NSF News

NSF builds scientific capacity at more than 20 minority-serving institutions in 12 states

The U.S. National Science Foundation has invested more than $12 million in its Build and Broaden Program, which focuses on supporting research, offering training opportunities and creating greater research infrastructure at minority-serving institutions such as historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, and tribal colleges and universities.

NSF's new awards support more than 20 minority-serving institutions in 12 states and Washington, D.C. As part of NSF's support, the minority-serving institutions will expand their research infrastructure by developing enhanced laboratory capabilities and gaining greater access to scientific resources and tools. Nearly half of the more than $12 million invested by NSF came from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. These funds aim to bolster institutions and researchers who were impacted particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Through the Build and Broaden program, NSF is demonstrating new ways to support research at minority-serving institutions while fostering equitable and rewarding partnerships for all institutions," said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. "These awards reflect NSF's core mission to enable transformative scientific discoveries and advance health, prosperity and security for everyone in the U.S."

The NSF-funded projects will support more than 100 researchers as they explore a wide range of critical scientific topics focusing on society, people and the economy: from understanding the long-term health effects of poor air quality in under-resourced communities to revealing the complex memory-storage architecture of the human mind.

The institutions will collectively provide hands-on training and educational opportunities to more than 1,000 participants, including hundreds of STEM students. In addition to conducting original research, many of the minority-serving institutions will collaborate with other institutions, including larger research-intensive universities. These collaborations are intended to foster enduring partnerships that will enrich research and expand the nation's STEM pipeline.

"Minority-serving institutions produce some of our country's most talented scientists and engineers, yet many of those institutions rarely received NSF funding in the past," said Kellina Craig-Henderson, deputy assistant director of NSF’s Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences. "To fully unleash the inventive energy that exists in every U.S. community, we must continue to find ways to broaden our support of innovative research and provide opportunities for anyone to pursue a STEM career. We are proud to support these institutions through NSF's Build and Broaden Program."

For more information about the program, please visit Build and Broaden on nsf.gov.