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    47.041; 47.049; 47.050; 47.070; 47.074; 47.075; 47.076; 47.079; 47.083

    Funder Type

    Federal Government

    IT Classification

    B - Readily funds technology as part of an award


    National Science Foundation (NSF)


    The vision of the Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES) Big Idea is to catalyze the STEM enterprise to work collaboratively for inclusive change, resulting in a STEM workforce that reflects the population of the Nation. More specifically, NSF INCLUDES seeks to broaden participation in STEM fields through a National Network that will inspire collaborative efforts aimed at increasing the active participation of those who have been historically underrepresented and underserved in STEM.

    The NSF INCLUDES Big Idea is a strategic addition to the NSF portfolio that provides a distinctive approach to addressing broadening participation challenges faced by underrepresented and underserved groups in STEM through collaborative networks and partnerships. NSF INCLUDES builds on and amplifies other investments that NSF has made in broadening participation over many decades. Aligned with the White House five-year strategic plan for STEM education, Charting a Course for Success: America's Strategy for STEM Education, projects funded by this Big Idea help to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM through strategic partnerships and convergent approaches. The Alliances are integral to NSF INCLUDES and bring together new partners from many academic and professional disciplines and leverage the five design elements of collaborative infrastructure to address a broadening participation challenge at scale.

    NSF INCLUDES Alliances build the infrastructure necessary to foster collaboration and broaden participation in STEM by emphasizing the following five design elements of collaborative infrastructure: (1) Shared Vision, (2) Partnerships, (3) Goals and Metrics, (4) Leadership and Communication, and (5) the Potential for Expansion, Sustainability and Scale. The five design elements of collaborative infrastructure are critical for each NSF INCLUDES Alliance and require Alliances to:

    • Develop a shared vision and strategy (e.g., problem statement and theory of change) for broadening the participation of the target population(s) in STEM along with relevant metrics of success and key milestones/goals to be achieved during the project's lifecycle;
    • Develop multi-stakeholder partnerships and build infrastructure among them to decrease social distance and achieve progress on common goals targeted by the Alliance;
    • Contribute to the knowledge base on broadening participation in STEM through broadening participation and implementation research, sharing project evaluations, data, new scientific findings/discoveries, and promising practices;
    • Establish a "backbone" or support organization that provides a framework for communication and networking, network assistance and
    • reinforcement, visibility and expansion of the Alliance and its partners, that will collaborate with the NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub;
    • Advance a logic model or other heuristic that identifies Alliance outcomes that reflect implementation of change at scale and progress toward developing an inclusive STEM enterprise.

    Collectively, NSF INCLUDES Alliances:

    • Participate in a network of peer alliances to achieve long-term goals of the NSF INCLUDES Big Idea;
    • Collaborate with the NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub to build critical knowledge that shows measurable progress toward short-term and long term goals; and
    • Work to build connections to other organizations and broadening participation stakeholders to join in and expand the NSF National Network.

    Proposals are especially encouraged that address broadening participation challenges not yet represented in the NSF INCLUDES portfolio of Alliances. For more information on funded NSF INCLUDES projects, see:


    History of Funding

    In FY 2018 and FY 2019, NSF INCLUDES funded a total of eight Alliances. For more information on funded NSF INCLUDES Alliances, visit

    Recent awards made through this program can be found at

    NSF INCLUDES Planning Grant: Recent awards through this program can be found at

    Additional Information

    NSF INCLUDES National Network: In addition to addressing the five design elements of collaborative infrastructure, Alliance proposals should present a reasonable and appropriate plan to connect and contribute to the NSF INCLUDES National Network through the NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub in the project description. The NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub works collaboratively with Alliances to promote success and elevate expertise through shared models, measurement practices, tools and resources that support learning, action, and sustainability. It communicates the discoveries of Alliances and other National Network members, builds capacity, and advances expansion and scale by connecting expertise from multiple sectors. The proposal should address how the Alliance will engage with the Coordination Hub using these and other mechanisms to advance the National Network. Potential benefits to the Alliance by participating in the National Network should also be described.

    In reviewing an NSF INCLUDES Alliance's progress and assessing future plans, NSF will emphasize the NSF INCLUDES Alliance's performance in the following areas: (1) establishing an Alliance-wide shared broadening participation agenda and coordinating the Alliance's collaborative change activities and infrastructure, including the establishment of a backbone” or support organization; (2) facilitating the Alliance's ability to work collectively (3) effectively managing the Alliance's shared goals and metrics, including providing evidence that the activities of the Alliance have increased participation in STEM for the target population(s); (4) demonstrating leadership across all Alliance partners and collaborating with the NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub to engage with the broader NSF INCLUDES National Network; and (5) enhancing the potential for the Alliance to expand and sustain activities over time, and have an impact on a broad scale. Oversight for NSF INCLUDES Alliances is the responsibility of all NSF Directorates and Offices supporting NSF INCLUDES.

    NSF INCLUDES Planning Grant: Proposers funded through this solicitation may use the Planning Grant funding to organize catalytic activities (including, but not limited to, workshops and conferences) that can help collaborating organizations to crystallize their broadening participation vision and to develop one or more of the five NSF INCLUDES design elements of collaborative infrastructure.

    NSF recognizes that teams may identify an important, complex broadening participation challenge to address, but may not have the full complement of skills and expertise needed to successfully address the challenge through the development of the five NSF INCLUDES design elements of collaborative infrastructure. Planning Grants can be used to support team formation activities (e.g., filling gaps in expertise); develop and nurture relationships with potential partners; and access specialized frameworks or resources needed to better develop one or more aspects of the five NSF INCLUDES design elements of collaborative infrastructure . As a result of planning grant activities, partners should be better equipped to create the collaborative infrastructure needed to address the broadening participation challenge that is identified in the shared vision.

    Each proposal must explain how the Planning Grant funding will be used to plan for developing the infrastructure necessary to foster collaboration and achieve impact by emphasizing one or more of the five NSF INCLUDES design elements. Funding for Planning Grants may not be used to create or implement interventions.


    Prior NSF INCLUDES funding is not required to be eligible to submit an Alliance proposal. An NSF INCLUDES Planning Grant is not a prerequisite to submit an Alliance proposal.



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  • Eligibility Details

    Eligible applicants are Universities and Colleges, Non-profit, non-academic organizations, For-profit organizations, State and Local Governments, Unaffiliated Individuals, Foreign organizations, and Other Federal agencies.

    Deadline Details

    Letters of Intent were to be submitted by October 4, 2021. Full proposals are to be submitted by January 25, 2022.

    Award Details

    In FY 2021, approximately $3 million is available to fund new NSF INCLUDES Alliance awards. NSF anticipates making up to three Alliance awards with a duration of five years, contingent on availability of funds and receipt of competitive proposals. Awards will range from $1 million to $2 million per year for five years depending on the goals, objectives and the size of the communities affected.

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