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Limited Submissions: Internal Call for Proposals NSF INCLUDES (Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science) UNC Internal deadline: 11:59PM, Monday, August 31, 2020

Key Dates

UNC Internal Deadline: UNC Internal deadline: 11:59PM, Monday, August 31, 2020

LOI Due Date: October 5, 2020

NSF Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer’s local time): January 26, 2021

Important Information

  • Number of Applications per Institution: 1
  • Proposals are especially encouraged that address broadening participation challenges not yet represented in the NSF INCLUDES portfolio of Alliances.=

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award: Cooperative Agreement

Estimated Number of Awards: NSF INCLUDES anticipates funding up to three Alliances with a duration of five years, contingent upon the availability of funds and receipt of competitive proposals. Awards will range from $1,000,000 – $2,000,000 per year.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $2,000,000 to $3,000,000. In FY 2021, approximately $3,000,000 is available to fund the first year of Alliance cooperative agreements. NSF INCLUDES expects to provide up to $10 million in support for each Alliance over a five-year period of performance, contingent upon the availability of funds.

To Apply

Submit the following (in ONE .pdf)to the Office of Research Development limited submissions inbox titled “NSF INCLUDES Submission” by 11:59PM, Monday, August 31, 2020

  1. PI/ Team members NSF-formatted biosketch
  2. Project Summary (four-page maximum)
  3. List of potential collaborators (internal and external to UNC)
  4. Names (along with position/contact information) of three internal (to UNC) experts who could speak knowledgeably about the candidate’s research and who could potentially serve on an internal review panel.
  • Please do not include the names of faculty named on the project, chairs, deans, directors, direct reports, or others who have a conflict of interest
  • Please notify all potential internal reviewers before submitting the pre-proposal packet to ORD

Program Description

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

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.

In addition to addressing the five design elements of collaborative infrastructure, Alliances connect and contribute to the NSF INCLUDES National Network through the Alliance backbone support organization, the NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub, current and potential partnerships, capacity building, resource sharing and/or other mechanisms.

Additional Information

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:

NSF INCLUDES is one of the NSF 10 Big Ideas for future investment. Broadening participation challenges that connect to the other NSF 10 Big Ideas might also be considered. The other Big Ideas include: Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier, Growing Convergence Research, Harnessing the Data Revolution, Mid-scale Research Infrastructure, Navigating the New Arctic, NSF 2026, Quantum Leap, Understanding the Rules of Life, and Windows on the Universe. For more information regarding the NSF 10 Big Ideas, see:

Full solicitation:

Please contact the Limited Submissions Team with questions at or 962-7503.