Undergraduate Student Instrument Project (USIP) – 2015 Flight Research Opportunity NNH15ZDA010C

Undergraduate Student Instrument Project (USIP) – 2015

Flight Research Opportunity NNH15ZDA010C

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Science Mission Directorate (SMD), in collaboration with the Office of Education (OE) National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program (Space Grant) will release the Undergraduate Student Instrument Project (USIP) Student Flight Research Opportunity (SFRO) on or about August 21. USIP-2015 solicits proposals from U.S. institutions of higher education to develop an undergraduate-led Project Team that will fly a science and/or technology payload relevant to NASA strategic goals and objectives on a sounding rocket, balloon, aircraft, suborbital reusable launch vehicle (sRLV), or CubeSat launched on an orbital launch vehicle (hereafter referred to collectively as suborbital-class platforms).

The cost cap for an investigation awarded by OE is $200K, including the design, development, integration, and testing of the payload; student internships; and research on key innovative technologies. OE funding is limited to consortia of the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program (Space Grant). See Appendix E for proposal conditions and guidelines for Space Grant consortia.

The cost cap for an investigation awarded by SMD is $100K, including the design, development, integration, testing of the payload; and student internships. SMD funding is available to all U.S. institutions of higher education.

Funding by NASA may be supplemented with contributions by the implementing institution (no limit); however, there are no expectations as to the amount of the institutional contribution and such contributions will not be considered in the evaluation of proposals. The selected projects must be launch-ready within 18 months of project initiation. SMD and OE estimate total funding available for award at $6.0M, and expect to select at least 30 projects for implementation, subject to available funding. The launch/flight services are provided by NASA at no cost to the project. Proposals to the USIP 2017 Solar Eclipse solicitation are not eligible for award under USIP-2015.

The two goals of this USIP SFRO are:

  • To provide a hands-on flight project experience to enhance the science, technical, leadership, and project skills for the selected undergraduate student team.
  • To fly a science and/or technology investigation relevant to NASA strategic goals and objectives on a suborbital-class platform.

The key dates of this solicitation are:

SFRO Release Date                                     August 21, 2015

Question and Answer Telecon                   September 10, 2015 (2:00 PM)

Notice of Intent Deadline                           October 1, 2015 (11:59 PM)

Proposal Submittal Deadline                     November 20, 2015 (11:59 PM)

Selections Announced (target)                 December, 2015

Launch Readiness                                        August 1, 2017

The solicitation may be found on NSPIRES at

http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/solicitations.do?method=open

by searching on NNH15ZDA010C

General questions concerning this solicitation may be directed to:

David Pierce
Senior Program Executive for Suborbital Research
Science Mission Directorate
NASA Headquarters
Phone: (202) 358-3808
E-mail: david.l.pierce@nasa.gov

Questions specifically concerning the Space Grant component of this solicitation may be directed to:

Dr. Lenell Allen
Director, Aerospace Research and Career Development (ARCD)
Office of Education
NASA Headquarters
Phone: (202) 358-1762
E-mail: hq-space-grant@mail.nasa.gov

NASA Issues Innovative Advanced Concepts: Phase I Studies Appendix A3

Solicitation Number: NNH15ZOA001N-NIAC_A3
Release Date: August 21, 2015
Response Date: October 8, 2015 5:00pm Eastern (Step A Proposals)

NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate has released an appendix to the NASA Research Announcement (NRA) NNH15ZOA0001N. This appendix solicits proposals for studying visionary, yet credible, advanced concepts in the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program. NIAC’s goal is to “Change the Possible” in aerospace and aeronautics missions, and is available at http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?method=init&solId={D98C4B89-295F-1652-C0AE-29B54B0E481D}&path=open

The NIAC Program focuses on early studies of visionary concepts that address NASA’s or the nation’s goals but also offer radically different approaches or leapfrog innovations to enable new missions, operations, or science capabilities. NIAC concepts are often high risk or far term, but worth studying now to inform technology investments and forward planning. The entry Technology Readiness Level (TRL) for NIAC Phase I concepts should be TRL 1 to TRL 2 in maturity. Successful studies analyze a candidate mission that could be made feasible with the proposed concept.

