Funding Opportunity: Improving Undergraduate STEM Education in Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs)

With this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), the National Science Foundation (NSF) is calling for submission of conference proposals to inform the design of NSF's new Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) program, to be established in fiscal year 2018. Proposed conferences are expected to result in the identification of the most critical challenges and opportunities regarding undergraduate STEM education at two-year and four-year Hispanic-Serving institutions of higher education, and potential actionable solutions that fall within NSF's mission, policies, and practices.


NSF has a long-term commitment to broadening the participation of underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and careers. A key component of that commitment is increasing the participation, retention, and graduation rates of underrepresented minorities seeking associate or baccalaureate degrees in STEM fields. Coincident with these aims, NSF is pleased to inform our colleagues that we intend to establish a program for Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs)1 in FY 2018, per the President's FY 2018 Budget Request to Congress. This program will focus on undergraduate STEM education at HSIs. NSF also will continue to accept proposals from HSIs to any program in the Foundation for which they are eligible; in FY 2016, NSF funded awards to 91 HSIs.


July 6, 2017 for funding in FY 2017.

July 7-September 30, 2017 for funding in FY 2018.

Note: This DCL will be active through September 30, 2017.


Requests may be up to $100,000. NSF intends that the proposed conferences, as submitted to this DCL, will be held early in FY 2018.


Conference proposals will be accepted from a Principal Investigator (PI) or any consortium of investigators led by a PI at any eligible U.S. institution. A PI may lead only one conference proposal pursuant to this DCL. Conference proposals must be prepared and submitted in accordance with the preparation instructions in Chapter II.E.7 of the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (NSF 17-1) and submitted via FastLane or Proposals should be directed to the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) program:

Project titles should begin with the prefix "HSI Conference".

Proposals will be reviewed as they are submitted.

Proposals that fail to address the thrust of this DCL will be returned without review.


Please send email inquiries about this DCL to


W. James Lewis
Assistant Director (Acting)
Directorate for Education & Human Resources