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I-STEM Education Initiative

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education

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Upcoming Funding Deadlines

*Grants that Accept Proposals at Anytime


NSF SII-Center

Spectrum Innovation Initiative: National Center for Wireless Spectrum Research

    Letter of Intent Deadline Date (past): 3/01/21

    Full Proposal window: 4/1/21–4/30/21

    Note: The submission window opens on April 1, 2021 and closes at 5 p.m. submitter's local time on April 30, 2021. A Letter of Intent (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time on March 1, 2021) is a required prerequisite for SII-Center Proposals.

Program Description: The worldwide growth of wireless communication, navigation, and telemetry has provided immense societal benefits including mobile broadband data, Internet of Things (IoT), mobile healthcare, and intelligent transportation systems. These and other applications call for innovations that can circumvent the challenges of radio spectrum scarcity and interference, and foster the growth of ubiquitous, high speed, low latency connectivity. Commercial applications like the above must operate in harmony with scientific uses of spectrum (e.g., radio astronomy, Earth and atmospheric sciences, and polar research) and other nationally vital spectrum-dependent services (e.g., weather prediction). The National Science Foundation (NSF) continues to support wireless spectrum research and the scientific uses of the electromagnetic spectrum through multiple programs that enable fast, accurate, dynamic coordination and usage of the limited spectrum resource. These programs have created an opportune ground to build and create a large center-based ecosystem for spectrum research, which is the target of this SII-Center program.

NSF’s goal is to promote transformative use and management of the electromagnetic spectrum, resulting in profound benefits for science and engineering, industry, and other national interests. The focus of a spectrum research SII-Center must chart out a trajectory to ensure United States leadership in future wireless technologies, systems, and applications in science and engineering through the efficient use and sharing of the radio spectrum. The SII-Center should also seek to foster scientific and technical collaboration. The establishment of an SII-Center will have a transformational impact on wireless spectrum research by serving as a connecting point for the biggest and most challenging questions in spectrum management that the nation is facing. The SII-Center is expected to educate and develop an agile workforce needed to support industries of the future which will rely heavily on wireless technologies.


Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS)

Project Description: The NSF Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS) supports enabling and transformative research at the nano, micro, and macro scales that fuels progress in engineering system applications with high societal impacts.

ECCS programs encompass novel electronic, photonic, and magnetic devices — and the integration of these devices into circuit and system environments, intelligent systems, control, and networks — for applications spanning communications and cyber technologies, energy and power, healthcare, environment, transportation, manufacturing, and other systems-related areas.

ECCS strongly emphasizes the integration of education into its research programs to ensure the preparation of a diverse and professionally skilled workforce. ECCS also strengthens its programs through links to other areas of engineering, science, industry, government, and international collaborations.

Division Programs

The Division has three program clusters, managed by teams of program directors, that reflect the increasing convergence of traditional disciplinary topics and the need for interdisciplinary approaches to emerging technological challenges.



Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers Program (IUCRC)

    Sponsor pre-proposal deadlines:

    • 03/09/22, 03/08/23, Second Wednesday in March annually thereafter
    • 09/08/21, 09/14/22, Second Wednesday in September annually thereafter

    Sponsor full proposal deadline:

    • 06/09/21, 06/08/22, Second Wednesday in June annually thereafter
    • 12/08//21, 12/14/22, Second Wednesday in December annually thereafter

Program Mission:

The IUCRC program catalyzes breakthrough pre-competitive research by enabling close and sustained engagement between industry innovators, world-class academic teams, and government agencies.  IUCRCs help industry partners and government agencies connect directly and efficiently with university researchers to achieve three primary objectives: 

1) Conduct high-impact research to meet shared and critical industrial needs in companies of all  sizes;

2) Enhance U.S. global leadership in driving innovative technology development, and

3) Identify, mentor and develop a diverse, highly skilled science and engineering workforce.

Program Overview:

IUCRC provides a structure for academic researchers to conduct fundamental, pre-competitive research of shared interest to industry and government organizations. These organizations pay membership fees to a consortium so that they can collectively envision and fund research, with at least 90% of Member funds allocated to the direct costs of these shared research projects.

IUCRCs are formed around research areas of strategic interest to U.S. industry. Industry is defined very broadly to include companies (large and small), startups and non-profit organizations. Principal Investigators form a Center around emerging research topics of current research interest, in a pre-competitive space but with clear pathways to applied research and commercial development. Industry partners join at inception, as an existing Center grows or they inspire the creation of a new Center by recruiting university partners to leverage NSF support. Government agencies participate in IUCRCs as Members or by partnering directly with NSF at the strategic level.  

Universities, academic researchers, and students benefit from IUCRC participation through the research funding, the establishment and growth of industry partnerships, and educational and career placement opportunities for students. Industry Members benefit by accessing knowledge, facilities, equipment, and intellectual property in a highly cost-efficient model; leveraging Center research outcomes in their future proprietary projects; interacting in an informal, collaborative way with other private sector and government entities with shared interests; and identifying and recruiting talent.  NSF provides funding to support Center administrative costs and a governance framework to manage membership, operations, and evaluation.