The NIAC Program supports innovative research through Phase I and Phase II awards. The Appendix focuses only on Phase I, and provides award information and proposal requirements. There are two steps to the Phase I proposal process; a brief Step A proposal open to all applicants, and an expanded Step B proposal for those Step A proposals that are invited. This Appendix describes both. NIAC will release a separate REsearch, Development, Demonstration, and Infusion (REDDI) Appendix soliciting Phase II proposals at a later date, with sufficient time for eligible Phase I Fellows awarded in this solicitation to apply for follow-on support of up to two more years of study and development.

Proposed concepts must satisfy the following criteria to qualify as candidates for a NIAC Phase I study; they must be: an aerospace architecture or mission concept, proposed in a mission context, be exciting and unexplored, and be credible and reasonable.

NIAC Virtual Forum

NASA will host a virtual forum that will address key aspects of this Appendix. The date targeted for this forum is tentatively Wednesday, September 9, 2015. Specific details for the forum will be posted on the following website: http://www.nasa.gov/niac .

Offerors should refer to this website for updates and other information relevant to this Appendix. Although this will be a live forum, offerors are encouraged to pre-submit questions, preferably a week in advance, to hq-niac@mail.nasa.gov with the subject title “NIAC Virtual Forum.”

To view the NIAC solicitations and related information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/niac.

For more information about NASA’s investments in space technology, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/spacetech

SAVE THE DATE! WHIHBCU Federal Funding Webinar with NSF

Webinar, August 27 from 2:00PM-3:30PM EST

The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (WHIHBCU) will host a series of webinars to educate Historically Black Colleges and Universities on the grants and opportunities available to them throughout the federal government.

The WHIHBCU will co-host a webinar with the National Science Foundation (NSF) on August 27, 2015 from 2:00PM-3:30PM EST.

This webinar will feature a presentation by NSF highlighting their funding opportunities for HBCUs. Representatives from the HBCU community are invited and encouraged to view the webinar live and ask questions. Webinar information is listed below.

Date:   Thursday, August 27, 2015

Time:  2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Webinar link and call information forthcoming!

Please feel free to distribute this information to your networks. We look forward to the webinar!

How HBCUs Can Get Federal Sponsorship from the National Science Foundation

By: Ivory A. Toldson & DeShawn Preston

Highlights

  • The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds more than 11,000 grants to support research, education, and training projects annually.
  • NSF accounts for 24 percent of all federal support to colleges and universities in the United States for basic research.
  • In 2014, NSF awarded $5,253,638,733 to Institutions of Higher Education with $91,230,809 of the funding awarded to HBCUs.
  • For Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, the budget proposes $1.2 billion for STEM education activities, including NSF research Traineeships, Cyber Corps; Scholarships for Service; Graduate Research Fellowship Program; Improving Undergraduate STEM Education; and NSF INCLUDES (Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners that have been Underrepresented for Diversity in Engineering and Science).

Introduction

Although Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) make up only 2 percent of the nation’s institutions of higher education (IHEs), they are the primary incubators of Black students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). According to a recent NSF report, 21 of the top 50 institutions for producing Black graduates who go on to receive their doctorates in Science and Engineering (S&E) are HBCUs. In 2012, HBCUs awarded 17.8 percent of Science and Engineering bachelor’s degrees to Black students.

The National Science Foundation awards over $5 billion to institutes of higher education (IHEs), however HBCUs received only 1.7 percent of this revenue in the most recent year of data available. Over the past two FYs (2012, 2013) the funding to HBCUs declined primarily because of reductions in the funding of LSAMP, CREST, and two scholarships (SFS- S STEM). The purpose of this article is to provide information to assist HBCUs who are interested in securing federal sponsorship for their research and programs through NSF.

The National Science Foundation Overview

The National Science Foundation’s mission is to “promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense,” by identifying and funding work at the frontier of science and engineering. NSF was created by Congress in 1950 as an independent federal agency and employs about 2,100 people, including 1,400 career employees, 200 scientists from research institutions on temporary duty, and 450 contract workers and staff. NSF is divided into seven directorates made up by divisions that support science and engineering research and education.

