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.

Dear Colleague Letter

Expanding the NSF INCLUDES National Network

Dear Colleague:

Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES) is a comprehensive effort to enhance U.S. leadership in science and engineering discovery and innovation by developing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) talent from all sectors and groups in our society. NSF INCLUDES is one of the 10 "Big Ideas" for Future NSF Investments.

The vision of NSF INCLUDES is to catalyze the STEM enterprise to work collaboratively for inclusive change, which will result in a STEM workforce that reflects the population of the Nation. The initiative is developing a National Network composed of NSF INCLUDES Design and Development Launch Pilots (DDLP), NSF INCLUDES Alliances, an NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub, NSF-funded broadening participation projects, other relevant NSF-funded projects, scholars engaged in broadening participation research, and organizations that support the development of talent from all sectors of society to build an inclusive STEM workforce. The Design and Development Launch Pilots explore new ways to solve a complex broadening participation challenge in STEM over a two-year period. The Alliances leverage the Launch Pilots to solve collectively a specific set of objectives. The Coordination Hub facilitates communication and networking, network assistance and reinforcement, and visibility and expansion of the NSF INCLUDES National Network.

NSF is interested in funding the best approaches to increasing diversity in STEM1. NSF INCLUDES' goals include but are not limited to: increasing the percentage of women and girls participating in fields where they are currently underrepresented (e.g., Engineering, Economics, Computer Science, Physics); developing and expanding strategies proven to enhance student persistence among underrepresented minority groups across all STEM degree areas; increasing the representation in NSF directorate research portfolios of principal investigators from minority-serving institutions (e.g., Hispanic Serving Institutions2, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Predominantly Black Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities) and community colleges; increasing the number of faculty from underrepresented groups in stable, tenure-track positions and STEM career professionals in informal institutions and organizations who support research and education; and furthering evidence-based research that tests the efficacy of various approaches, especially collective impact-style approaches. This DCL encourages the submission of funding requests for supplements to NSF grants to connect with the NSF INCLUDES Network and supplemental funding requests for DDLPs to continue to participate in network activities.

NSF welcomes supplemental funding requests from:


  1. Active NSF INCLUDES Design and Development Launch Pilot awards to maintain linkages to the NSF INCLUDES National Network by supporting DDLP efforts to collect data, communicate and participate in activities with the NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub and NSF INCLUDES Network. The amount of supplemental funding requested must: (1) be less than 20% of the original award amount; and (b) not exceed $15,000 in direct costs.
  2. Any active NSF awards outside of the NSF INCLUDES National Network to develop:
    1. Opportunities among currently funded NSF projects, including NSF broadening participation projects and projects from the other Ten Big Ideas for Future NSF Investments or other major Foundation investments, with the goal to build a collaborative infrastructure for broadening participation in NSF-funded research activities;
    2. Linkages between current activities including working with the NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub, Alliances, and Design and Development Launch Pilots to adopt common goals, shared measures, and mutually reinforcing activities;
    3. New ideas to bring a community of NSF-funded projects into the NSF INCLUDES National Network.

    The amount of supplemental funding requested must: (a) be less than 20% of the original award amount; and (b) not exceed $200,000 in direct costs.


Supplemental funding requests must be received by 5 p.m., submitter's local time on May 6, 2019.

Awardees of NSF grants from any directorate with an end date beyond September 15, 2019 may request supplemental funding. To be competitive, the supplemental funding must have the potential to enhance both the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts of the existing project.

Eligible Principal Investigators are strongly encouraged to contact both their cognizant NSF Program Director(s) and the NSF INCLUDES team at by April 22, 2019 to discuss their request for supplemental support prior to submitting to NSF.

Funding is dependent on the availability of funds. Supplemental funding requests should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the guidance in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG).

Each supplemental funding request must include "NSF INCLUDES DCL NSF 19-042 Supplement" in the first sentence of the summary section of the proposal.


Requests for funding submitted in response to this Dear Colleague Letter will be reviewed externally by expert reviewers and/or internally by NSF Program Directors. All supplemental funding requests are subject to the availability of funds and the quality of the requests received as determined by review.

Competitive supplemental funding requests will explicitly describe and demonstrate their alignment and/or connections to the mission and goals of NSF INCLUDES. Failure to sufficiently demonstrate relevancy to NSF INCLUDES will result in the supplemental funding request being declined.


Karen Marrongelle, Assistant Director
Directorate for Education and Human Resources

Participating NSF Directorates and Offices

Directorate for Biological Sciences
Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering
Directorate for Education and Human Resources
Directorate for Engineering
Directorate for Geosciences
Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
Office of Integrative Activities
Office of International Science and Engineering


1 The NSF INCLUDES National Network consists of Design and Development Launch Pilots, Alliances and the Coordination Hub (see list here). These entities provide an important base of activity for effective expansion of the NSF INCLUDES National Network.

2 For the purposes of this Dear Colleague Letter, a Hispanic Serving Institution will be defined as any institution that has 25 percent or more undergraduate full-time equivalent Hispanic enrollment.