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NSF Dear Colleague Letter: Planning Proposals for Partnerships for Research and Education in Chemistry (PREC) Program

April 3, 2023

Dear Colleague:

In line with the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) efforts to increase diversity in the STEM workforce, the Division of Chemistry’s (CHE) PREC program (Partnerships for Research and Education in Chemistry, https://beta.nsf.gov/funding/opportunities/partnerships-research-education-chemistry-prec) supports research and education partnership endeavors between minority-serving institutions (MSIs) and CHE-supported centers, institutes, and facilities. Through the PREC grants, CHE aims to increase recruitment, retention, and degree attainment of those members of groups that are most underrepresented in chemistry research, as defined in the PREC Solicitation (NSF 21-620, https://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf21620).

Establishing meaningful collaborations to support a competitive PREC proposal requires time and resources, which may impose unnecessary barriers to some. Through this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), CHE seeks to catalyze collaborative partnerships with a CHE center, institute, or facility (see list below) by encouraging submission of Planning Proposals which could help to mitigate barriers for the proposing institutions and PIs.

A planning grant can be used to support initial conceptualization, planning and collaboration activities to facilitate the formulation of new and sound plans for future submission to PREC. Anticipated planning activities could include, but are not limited to: planning visits/meetings with partnering institutions to discuss potential collaborations, exchanges to launch/initiate scientific collaboration, strategic planning (including development of a collaborative research plan), and development of evaluation strategies.


Proposals must be prepared in accordance with the guidance for Planning Proposals specified in the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) Chapter II.F.1. They must be submitted through Research.gov. Proposers should select the current PAPPG as the funding opportunity and direct proposals to the CHE Broadening Participation program.

Interested proposers should consider the following guidance carefully:

  1. The proposal must include a clear statement as to why this project is appropriate for a PREC planning proposal, including how the funds will be used to formulate a sound approach for future submission to the PREC program.
  2. The proposed research should be aligned with research supported by the relevant CHE center, institute, or facility. The planning proposal is encouraged to outline a vision for a partnership that simultaneously promotes inclusiveness and research excellence.
  3. The Principal Investigator (PI) must hold a faculty appointment at an eligible MSI that awards degrees in Chemistry and must be eligible to submit a future PREC proposal as defined in the recent PREC solicitation.
  4. A letter of collaboration from the prospective partner (limit of 1 page) must be included in the supplementary document section. It should include information from the Director of the partnering CHE center, institute or facility outlining their role in and commitment to the planning process.
  5. Proposals may request up to $100,000/year and up to two years in duration.

Prospective PIs must send an initial concept outline by email no later than June 1, 2023, to one of the Program Officers listed below. An approval from at least one NSF Program Officer to submit a full planning proposal must be uploaded by the PI as a document entitled “Planning – Program Officer Concurrence Email” in the Supplementary Documentation section in Research.gov. Full proposals submitted in response to this DCL for consideration in FY 2023 are welcome through July 1, 2023, but earlier submission is strongly encouraged.

Eligible partners include the following CHE-supported Phase II Centers for Chemical Innovations (CCI), institutes, or facilities, listed below with their preferred contacts for the purposes of this DCL.

Please contact the following Program Officers for concept outline submission or any question regarding this DCL:


Sean L. Jones,
Assistant Director
Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS)

FAQ for NSF ExpanAI Program

The Expanding AI Innovation through Capacity Building and Partnerships (ExpandAI) program is a multi-year program that aims to significantly diversify participation in AI research, education, and workforce development through capacity development and partnerships within the National AI Research Institutes ecosystem. Proposals may be submitted only by a minority-serving college or university meeting the criteria listed under ‘Eligible Institutions of Higher Education’ in this program solicitation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Expanding AI Innovation through Capacity Building and Partnerships (ExpandAI) Program (NSF 23-506) 


FAQ for NSF ART (Accelerating Research Translation) Program

The Accelerating Research Translation (ART) program is a new NSF-wide endeavor that welcomes proposals from all scientific, technological, and engineering fields. It supports institutions of higher education that seek to build capacity and infrastructure for translation of fundamental academic research into tangible solutions that benefit the public.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for ART – Accelerating Research Translation (NSF 23-558) 

RF Webinar on NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Programs

April 12 (12 noon – 1pm) NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Programs