The FY 2016 budget requests $7.7 billion, an increase of $379.3 million from FY 2015 for NSF. This increase will mirror the agenda from President Obama’s administration to support science and engineering broadly, as well as the people that are enhancing the nation’s scientific knowledge and discovery. This budget will allow NSF to continue to make investments in learning and discovery that will grow the economy, sustain a competitive advantage, and enable the United States to remain the world leader in innovation. Specifically, the FY 2016 request:

  • $143.9 million to Understanding the Brain (UtB), contributing to the Administration’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovation and Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative.
  • $58 million to Risk and Resilience, which aims to improve predictability, risk assessment, increase resilience to extreme natural and manmade events, and to rescue the impact on the quality of life, society, and the economy.
  • The Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS) to receive $74.96 million to study, design, and model how food, energy, and water systems operate through research.
  • $15 million to Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners that have been Underrepresented for Diversity in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES) for national initiatives to increase the preparation, participation, advancement, and potential contributions to underrepresented students in STEM.

White House Initiative on HBCUs’ Liaison to the National Science Foundation

As the liaison between the White House Initiative on HBCUs (WHIHBCUs) and NSF, Tracy Gorman works with the WHIHBCUs to organize efforts to strengthen the capacity of HBCUs through increased participation in appropriate Federal programs and initiatives.

Specifically, Ms. Gorman helps the WHIHBCUs to:

  • Establish how the department or agency intends to increase the capacity of HBCUs to compete effectively for grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements and to encourage HBCUs to participate in Federal programs;
  • Identify Federal programs and initiatives where HBCUs may be either underserved or underused, and improve the participation within those areas; and
  • Encourage public and private sector, as well as community involvement in improving the overall capacity of HBCUs.

Ms. Gorman serves as a NSF Program Officer and Staff Assistant in the office of the Director for NSF. She is responsible for tracking funds allocated to Minority Serving Institutions and for writing the annual funding report.

What Opportunities are there for HBCUs to compete for grants/contracts through NSF?

There are over 300 funding opportunities offered by NSF in which Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs), including HBCUs, are encouraged to apply. The best way to gain access to these funds is to align research and grant proposals to agency-identified priority areas. HBCUs should identify the needs and requests from science and engineering communities, and congressional interests to increase the probability of allocating funds from NSF. HBCUs can review the funding opportunities for IHEs offered by NSF on their webpage (http://www.nsf.gov/funding/). Funding can be identified by either program area (e.g. biology, cyberinfrastructure, engineering, geosciences, and physical sciences) or type of activities (e.g. cross-cutting, NSF-wide, or broadening participation).

Research and Development (R&D)

The majority of NSF’s solicited and unsolicited funding activities come from R&D. For FY 2016, NSF projects to fund $4.1 billion to IHEs for R&D. Research projects are proposed by single investigators or collaborative teams. Teams are supported in the following areas: biology; geosciences; engineering; education; social, behavioral, and economic sciences; mathematical and physical sciences; and computer and information science and engineering. In FY 2014, HBCUs were awarded new and incremental funding from 64 research programs. From the 64 research programs HBCUs received $34.8 million of the $4.1 billion allocated to IHEs, making up only 0.8 percent of all funds for R&D.

  • Core Research: These programs provide funding for basic research in the science and engineering fields supported by NSF. Funding for this particular category can be solicited or unsolicited. The research may focus on a single discipline or interdisciplinary. Information about core research areas and activities can be found on the seven Directorate/Division webpage.
  • Foundation-wide: All directorates within NSF participate in this award. These solicitation driven programs fund basic research and education in all supported NSF fields of science and engineering. Some of the programs in this category are The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program, Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), and Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and engineering Careers (ADVANCE).
  • Targeted Programs: HBCUs in previous years have participated in targeted programs within R&D. These programs are solicitation driven and cover a number of research activities looking to develop on-campus research capacity or partnerships within a region, internationally, or with other institutions of higher education. Program eligibility and requirements maybe restricted and are detailed in the solicitation. Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST), HBCU Research Infrastructure for Science and Engineering (HBCU-Rise), Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials (PREM), and Partnerships in Astronomy and Astrophysics Research and Education (PAARE) are all targeted programs eligible to HBCUS or Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and have all been awarded to a number of HBCUs.

