NSF ADVANCE: Organizational Change for Gender Equity in STEM Academic Professions

Please see the full solicitation for complete information about the funding opportunity. Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO). Due to a prior NSF ADVANCE award, CU Boulder is only eligible to compete for the Partnership track. As such, you only need to submit to the internal competition if seeking the lead slot for the Partnership track. If partnering with another entity and not serving as lead, there is no need to submit to the internal competition.

Program Summary

The NSF ADVANCE program contributes to the National Science Foundation's goal of a more diverse and capable science and engineering workforce.1 In this solicitation, the NSF ADVANCE program seeks to build on prior NSF ADVANCE work and other research and literature concerning gender, racial, and ethnic equity. The NSF ADVANCE program goal is to broaden the implementation of evidence-based systemic change strategies that promote equity for STEM2 faculty in academic workplaces and the academic profession. The NSF ADVANCE program provides grants to enhance the systemic factors that support equity and inclusion and to mitigate the systemic factors that create inequities in the academic profession and workplaces. Systemic (or organizational) inequities may exist in areas such as policy and practice as well as in organizational culture and climate. For example, practices in academic departments that result in the inequitable allocation of service or teaching assignments may impede research productivity, delay advancement, and create a culture of differential treatment and rewards. Similarly, policies and procedures that do not mitigate implicit bias in hiring, tenure, and promotion decisions could lead to women and racial and ethnic minorities being evaluated less favorably, perpetuating historical under-participation in STEM academic careers and contributing to an academic climate that is not inclusive.

All NSF ADVANCE proposals are expected to use intersectional approaches in the design of systemic change strategies in recognition that gender, race and ethnicity do not exist in isolation from each other and from other categories of social identity. The solicitation includes four funding tracks: Institutional Transformation (IT), Adaptation, Partnership, and Catalyst, in support of the NSF ADVANCE program goal to broaden the implementation of systemic strategies that promote equity for STEM faculty in academic workplaces and the academic profession. As noted above, CU Boulder is only eligible for the Partnership track.

  • The Partnership track is designed to support the work to facilitate the broader adaptation of gender equity and systemic change strategies. Partnership projects are expected to result in national or regional transformation in STEM academic workplaces and the academic profession and demonstrate significant reach. Partnership projects can focus on the transformation of institutions and organizations and/or the transformation within one or more STEM disciplines.

Please note that NSF ADVANCE does not provide fellowships, research, or travel grants to individual students, postdoctoral researchers, or faculty to pursue STEM degrees or research. 


  • CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST June 12, 2023
  • Sponsor Letter of Intent Deadline: 5:00pm MST August 7, 2023 (only required for Adaptation and Partnership tracks)
  • Sponsor Full Proposal Deadlines: 5:00pm MST November 1, 2023 (Adaptation and Partnership tracks – note: work on the full proposal should have started well before the letter of intent deadline)

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Project Summary (3 pages maximum): Please include the following: organizational and/or disciplinary context, data, and problem analysis; activities description; general communication strategy; and project evaluation strategy.
  • Project Management Plan and Timeline (2 pages maximum): Please list major team members/organizations and respective responsibilities for completing major project activities. This section should also include a timeline of major activities, benchmarks, and project evaluation.
  • Budget Overview (1 page maximum): A basic budget outlining project costs is sufficient; detailed OCG budgets are not required.

To access the online application, visit: https://cuboulderovcr.secure-platform.com/a/solicitations/6877/home


  • Due to a prior NSF ADVANCE award, CU Boulder is not eligible for IT, Adaptation or Catalyst proposals.
  • Partnership proposals are accepted from partnerships of two or more non-profit IHEs and/or non-profit, non-academic organizations. Partners may include past or current NSF ADVANCE grant recipients, new IHEs and organizations to ADVANCE, and unfunded strategic partners (such as the private commercial sector and NSF research and education centers).

Limited Submission Guidelines

  • IHEs can be a partner on one or more Partnership proposals.
  • Eligible Non-profit, non-academic organizations can submit one proposal to the Adaptation competition and be a partner on one or more Partnership proposals.
  • IHEs and non-profit, non-academic organizations may be partners on multiple ADVANCE Partnership proposals in the same competition but can be the lead organization only on one Partnership proposal in the same competition.

Award Information

In each year, NSF expects to make approximately:

  • six Adaptation awards up to $1,000,000 for three-year long projects
  • six Partnership awards up to $1,000,000 for up to five-year long projects
  • four Catalyst awards up to $300K for two years

NSF anticipates that two to four of the twelve Adaptation and Partnerships projects may qualify for an additional $250,000 for collaborating with a project initiated with NSF funding as described in the project description.

Review Criteria

In addition to the standard NSF criteria of intellectual merit and broader impacts, reviewers will be asked to specifically evaluate how well the proposal addresses intersectionality.  Intersectionality is an important tool for understanding systemic equity issues for underrepresented STEM faculty and for designing interventions that involve majority STEM faculty in the ADVANCE project.  All ADVANCE proposals are expected to take an intersectional approach in the proposal design, research, evaluation, and data collection.