Overview of Webinar: The National Science Foundation offers Postdoctoral Research Fellowships to provide opportunities for recent doctoral graduates to obtain additional training, to gain research experience under the sponsorship of established scientists, and to broaden their scientific horizons beyond their undergraduate and graduate training. Postdoctoral Fellowships are further designed to assist new scientists to direct their research efforts across traditional disciplinary lines and to avail themselves of unique research resources, sites, and facilities, including at foreign locations. NSF seeks to promote the participation of scientists from all segments of the scientific community, including those from underrepresented groups, in its research programs and activities; the postdoctoral period is an important level of professional development in attaining this goal. NSF offers Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Polar Programs, Earth Sciences, Ocean Sciences, Atmospheric and Geospatial Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Astronomy and Astrophysical Sciences, and Social Sciences. The NSF Engineering Directorate offer an engineering postdoctoral program (eFellows) for early-career PhDs in engineering fields. The eFellows program is administered by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) with funding provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The webinar with provide program descriptions and eligibility requirements for NSF postdoctoral research programs.
Targeted Audience: CUNY PhD Students

Presenters: John Tsapogas, Director, RFCUNY-APPS and Josh Brumberg, Dean for the Sciences, CUNY Graduate Center

Join us on April 12, 2023 at 12 Noon  – 1pm

Registration URL:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6236316028361449230

Webinar ID 481-758-883

In connection with the RFCUNY Wednesday Brown Bag Research Webinar – Academic Year 2022/2023

NEW NSF-Swiss Opportunity

Dear Colleague Letter: NSF-Swiss NSF Lead Agency Opportunity 

The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Research Cooperation. The MOU provides a framework to encourage collaboration between U.S. and Swiss research communities and sets out the principles by which jointly supported activities might be developed. The MOU provides for an international collaboration arrangement whereby U.S. researchers may receive funding from NSF and Swiss researchers may receive funding from SNSF. .. SNSF will be the Lead Agency in the first year and will accept proposals on their deadlines of April 3rd and October 2nd, 2023. More information, including future submission windows, are available at the NSF-Swiss Opportunity 

Expanding AI Innovation through Capacity Building and Partnerships (A New NSF Solicitation)

Expanding AI Innovation through Capacity Building and Partnerships (ExpandAI). The Expanding AI Innovation through Capacity Building and Partnerships (ExpandAI) program aims to significantly broaden participation in AI research, education, and workforce development through capacity development projects and through partnerships within the National AI Research Institutes ecosystem. Proposals may be submitted only by a minority-serving college or university meeting the criteria listed under ‘Eligible Institutions of Higher Education’ in this program solicitation. 

Due Dates: January 09, 2023 – March 13, 2023; March 14, 2023 – June 26, 2023; June 27, 2023 – October 20, 2023; January 8 2024 – March 11, 2024. 

Register in advance for ExpandAI webinars at: 


Or an H.323/SIP room system: 

    H.323: (US West) or (US East) 

    Meeting ID: 160 688 1553 

    Passcode: 017857 

    SIP: 1606881553@sip.zoomgov.com 

    Passcode: 017857 

Partnerships for Research Innovation in the Mathematical Sciences (PRIMES) (A New NSF Solicitation)


Partnerships for Research Innovation in the Mathematical Sciences (PRIMES) 

The NSF Division of Mathematical Sciences’ Partnerships for Research Innovation in the Mathematical Sciences program aims to enhance partnerships between minority-serving institutions and DMS-supported Mathematical Sciences Research Institutes. The activity seeks to boost the participation of members of groups underrepresented in the mathematical sciences through their increased involvement in research programs at the institutes. 

Target dates: May 26, 2023. Last Friday in May, Annually Thereafter 

Global Centers in Climate Change and Clean Energy (A New NSF Solicitation)

Global Centers (GC): Use-Inspired Research Addressing Global Challenges in Climate Change and Clean Energy The Global Centers program is an NSF-led effort, implemented in partnership with like-minded international funders, to encourage and support large-scale collaborative research on use-inspired themes in climate change and clean energy. NSF partner countries in this inaugural Global Centers competition are Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. 

General questions about the Global Centers activity should be directed to globalcenters@nsf.gov and MPS-specific questions on Global Centers should be directed to Yulia R. Gel (ygel@nsf.gov). 

NSF Webinar on the Internet Measurement Research (IMR) Program

The NSF program solicitation Internet Measurement Research (IMR): Methodologies, Tools, and Infrastructure (IMR), launched by the CISE Directorate in partnership with the MPS Directorate, continues to receive submissions in 2023. The submission deadlines are February 15, 2023, for Track 1 and March 8, 2023, for Track 2.

Please see NSF 22-519 for details.