Successful IUCRCs require:

  • A capable research/management team with an entrepreneurial mindset;
  • Universities, faculty, and students interested in engaging in research of interest to industry;
  • A community of industry partners seeking pre-competitive, use-inspired research projects.

Each IUCRC is expected to grow and become independently sustainable by the end of the NSF support. 


Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP)

    Preparing for TCUP Implementation (Pre-TI): 9/10/20–9/9/21; 9/10/21–9/9/22; 9/10–9/9 annually thereafter

    TCU Enterprise Advancement Centers (TEA Centers): 3/7/21–6/4/21

    Targeted STEM Infusion Projects (TSIP): 9/20/21; 9/20 annually thereafter

    Small Grants for Research (SGR): 12/10/21; 12/10 annually thereafter

    Partnerships in Geoscience Education (PAGE): 6/10/21; 6/10 annually thereafter

    Instructional Capacity Excellence in TCUP Institutions (ICE-TI): 9/6/21; 9/4 annually thereafter

Project Description: The Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP) provides awards to Tribal Colleges and Universities, Alaska Native-serving institutions, and Native Hawaiian-serving institutions to promote high-quality science (including sociology, psychology, anthropology, economics, statistics, and other social and behavioral sciences as well as natural sciences), technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, research, and outreach. Support is available to TCUP-eligible institutions (see the Additional Eligibility subsection of Section IV of this solicitation) for transformative capacity-building projects through Instructional Capacity Excellence in TCUP Institutions (ICE-TI)Targeted STEM Infusion Projects (TSIP)TCU Enterprise Advancement Centers (TEA Centers), and Preparing for TCUP Implementation (Pre-TI). Collaborations that involve multiple institutions of higher education led by TCUP institutions are supported through Partnerships for Geoscience Education (PAGE) and Partnerships for Documentary Linguistics Education (PADLE). Finally, research studies that further the scholarly activity of individual faculty members are supported through Small Grants for Research (SGR) and Science Education Alliance Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science in Tribal Colleges and Universities (SEA-PHAGES in TCUs). Through the opportunities highlighted above, as well as collaborations with other National Science Foundation (NSF) units and other organizations, TCUP aims to increase Native individuals' participation in STEM careers and improve the quality of STEM programs at TCUP-eligible institutions. TCUP strongly encourages the inclusion of activities that will benefit veterans.

See https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5483 for more details.

Grainger: DaRin Butz

Illinois Scholars Undergraduate Research: DaRin Butz Foundation Research Scholars

    Application Opens: 1/15/21

    Use this: Online Application Form

    Application Deadline: 3/31/21

    Notifications will be sent via email by: 4/15/21

    Flexible on start date for summer research.

Project Description: With the generosity of the DaRin Butz Foundation, the Grainger College of Engineering Illinois Scholars Undergraduate Research (ISUR) Program offers women undergraduate students funding to do research in the summer. The foundation’s support of the ISUR summer program is aimed to encourage women to pursue careers in science and engineering.

DaRin Butz Foundation Research Scholars conduct research in the areas of computer science, aerospace, electrical, computer, materials science, nuclear engineering, physics, or astronomy. Scholars will work with faculty mentors who will supervise, guide, and instruct them on their research during the course of the project. They are expected to do research 30 – 35 hours per week for 10 weeks in summer. Through the learning-by-apprenticeship model, the scholars will not only develop their research skills but also their science communication skills (verbal and written) and presentation skills as a researcher in the undergraduate research seminar ENG 199 UGR, which they will take in the fall semester. DaRin Butz Foundation Research Scholars will also present their work in the Fall Engineering Research Fair or the annual ISUR poster expo in the spring semester.

Interested applicants must submit a two-page research project proposal as part of their application. Applicants are encouraged to work with their mentor on the project proposal.


  • $5000 research scholarship for 10 weeks in the summer on campus
  • Close working relationship with a research mentor
  • Gain an understanding of what graduate school entails


  • Must be a University of Illinois woman undergraduate student in the Grainger College of Engineering
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Rising sophomore, junior, or senior
  • Majoring in computer science, aerospace, electrical, computer, materials science, nuclear engineering, physics, or astronomy
  • University of Illinois GPA of 3.0 or higher

David & Lucile Packard Foundation

Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering

    Requests for nominations sent to university presidents: 1/31/21

    Campus Pre-Proposal Deadline: 2/7/21, via this form

    Online application system available: 2/15/21

    Sponsor Nomination Deadline: 3/15/21

    All application materials (described below) submitted: 4/20/21

    Awards announced: 10/15/21

Project Description: Candidates must be faculty members who are eligible to serve as principal investigators engaged in research in the natural and physical sciences or engineering and must be within the first three years of their faculty careers. Disciplines that will be considered include physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, astronomy, computer science, earth science, ocean science, and all branches of engineering. Candidates engaged in research in the social sciences will not be considered. The Fellowship Program provides support for highly creative researchers early in their careers; faculty members who are well established and well-funded are less likely to receive the award. Packard Fellows are inquisitive, passionate scientists and engineers who take a creative approach to their research, dare to think big, and follow new ideas wherever they lead. The foundation emphasizes support for innovative individual research that involves the Fellows, their students, and junior colleagues, rather than extensions or components of large-scale, ongoing research programs.


