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GEO Opportunities for Leadership in Diversity (GOLD)

Status: Archived

Archived funding opportunity

This document has been archived. See NSF 23-539 for the latest version.

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.

An Ideas Lab Activity


The geosciences continue to lag other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines in the engagement, recruitment and retention of traditionally underrepresented and underserved minorities, requiring more focused and strategic efforts to address this problem. Diversity is a vital priority for the geosciences community because it promotes innovation, strengthens the community's ability to tackle complex geoscience research problems, and engenders widespread public Earth and environmental science literacy.

Prior investments made by the National Science Foundation (NSF) related to broadening participation in STEM have identified many effective strategies and model programs for engaging, recruiting, and retaining underrepresented students in the geosciences. These investments also have documented clearly the importance of committed, knowledgeable, and persistent leadership for making local progress in broadening participation in STEM and the geosciences. Achieving diversity at larger and systemic scales requires a network of diversity "champions" who can catalyze widespread adoption of these evidence-based best practices and resources. Although many members of the geoscience community are committed to the ideals of broadening participation, the skills and competencies that empower people who wish to have an impact, and make them effective as leaders in that capacity for sustained periods of time, must be cultivated through professional development. But, it is not sufficient to educate prospective leaders on the issues and resources related to broadening participation in STEM. Research on leadership development has documented the complex interplay of personal traits, motivating factors, and environmental contexts that must also be considered in making such professional development efforts successful.

This solicitation describes an Ideas Lab on “GEO Opportunities for Leadership in Diversity.” Ideas Labs are intensive workshops focused on finding innovative solutions to grand challenge problems. The ultimate aim of this Ideas Lab, organized by the NSF Directorate for Geosciences (GEO), is to facilitate the design, pilot implementation, and evaluation of innovative professional development curricula that can unleash the potential of geoscientists with interests in broadening participation to become impactful leaders within the community. The expectation is that mixing geoscientists with experts in broadening participation research, behavioral change, social psychology, institutional change management, leadership development research, and pedagogies for professional development will not only engender fresh thinking and innovative approaches for preparing and empowering geoscientists as change agents for increasing diversity, but will also produce experiments that contribute to the research base regarding leader and leadership development. U.S. scientists and educators may submit preliminary proposals only via FastLane as an application to participate in the Ideas Lab, through which a set of multidisciplinary ideas will be developed. The Ideas Lab will be held March 20-24, 2016 in the Washington, DC metro region. Promising approaches developed through the Ideas Lab process will be submitted as full proposals from invited participants.

Program contacts

For all inquiries related to this program, please send email to GEOGOLD@nsf.gov.
General Inquiries may be addressed to:
geogold@nsf.gov (703) 292-8500
M. Brandon Jones
geogold@nsf.gov (703) 292-8500 GEO/RISE
Aisha R. Morris
geogold@nsf.gov (703) 292-8500 GEO/RISE
Dena M. Smith-Nufio
geogold@nsf.gov (703) 292-8500 GEO/EAR
Amanda (Manda) S. Adams
geogold@nsf.gov (703) 292-8500 GEO/RISE
Lina Patino
geogold@nsf.gov (703) 292-8500 GEO/RISE
Elizabeth L. Rom
geogold@nsf.gov (703) 292-8500 GEO/RISE

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