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Advancing Research Capacity at HBCUs through Exploration and Innovation (ARC-HBCU)

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Important information for proposers

All proposals must be submitted in accordance with the requirements specified in this funding opportunity and in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) that is in effect for the relevant due date to which the proposal is being submitted. It is the responsibility of the proposer to ensure that the proposal meets these requirements. Submitting a proposal prior to a specified deadline does not negate this requirement.


This solicitation invites participation in an Ideas Lab, which is an intensive, facilitated workshop that brings together multiple diverse perspectives to find innovative solutions to a grand challenge. This Ideas Lab will focus on exploration of innovative approaches for addressing the research capacity needs of the Nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and development of collaborative networks among HBCUs that enable research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).  The overarching aim of this Ideas Lab is to bring together HBCU faculty, staff, research administrators, and academic leadership to stimulate the generation and execution of innovative and transformative approaches for enhancing opportunities for HBCUs to finance and conduct STEM research. In alignment with recommendations from Preuss, Eck, Fechner, and Walker (2020)[1], outcomes from this Ideas Lab should lead to new models and practices that sustainably increase research capacity by enabling inter-institutional and intra-institutional collaborations, sustainable institutional practices for facilitating project planning and development, increased and enhanced research infrastructure (human, cyber, and physical) through shared resourcing, and access to information, tools and resources that facilitate basic research in NSF-supported STEM fields. 

This Ideas Lab is responsive to the National Science Board’s (NSB) Vision 2030, which highlighted the importance of diversity in the STEM workforce. HBCUs account for 3% of four-year colleges in the United States, while conferring approximately 15% all STEM-related bachelor’s degrees to Black/African American students. Approximately ~24% of Black/African American students who earned STEM doctoral degrees between 2015 and 2019 received their baccalaureate degree from an HBCU. Thus, HBCUs contribute significantly to training and developing the STEM workforce.


[1]. Preuss, M. Eck, K. Fechner, M. Walker, L. (2020) Research Development and Its Workforce: An Evidence-Based Compendium for Higher Education and Other Environments. International Journal on Studies in Education, 2 (1): 1-25.

Program contacts

Casonya M. Johnson
casjohns@nsf.gov (703)292-2658 OD/OIA
Dina Stroud
dstroud@nsf.gov (703)292-5015 OD/OIA

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