NSF News

NSF announces new opportunities for Hispanic-serving institutions to support research and capacity building through collaborations and partnerships

The U.S. National Science Foundation announced a new funding opportunity of nearly $29 million through the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program, also known as the HSI program. Through this new solicitation, NSF introduces the HSI Program Network Resource Centers and Hubs, or HSI-Net, which seeks to establish two centers and up to five hubs to develop the infrastructure needed to generate and disseminate new knowledge, successful practices and effective design principles arising from research on and work at HSIs.

Through the HSI-Net, NSF's goal is to create a robust national ecosystem consisting of multi-sector partners supporting and sharing knowledge and successful models of undergraduate STEM education at HSIs, building institutional capacity, and effectively broadening participation of students that are historically underrepresented in STEM.  

"Enhancing the quality and accessibility of STEM education is far too complex of a challenge for a one-size-fits-all solution and it is imperative that we engage in creative and meaningful partnerships with HSIs at speed and at scale to meet the STEM needs of our nation," said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. "If we are to successfully advance America's future STEM workforce, we must enhance educational opportunities, build capacity and increase student participation, retention and career sustainability at our nation's academic institutions. NSF's investments in this program will do just that." 

NSF's investment in the HSI-Net will establish:  

  • The HSI Center for Community Coordination, designed to create coordination mechanisms, foster communication, organize collaborations and strengthen connections between HSIs in the U.S. and its territories and its stakeholders, including current and new awardees. 

  • The HSI Center for Evaluation, Research, and Synthesis, designed to develop tools and approaches to support the HSI community in culturally responsive evaluation practices, assessments, research and synthesis efforts.    

  • Up to five HSI Program Resource Hubs, designed to support innovative initiatives addressing key areas of need in the HSI community and to effectively serve the HSI STEM community and its stakeholders.  

Together, these centers and hubs will promote excellence in research that impacts the HSI community, including STEM education and broadening participation research. They will conduct activities designed to support and foster collaborations and partnerships in the HSI community, expand student and faculty development and growth, and promote the advancement of historically underrepresented groups in STEM.  

"The HSI program is designed to serve the diverse HSI community with unique needs and their students and faculty,” said Erika T. Camacho, director of the HSI program. "Through the creation of the HSI-Net, we are supporting community transformation efforts at HSIs to collectively contribute to research on HSIs and their capacity to address equity in education and intentionally serve their students to better prepare them to address future challenges. The HSI-Net will allow us to further impact the STEM research enterprise and workforce for the success and prosperity of our nation." 

Since its founding in 2017, the HSI program has made a significant impact on the quality and accessibility of undergraduate STEM education for Hispanic and Latino students. The program now supports more than 150 projects that enable institutions to better serve students from groups historically underrepresented in the sciences and expand the pathways available to them for graduate education and STEM careers. 

As part of the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics, the NSF HSI program team will host a workshop at the upcoming White House Initiative Latino Economic Summit to be held at Malcom X College, 1900 W. Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, June 23, 9:30 a.m. CDT. This session will offer insight into NSF's funding priorities for advancing excellence in undergraduate STEM education and investments that enhance educational opportunities, build capacity and increase student uptake and career pathways throughout the nation's Hispanic-serving institutions.

NSF anticipates that approximately up to $29 million will be available for continuing or standard awards in response to the HSI-Net solicitation, subject to the availability of funds. 

For more information about the HSI program and HSI-Net solicitation, visit beta.nsf.gov.