For HSIs: Strengthening Transfer of Students from Two-year Hispanic-serving Institutions to Four-year STEM Programs

NSF 16-094

Dear Colleague Letter: Strengthening Transfer of Students from Two-year Hispanic-serving Institutions to Four-year STEM Programs

June 2, 2016

Dear Colleague:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) supports science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education research and other activities in order to develop innovative strategies for broadening the participation of women and men from groups underrepresented in all levels of the nation's STEM educational system and workforce. This effort is integral to the Strategic Re-envisioning for the Education and Human Resources Directorate (EHR).1

NSF is interested in receiving proposals to existing programs, listed below, that support the development of a comprehensive, knowledge-based and knowledge-generating opportunity that seeks to facilitate the successful transfer of students (particularly those who are historically underrepresented in STEM) from two-year Hispanic-serving Institutions (HSIs) to four-year institutions of their choice in order to pursue STEM baccalaureate degrees.

This is not a special competition or new program. Proposals submitted in response to this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) must meet the requirements and deadlines of the program to which they are submitted.

Two-year HSIs are particularly encouraged to submit proposals in response to this DCL. All four-year institutions are eligible to submit proposals; however, four-year institutions are strongly encouraged to partner with a two-year HSI.

NSF encourages the submission of proposals that focus on innovative, evidence-based student recruitment and retention strategies at the community college level that show the greatest promise for strengthening progression to four-year STEM degree programs by students from groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM, with particular emphasis on Hispanic students.

Supported activities may include: Employing evidence-based team and cohort building operations (e.g., mentoring, learning communities, and social integration activities); student academic support (e.g. supplemental instruction and peer-led team learning); undergraduate research activities (e.g., research methods and hands-on experimentation); professional development and career support (e.g., conference attendance and presentation, participation in seminars, and colloquia) or other activities designed to enhance student retention in STEM and successful transfer to STEM baccalaureate-degree programs.


Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP): NSF 15-594

Program Track: Bridge to the Baccalaureate (B2B)
HSI community college as lead institution -- may form alliances with other 2-year community colleges and 4-year IHEs for transfer to complete a 4-year STEM degree program.

Program Track: Pre-Alliance Planning Grants
HSIs may use this grant mechanism to establish partnerships to form new alliances.

Others: Conferences and Workshops

Program Officers:
A. James Hicks,
Martha James,

NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM): NSF 16-540.

Program Track 1: S-STEM Institutional Capacity Building
Track 1 is for institutions that have not had or do not currently have awards funded by the S-STEM program or the STEM Talent Expansion (STEP) program.

Program Track 2: S-STEM Design and Development
There are two types of projects in this track: (a) Single institution projects that focus on well-documented institutional needs or concerns; (b) Multi-Institutional Consortia that support institutional collaborations that focus on a common interest or problem.

Others: Conferences and Workshop

Program Officers:
Connie K. Della-Piana,
Paul Tymann,
John Krupczak,
Yvette Weatherton,
Kevin Lee,


There are several track specific proposal submission deadlines for the LSAMP program. For S-STEM the submission deadline is April 20, 2017, and the third Thursday in April, thereafter. Proposers should contact NSF Program Officers to determine the appropriate program for submitting proposals.


LSAMP Bridge to the Baccalaureate: Up to $500,000 per year for up to 3 years.

LSAMP Pre-Alliance Planning Grants: Up to $125,000 for up to 18 months.

S-STEM - Institutional Capacity Building: Up to $650,000 total for 5 years.

S-STEM - S-STEM Design and Development:

  • Single institution projects up to $1.0 million total for 5 years.
  • Multi-Institutional Consortia projects up to $5.0 million total for 5 years.


Proposals for conferences addressing critical challenges in undergraduate STEM education may be submitted at any time following consultation with a program officer associated with the program to which the conference is applicable. Conference proposals should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the guidance in the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide, Part I: Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) (NSF 16-001): Specific instructions for conference proposals may be found in Chapter II.D.9.


For proper processing, please make sure that the Project Summary includes the following identifier in the first sentence: DCL:HSI.

NSF uses the definition for Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) as an institution of higher education that is (a) a Title V eligible institution; and (b) has an enrollment of undergraduate full-time equivalent students that is at least 25 percent Hispanic students at the end of the award year immediately preceding the date of application, as defined in the Higher Education Act [Title V, Part A of the Higher Education Act as amended (20 U.S.C. 1101a (5)].


Joan Ferrini-Mundy, Assistant Director
Directorate for Education and Human Resources

1 See Strategic Re-Envisioning for the Education and Human Resources Directorate, September 2014