narrative. Effective October 1, 2002, NSF will return without review proposals that do not separately address both merit review criteria within the Project Summary. It is believed that these changes to NSF proposal preparation and processing guidelines will more clearly articulate the importance of broader impacts to NSF-funded projects. 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. What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity? How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields? How well qualified is the proposer (individual or team) to conduct the project? (If appropriate, the reviewer will comment on the quality of the prior work.) To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative and original concepts? How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity? Is there sufficient access to resources? What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity? How well does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning? How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.)? To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, and partnerships? Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding? What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society? NSF staff will give careful consideration to the following in making funding decisions: Integration of Research and Education. One of the principal strategies in support of NSF's goals is to foster integration of research and education through the programs, projects, and activities it supports at academic and research institutions. These institutions provide abundant opportunities where individuals may concurrently assume responsibilities as researchers, educators, and students and where all can engage in joint efforts that infuse education
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Up to 5 years. For NSF Graduate Fellowships, typically 9 to 12 months, up to 3 years of support. Assistance is disbursed to the institution for monthly stipend allotment to the fellow.
Formula and Matching Requirements
Programs vary with regard to the required level of institutional contribution or cost-sharing; requirements are provided in program announcements and solicitations. The Grant Proposal Guide (GPG)(Chapter II) and the Grant Policy Manual (Sec. 330) provide additional information
A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.
Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.
In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.
Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.
Post assistance requirements...
For all multi-year grants (including both standard and continuing grants), the PI must submit an annual project report to the cognizant program office at least 90 days before the end of the current budget period. Within 90 days after the expiration of a grant, the PI is required to submit a final project report. Quarterly Federal Cash Transaction Reports are required. Other reporting requirements may be imposed via the grant instrument.
This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.
In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $300,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $300,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.
This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency.
The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133.
These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year,
as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period,
rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).
Grantees are expected to maintain separate records for each grant to ensure that funds are used for the general purpose for which the grant was made. Records are subject to inspection during the life of the grant and for three years thereafter. Special record keeping requirements apply to fellowships.
This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require.
Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office.
For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C.
For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.
National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended, Public Law 108-199, 42 U.S.C 1861 et seq.
This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).
Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature
45 CFR Chapter VI; 48 CFR Chapter 25; "2004 NSF Guide to Programs," NSF 04-009 (http://www.nsf.gov/pubsys/ods/getpub.cfm?gp); "Grant Proposal Guide," NSF 04-2 (http://www.nsf.gov/pubsys/ods/getpub.cfm?gpg).