NSF Racial Equity in STEM Education (EHR Racial Equity)


Webinars for the EHR Racial Equity in STEM Education (EHR Racial Equity) program description will be announced in the coming weeks.

Proposal Deadlines:

July 13, 2021
October 12, 2021 (and 2nd Tuesday in October annually thereafter)
March 22, 2022 (and 4th Tuesday in March thereafter)

Persistent racial injustices and inequalities in the United States have led to renewed concern and interest in addressing systemic racism.  The National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) seeks to support bold, ground-breaking, and potentially transformative projects addressing systemic racism in STEM. Proposals should advance racial equity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and workforce development through research (both fundamental and applied) and practice.  Core to this funding opportunity is that proposals are led by, or developed and led in authentic partnership with, individuals and communities most impacted by the inequities caused by systemic racism.  The voices, knowledge, and experiences of those who have been impacted by enduring racial inequities should be at the center of these proposals, including in, for example:   project leadership and research positions, conceptualization of the proposal, decision-making processes, and the interpretation and dissemination of evidence and research results. The proposed work should provide positive outcomes for the individuals and communities engaged and should recognize peoples' humanity, experiences, and resilience. Proposals need to consider systemic barriers to opportunities and benefits, and how these barriers impact access to, retention in, and success in STEM education, research, and workforce development. Competitive proposals will be clear with respect to how the work advances racial equity and addresses systemic racism, as these constructs may have different meanings in different settings. 

Proposals should articulate a rigorous plan to generate knowledge through research (both fundamental and applied) and practice, such as, but not limited to:

  • building theory;
  • developing methods;
  • testing approaches and interventions; 
  • assessing the potential, efficacy, effectiveness, and scalability of approaches and interventions; 
  • establishing, cultivating and assessing authentic partnerships;
  • changing institutional, organizational, and structural practices and policies; and/or 
  • focusing on affective, behavioral, cultural, social components, and implications.

Contexts may include, but are not limited to: preK-12, two- and four-year undergraduate, and graduate institutions; municipal organizations; STEM workplaces; and informal STEM contexts, such as museums, community organizations, and media.

In addition, proposals should include a dissemination plan to proactively share what is learned with individuals and communities most impacted, as well as relevant leaders, policy makers, and other stakeholders. Proposal budgets and project durations should be determined by the scope of the activities and in accordance with the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG). PIs should include "Racial Equity:" at the beginning of the proposal title.

Collectively, proposals funded by this Program Description will: (1) advance the science and promotion of racial equity in STEM, (2) substantively contribute to removing systemic  barriers that impact STEM education, the STEM workforce, and scientific advancement, (3) institutionalize effective and inclusive environments for STEM learning, STEM research, and STEM professionals,  (4) diversify the project leadership (PIs and co-PIs), institutions, ideas, and approaches that NSF funds, and (5) expand the array of epistemologies, perspectives, and experiences in STEM.

Prospective PIs are encouraged to send a one-page concept paper to EHRRacialequityPD@nsf.gov in advance of submitting a proposal. 

University of Mississippi

UM individuals or teams interested in discovering how others at UM can contribute ideas or resources to proposals or projects may contact ORSP Research Development (orspresdev@olemiss.edu) to request an IDRUM Discovery Circle. Interdisciplinary teams who are ready to commit to developing a proposal may apply to form an IDRUM Strike Team. Please note that an IDRUM Exploration Group has recently been started to catalog and leverage interdisciplinary capabilities to address race and racism; those interested in joining or engaging with this group should reach out to the group co-leads.