NSF INCLUDES: Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science 

Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO). Please see the full solicitation for complete information about the funding opportunity. Note conference proposals are not limited and not required for the internal competition.

RIO encourages potential applicants to follow the guidance in the NSF solicitation: “Investigators planning to submit a proposal are strongly encouraged to submit a one-page description of their proposal idea to nsfincludes@nsf.gov at least two months prior to proposal submission so that an NSF INCLUDES program director can provide feedback on alignment of the idea with NSF INCLUDES' goals.”

Program Summary 

NSF INCLUDES is a comprehensive, national initiative to enhance U.S. leadership in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) discovery and innovation, focused on NSF's commitment to ensuring accessibility and inclusivity in STEM fields, as communicated in the NSF Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years (FY) 2022 - 2026. The vision of NSF INCLUDES is to catalyze the STEM enterprise to work collaboratively for inclusive change, resulting in a STEM workforce that reflects the diversity of the Nation's population. More specifically, NSF INCLUDES seeks to motivate and accelerate collaborative infrastructure building to advance equity and sustain systemic change to broaden participation in STEM fields at scale. Significant advancement in the inclusion of groups that have historically been excluded from or under-served in STEM will result in a new generation of STEM talent and leadership to secure the Nation's future and long-term economic competitiveness.

With this solicitation, NSF offers support for five types of projects that connect and contribute to the National Network: (1) Design and Development Launch Pilots, (2) Collaborative Change Consortia, (3) Alliances, (4) Network Connectors, and (5) Conferences. The NSF INCLUDES National Network is a multifaceted collaboration of agencies, organizations, and individuals working collectively to broaden participation in STEM. The NSF INCLUDES National Network serves as a testbed for designing, implementing, studying, refining, and scaling collaborative change models and is composed of:

  • NSF INCLUDES funded projects
  • Other NSF funded projects
  • Subcommittee on Federal Coordination in STEM Education (FC-STEM) agencies
  • Scholars engaged in broadening participation research and evaluation, and
  • Organizations that support the development of talent from all sectors of society to build an inclusive STEM workforce.

All NSF INCLUDES funded projects must operationalize five design elements of collaborative infrastructure - (1) shared vision, (2) partnerships, (3) goals and metrics, (4) leadership and communication, and (5) expansion, sustainability, and scale - to create systemic change that will lead to the substantially broadened participation of individuals from historically excluded and undeserved groups in STEM.


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST July 10, 2023

NSF Alliances Deadline: 5:00pm MST October 24, 2023

NSF Network Connectors Deadline: 5:00pm MST October 24, 2023

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Proposal Type:
    • Alliances
    • Network Connectors
  • Project Description (3 pages maximum): Please include: (a) the objectives and significance of the proposed activity; (b) the suitability of the methods to be used; (c) the qualifications of the investigators and the participating organizations; and (d) the effect of the effort on collaborative infrastructure building for broadening the participation of the identified group(s) in STEM.
  • PI Curriculum Vitae
  • 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/6858/home


An individual may serve as a PI or Co-PI on only one NSF INCLUDES proposal per annual due date, not including conferences. Proposals that exceed the PI or Co-PI limit will be returned without review. No exceptions will be made.

A PI or co-PI of an active NSF INCLUDES Alliance may not be a PI or co-PI on a proposal under this solicitation, if the Alliance would still be active at the start of the new award. This limit does not include conference proposals.

Prior NSF INCLUDES funding is not required to be eligible to submit a proposal for any project type. The inclusion of former or current NSF INCLUDES investigators in proposals is encouraged, but not required.

Limited Submission Guidelines

An organization may serve as a lead organization on only one proposal per project type, not including conferences.

Award Information

NSF INCLUDES anticipates funding up to:

  • One (1) Alliance
  • Five (5) Network Connectors
  • Five (5) Conferences

Review Criteria

In addition to the NSF Merit Review Criteria, reviewers will be asked to consider the ability of the proposed NSF INCLUDES projects to provide the collaborative infrastructure necessary to support the project's partners and activities within the context of the five design elements of collaborative infrastructure and to establish and maintain linkages to the NSF INCLUDES National Network. The following questions will be considered for each additional review criterion.

  • Collaborative Infrastructure: Does the proposal have a sufficiently compelling and comprehensive plan for operationalizing the five design elements of collaborative infrastructure?

Additional Collaborative Infrastructure Questions to Consider for Alliances and Collaborative Change Consortia: Does the proposal incorporate rigorous and innovative research that will contribute to the knowledge base about broadening participation in STEM?

Additional Collaborative Infrastructure Questions to Consider for Alliances: Are there sufficient plans to effectively incorporate a "backbone" or support organization into the Alliance and sustain its activities over time?

  • NSF INCLUDES National Network: Does the proposal have a reasonable and appropriate plan to connect and contribute to the NSF INCLUDES National Network through capacity building, resource sharing, and/or other mechanisms? Does the project have a plan for integrating data with the NSF INCLUDES National Network through the NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub? Is there a credible communication strategy to share knowledge and promising practices with the NSF INCLUDES National Network, the Coordination Hub, and the broader community?