Education and Training

The majority of the programs in this category are centered on advancing STEM learning, improving scientific knowledge, and preparing a globally competitive science and engineering workforce. HBCUs have proven to be most successful in this particular category. In FY 2014, HBCUs were awarded new and incremental funding from 14 programs, receiving $53.2 million making up 7.8 percent of all funds allocated to IHEs. This category includes the majority of programs specifically eligible to MSIs, such as the Louis Stoke Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP), Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP),and Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP). For FY 2016, the president’s budget request to Congress proposes $15 million for a new program, NSF INCLUDES (Inclusion across the nation of Communities of Learners that have been Underrepresented for Diversity in Engineering and Science).

Facilities and Equipment

Another area where HBCUs are more successful within NSF is in support of Facilities and Equipment. In FY 2014, HBCUs received $2.5 million, making up 2.4 percent of all funds allocated to IHEs. In total, eight HBCUs received new MRI awards. The majority of the awards received by HBCUs come from the major Research instrumentation Program (MRI). MRI desires to improve the quality and expand research and training in science and engineering, and to integrate research and education by providing instrumentation for research-intensive learning environments. For FY 2016, the budget will see a 0.2 percent decrease in funding for facilities and equipment. However, HBCUs are still encouraged to seek funding in this area.

Fellowships, Internships, Traineeships, Recruitment and IPAs

There are several programs throughout NSF that fund fellowships, internships, traineeships, and recruitment. Funding to HBCUs has supported individuals in two major programs: Graduate Research Fellowships (GRF) and Intergovernmental Personnel Mobility Act (IPA). In FY 2014, HBCUs received support for one GRF and four IPAs, bringing in $568,000 to all HBCUs, and making up 0.2 percent of all funds allocated to IHEs. The various opportunities offered through this category are vital roles at NSF, especially IPAs. Having active personnel in various roles will allow HBCUs to build stronger relationships with NSF, as well as learn a more effective strategy to receive grants.

What advice does the National Science Foundation have for HBCUs who are seeking federal grants and contracts?

  1. Subscribe to NSF Updates. An online subscription service offers updates on events, funding opportunities, publications, and vacancies, among other items. IHEs may customize their subscription so it focuses on activities or programs of interest to them. https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USNSF/subscriber/new?pop=t&qsp=823
  2. Attend NSF Grant Conferences. NSF provides a bi-annual conference to give insight into current issues at NSF including the state of current funding; new and current policies and procedures; and pertinent administrative issues. Officers representing each NSF directorate will also be present to provide up-to-date information about various funding opportunities and to answer any questions. To be notified of future conferences sign up at http:events.signup4.com/nsfnotification
  3. Get involved. The various directorates within NSF are always seeking qualified individuals to participate in the reviewing process of applications for grant funding. The same individuals may also qualify for IPA assignments, panelists, advisors. Working in such positions will provide an understanding of the operations and goals of NSF, as well as more insight to how HBCUs can receive more funds.
  4. Make connections.  Contact the program officer listed on the program webpage or in a solicitation before starting the application. Find out about the program priorities and application imperatives. If you have difficulty identifying the appropriate program officer, contact the Division Director.   A complete NSF organization list (directorates and divisions) including phone numbers is available online at http://www.nsf.gov/staff/orglist.jsp.
  5. Start early. Institutions should apply for grant funding early while also striving for the proposal to be collaborative, evidence-based, measured, and comprehensive. Build in an initial rejection and revision into the expected time between starting the application and getting funded.
  6. The National Science Foundation recommends IHEs to apply for grants as the primary fiscal agent, in addition identify partnerships with local and national agencies, regional organizations, and a variety of relevant affiliates.
  7. Ground your proposal in research. Successful grant proposals provide in-depth scholarly work and consist of concrete action plans. Consult the program director for each division to understand the accepted validated standards for NSF programs.
  8. If first you don’t succeed, try again. If your institution is denied grant funding, it is imperative to seek the counsel of NSF to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal. The agency suggests that denied applicants capitalize on this feedback to revise grant proposal and reapply in the next application season.

Conclusion

There are many grant opportunities within NSF. While NSF has special programs gear towards minority and HBCUs, they have a number of competitive opportunities that are available to all IHEs. In order to increase funding, HBCUs must take full advantage of all funding opportunities, and not limit proposals to opportunities designated specifically to HBCUs.