Innovations in Graduate Education Program (IGE)

    IGE Project Proposals: 3/25/22; 3/25 annually thereafter

Project Description: The Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) program is designed to encourage the development and implementation of bold, new, and potentially transformative approaches to STEM graduate education training. The program seeks proposals that explore ways for graduate students in research-based master's and doctoral degree programs to develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to pursue a range of STEM careers.

IGE focuses on projects aimed at piloting, testing, and validating innovative and potentially transformative approaches to graduate education. IGE projects are intended to generate the knowledge required for their customization, implementation, and broader adoption. The program supports testing of novel models or activities with high potential to enrich and extend the knowledge base on effective graduate education approaches.

The program addresses both workforce development, emphasizing broad participation, and institutional capacity building needs in graduate education. Strategic collaborations with the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government agencies, national laboratories, field stations, teaching and learning centers, informal science centers, and academic partners are encouraged.


NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Program (S-STEM)

    Track 1, 2, 3 and Collaborative Planning grants

    Full Proposal: 3/16/22; 3/15/23 (third Wednesday in March annually thereafter)

Project Description: The main goal of the S-STEM program is to enable low-income, talented domestic students to pursue successful careers in promising STEM fields. Ultimately, the S-STEM program wants to increase the number of low-income students who graduate and contribute to the American innovation economy with their STEM knowledge. Recognizing that financial aid alone cannot increase retention and graduation in STEM, the program provides awards to Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) to fund scholarships and to adapt, implement, and study effective evidence-based curricular and co-curricular activities that support recruitment, retention, transfer (if appropriate), student success, academic/career pathways, and graduation in STEM.

The program seeks to 1) increase the number of low-income academically talented students with demonstrated financial need obtaining degrees in S-STEM eligible disciplines and entering the US workforce or graduate programs in STEM; 2) improve support mechanisms for future scientists, engineers, and technicians, with a focus on low-income academically talented students with demonstrated financial need; and 3) advance our understanding of how interventions or evidence-based curricular and co-curricular activities affect the success, retention, transfer, academic/career pathways, and graduation of low-income students in STEM.

The S-STEM program encourages collaborations among different types of participating groups, including but not limited to partnerships among different types of institutions; collaborations of STEM faculty and institutional, educational, and social science researchers; and partnerships among institutions of higher education and business, industry, local community organizations, national labs, or other federal or state government organizations, if appropriate.

Scholars must be domestic low-income, academically talented students with demonstrated unmet financial need who are enrolled in an associate, baccalaureate or graduate degree program in an S-STEM eligible discipline. Proposers must provide an analysis that articulates the population of students they are trying to serve. This analysis must include the predicted number of students who meet all the eligibility requirements at the time of proposal submission as a proxy measure of the pool of students that would qualify in the future if the proposal is awarded. This number may be based on current and/or historical data about students who are currently pursuing degrees in the STEM disciplines targeted by the proposal.

The program supports four types of projects subject to availability of funds:

  • Awards for Track 1 (Institutional Capacity Building) projects may not exceed $750,000.
  • Awards for Track 2 (Implementation: Single Institution) projects may not exceed $1.5 million.
  • Awards for Track 3 (Inter-institutional Consortia) projects may not exceed $5.0 million.
  • Collaborative Planning projects may not exceed $150,000.


PAR-20-103: Collaborative Program Grant for Multidisciplinary Teams (RM1-Clinical Trial Optional)

    Campus Pre-Proposal Deadline: 03/28/21 at noon, via this form: Collab Grant Application Form

    LOI: 30 days prior to the application due date (4/27/21; 12/27/21; 4/27/22/ 12/27/22)

    Full Prop: 5/27/21; 1/27/22; 5/27/22; 1/27/23.

    (All applications due by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.)

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.

Project Description: This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is designed to support highly integrated research teams of three to six PDs/PIs to address ambitious and challenging research questions that are important for the mission of NIGMS and are beyond the scope of one or two investigators. Collaborative program teams are expected to accomplish goals that require considerable synergy and managed team interactions. Project goals should not be achievable with a collection of individual efforts or projects. Teams are encouraged to consider far-reaching objectives that will produce major advances in their fields.

Applications that are mainly focused on the creation, expansion, and/or maintenance of community resources, creation of new technologies, or infrastructure development are not appropriate for this FOA.

*Grants that Accept Proposals at Anytime