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NSF’s Chemistry Division awards 6 planning grants to broaden participation, form new partnerships

A blue-tinted collage of chemistry glassware, a model of a molecule and part of the periodic table.

The new awards are designed to grow diversity and participation in the U.S. STEM workforce.

December 4, 2023

The awards will help catalyze collaborative research and education partnerships between minority-serving institutions and NSF's chemical research centers, institutes and facilities.

The U.S. National Science Foundation's Chemistry Division is investing $1.2 million in six new awards designed to grow diversity and greater participation in the U.S. STEM workforce. The two-year awards are planning grants provided by NSF's Partnerships for Research and Education in Chemistry program (PREC) which supports partnerships between minority-serving institutions and NSF's chemical research centers, institutes, and facilities located at research-intensive institutions across the U.S.

"These investments are aimed at catalyzing productive and lasting collaborations between institutions by funding the substantial planning work required to launch a large, fully-developed partnership," says NSF's Chemistry Division Director David Berkowitz. "The awardees of NSF's PREC program continue to show how these sorts of partnerships can enhance and grow the chemical research ecosystem in every part of America by increasing talent recruitment, retention and degree attainment — including among groups underrepresented in chemistry research."

The planning grants will be used by the awardee institutions to lay the groundwork necessary to submit a competitive proposal for a larger, longer-term award from the PREC program. Since its inception in 2022, the PREC program has made three such awards through two funding tracks providing up to $900,000 and $1.8 million per award, respectively. Each award supports a minority-serving institution partnering with a research-intensive institution housing one of the following: an NSF Center for Chemical Innovation, NSF's Chemistry and Material Sciences Center for Advanced Radiation Sources, NSF's Molecular Sciences Software Institute or NSF's Molecule Maker Lab Institute.

The new awardees and their partners are:

To learn more visit the Partnerships for Research and Education in Chemistry program webpage and the invitation to submit planning proposals.

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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