This competition may be of interest to mathematics and statistics researchers who are creating new mathematical/stochastic models and statistical methodologies for Internet measurement research and/or developing innovative techniques or methodologies to ensure privacy protection or other novel methodologies and analyses.

An informational webinar is scheduled for Thursday, December 15, 2022, 3:00-4:00 PM Eastern time. This webinar will provide an overview of this program. More details about how to register for the webinar are available here:    https://beta.nsf.gov/events/internet-measurement-research-program-webinar

RF Webinar on NSF PIRE Program

November 30 (12 noon – 1pm), NSF Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) Grants

Overview of Webinar: International engagement is increasingly critical to keeping the U.S. globally competitive at the frontiers of knowledge. The PIRE program supports a set of cutting-edge interdisciplinary projects focused on use-inspired research on climate change and/or clean energy in which advances require international collaboration. PIRE projects support team readiness to grow into prominent enduring international hubs of research excellence that advance knowledge, empower communities, and generate discovery and innovative technological solutions at a global scale. PIRE support is intended to scale up and expand research in all science and engineering disciplines and in interdisciplinary areas by enhancing and building partnerships beyond the PIRE funding period and catalyzing readiness to grow to center level activity. PIRE promotes cooperation among scientists and engineers from all nations and enables research at the leading edge of science and engineering by facilitating partnerships with others nationally and internationally, by educating and preparing a diverse, world-class STEM workforce, and by fostering institutional capacity for international collaboration. The PIRE projects should enhance diversity, equity and inclusion in science and engineering in both research and education.

Targeted Audience: CUNY Science and Engineering faculty

Presenters: John Tsapogas, Director, RFCUNY-APPS and Masahiro Kawaji, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, CCNY

Join us on November 30, 2022 at 12 Noon  – 1pm

Registration URL: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4551759761003538445

    Webinar ID 928-854-515

In connection with the RFCUNY Wednesday Brown Bag Research Webinar – Academic Year 2022/2023

NSF Listening Sessions on Supporting Low-Income STEM Students

The NSF Scholarships in STEM (S-STEM) program is convening two listening sessions focused on the strengths, challenges and needs of low-income students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in STEM areas and how they can be better supported.  Stakeholders from higher education, industry, government, non-profits and other sectors are invited to share their insights on topics including academic and co-curricular supports, food and housing insecurity, family responsibilities, and any other issues related to the realities of this critical student population.


Friday November 4 2022, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time

Registration link: https://ida-org.zoomgov.com/meeting/register/vJIsceCrrj0rEwJdy5H9zkdTZ-D6kg6Ov3w

November 7 2022, 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM Eastern Standard Time

Registration link: https://ida-org.zoomgov.com/meeting/register/vJIscu6grzkqG8XpXYpW0UqU2ngVVjSFrGg

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: These sessions are open to any members of the public who engage with low-income students in STEM, including: faculty; higher education administrators; college and university financial aid, student services, and admissions staff; students; NSF staff and other government personnel; members of the nonprofit community; industry representatives; and researchers.

WHERE: The listening session will be conducted virtually via Zoom.

RSVP: Pre-registration is required for this event. Please pre-register here for the 11/4 session and here for the 11/7 session. A Zoom meeting link and password will be sent to you after your registration is confirmed.

GUIDING QUESTIONS:  As part of the listening session, NSF is seeking to foster discussion of the following points:

1. What strategies are institutions using to support low-income students?  What strategies are the students themselves employing? What is working?  What isn’t? 

2. What factors are critical to building an effective academic and co-curricular support structure for low-income STEM students? What gaps do you see that need to be addressed?

3. What are your experiences with peer or faculty mentoring for low-income students?  Are there any particularly effective or promising formats or practices? What are areas of challenge?

4. The NSF Scholarships in STEM (S-STEM) program funds projects that provide financial, academic, and co-curricular supports for low-income students in STEM.  What is your awareness of, and/or experience with, the program (e.g. requirements, accessibility, outcomes, or other factors?)

AGENDA: After introductory remarks, there will be an open forum for participants followed by a breakout session.

LOGISTICS: The IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute will be facilitating the meeting on NSF’s behalf. The meeting will be recorded. Participation in this session implies consent for NSF to capture your name, voice, and likeness, and anything you say may be recorded and transcribed for NSF use. Moderators will manage participation and remove disruptive participants if necessary. For questions about session logistics, contact Dr. Brian Zuckerman (bzuckerm@ida.org) at IDA.

For other questions regarding the listening session, please contact Michael Ferrara (mferrara@nsf.gov) at NSF.

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