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

Planning Grants for the Historically Black College and University Excellence in Research (HBCU-EiR) Program

Invites planning grant proposals from Historically Black Colleges and Universities to support initial conceptualization, planning and collaboration activities that will formulate solid plans for a future submission to the HBCU-EiR program.

Invites planning grant proposals from Historically Black Colleges and Universities to support initial conceptualization, planning and collaboration activities that will formulate solid plans for a future submission to the HBCU-EiR program.

Dear Colleagues:

With this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), the National Science Foundation announces its intent to support planning grants for investigators from public and private Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) who intend to submit a full proposal to a future HBCU-EiR competition.


HBCU-EiR planning grants support initial conceptualization, planning, and collaboration activities (see below for examples) that aim to formulate solid plans for a future submission to the HBCU-EiR program. These planning grants are intended to provide eligible investigators with the time and resources needed to generate an HBCU-EiR proposal focusing on research that is well-aligned with an existing funding program within NSF’s directorates.

HBCU-EIR planning grants are not intended to fund preliminary research activities and such proposals will be returned without review. Prior to submission of a proposal in response to this DCL, prospective investigators must submit a Concept Outline to the point of contact below, as described in Chapter I.D.1 of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG). The Concept Outline should be a concise summary (not to exceed two pages) of the project idea and must contain information about the prospective PI(s), identification of the NSF directorate most appropriate for potential review of the project, and a brief description of the project idea. The lead program director will respond to the prospective investigator by email if invited to submit a full planning proposal.


Proposals may only be submitted by accredited Historically Black Colleges and Universities that have faculty members who conduct research in a STEM and/or STEM Education discipline supported by NSF. The Principal Investigator must be a full-time faculty member or researcher at the HBCU from which the proposal is submitted.


Planning grant proposals should be prepared in accordance with the guidance contained in Chapter II.F of the NSF PAPPG. For HBCU-EiR planning grant proposals, requests may be for up to $100,000, with up to one year in duration. The proposed budget must be consistent with the scope of the proposed planning activities. HBCU-EiR planning grant proposals can be submitted anytime but should be submitted no later than May 30th, 2023, for consideration during Fiscal Year 2023.

Planning grant submissions do not constitute any commitment on behalf of the PI/co-PI(s) or their organizations to submit a future proposal or carry out a project, nor do they imply any commitment on the part of NSF to support a future proposed project beyond the planning grant.


A non-inclusive list of possible activities appropriate for a planning grant are provided below.

  • Exploration of collaborative relationships that enhance the intellectual merit or broader impacts of the planned research and/or promote building research capacity at the home institution;
  • Identify and define metrics for project success and assessment plans, if typically required in the research discipline of interest;
  • Small workshops to develop research collaborations between faculty members at different HBCUs;
  • Communicate with administration on needs for institutional support and on how the project advances institutional goals;
  • Development of a research plan;
  • Develop research program sustainability plans; and
  • Consult with subject matter experts on development and communication of research.


HBCU-EiR planning grant proposals must be prepared and submitted in In

  • Select the current NSF PAPPG as the Funding Opportunity
  • In the "Where to Apply" section, select "Office of the Director" as the Directorate, "EPSCoR Section (OIA)" as the Division and "HBCU-Excellence in Research" as the Program. IMPORTANT NOTE: This opportunity is open to all HBCUs, regardless of whether or not they are located in an EPSCoR jurisdiction.
  • On the Select Proposal Type screen, select "Planning" as the proposal type

The project description of the planning grant proposal must not exceed eight pages and should follow the guidance in Chapter II.F.1 of the NSF PAPPG. In the project description, PIs should provide:

  • A summary of the purpose of the planning grant
  • A description of goals and activities for the planning grant, including the basis for their inclusion and their relevance for a future HBCU-EiR proposal submission
  • A description of the intellectual merit and broader impacts of the planning grant
  • A strategy for establishing alignment with an interdisciplinary or discipline-specific NSF research funding program
  • A plan to develop a three-year HBCU-EiR research project

The email confirming approval to submit a planning proposal must be uploaded as a document entitled "HBCU-EiR Planning - Program Director Concurrence Email" in the Supplementary Documentation section of


Questions about this DCL may be directed to Dina Stroud (, Lead Program Director, HBCU-EiR.


Sandra Richardson
Section Head, Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)
National Science Foundation

Alicia J. Knoedler
Office Head, Office of Integrative Activities
National Science Foundation