In recent years HBCUs have mainly received funds for educational activities. The awards are typically distributed to programs such as HBCU RISE, HBCU-UP, and CREST, which have not seen an increase in the budget since 2014. In order for HBCUs to increase funding opportunities these institutions must broaden the participation within NSF. HBCUs must apply for more grants and research within Research and Development where they are only receiving 0.8 percent of the funds and in Fellowships, Internships, Traineeships, Recruitment, and IPAs where they only receive 0.2 percent of the awards. It is imperative for HBCUs to seek funding from these particular categories, because this is where the overwhelming majority of funds are allocated through NSF. By continuously applying within the two areas HBCUs will gain partnership within NSF, allowing for better comprehension of the language, day to day operations, and goals of NSF, this should prove to be advantageous in the funding application process.

The WHIHBCUs should frequently provide reports such as this, which has information regarding the agency’s HBCU liaison, background facts, funding trends, existing HBCU relationships, and agency emphasis. The WHIHBCUs is here to work with Federal partners to provide technical support to HBCUs who are interested in applying for funding. HBCUs should develop their institutional capacity to produce competitive grants. Members of Congress can help HBCUs to network with key personnel at federal agencies. Members can also help HBCUs connect with corporate and philanthropic partners to strengthen collaborative efforts.

List of Program and Program Directors

Contact specific directorate of interest


Ivory A. Toldson, Ph.D., is the interim executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He is currently on leave from his position as associate professor at Howard University.

DeShawn Preston is a doctoral student in Higher Educational Leadership at Clemson University. He holds a B.A. in History from Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama. His research agenda focuses on African American students in graduate and professional programs. More specifically his dissertation topic examines the roll/influences HBCUs play in assisting African Americans with enrollment into doctoral programs.

WHIHBCU Webinar Presentation: Federal Funding Opportunities at NASA!

The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (WHIHBCU) will host a series of webinars to educate Historically Black Colleges and Universities on the grants and opportunities available to them throughout the federal government.

On July 30, 2015 from 10:30AM-11:30AM, the Initiative co-hosted the first webinar with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Please see link to the Presentation Below.

NASA Education Funding Opportunities

For additional information regarding the webinar and MSI funding opportunities at NASA you may contact the following person:

Joeletta Patrick
Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) Manager
Joeletta.o.patrick@nasa.gov

Job and internship Opportunities with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ( SEC )

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) has job and internship opportunities within their organization.

Brief Background:

OMWI was established in July of 2011, as required by Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.  OMWI is responsible for:

  • taking affirmative steps to seek diversity at all levels of the SEC’s workforce,
  • increasing participation of minority-owned and women-owned businesses in the SEC’s programs and contracts, including standards for coordinating technical assistance to such businesses; and
  • assessing the diversity policies and practices of entities regulated by the SEC.

For more information please contact:

German Rochez
Recruitment Coordinator, Contractor
Phone: 202-551-6046| Email: omwi@sec.gov

Funding Opportunities- June

Department of Education: First in the World Competition

The First In The World program is designed to support the development, replication, and dissemination of innovative solutions and evidence for what works in addressing persistent and widespread challenges in postsecondary education for students who are at risk for not persisting in and completing postsecondary programs, including, but not limited to, adult learners, working students, part-time students, students from low-income backgrounds, students of color, students with disabilities, and first-generation students. Learn more.

Department of Agriculture: Farmers’ Market SNAP Support Grants

The United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announces, through this Request for Applications, the availability of $3.3 million in competitive grant funds, to be awarded through the Farmers’ Market SNAP Support Grants in fiscal year (FY) 2015. As approved by Congress in the President’s FY 2014 budget request for FNS, these funds are intended to support “the participation of farmers’ markets in SNAP by providing equipment and support grants to new markets and those currently participating in the program.” The goals of the FMSSG program are to increase SNAP accessibility and participation at farmers’ markets, and support the establishment, expansion, and promotion of SNAP/Electronic Benefits Transfer services at farmers’ markets. This is a new program, which may continue in subsequent years. Grant funds must be used to conduct tasks that are necessary for SNAP to operate at farmers’ markets, and to increase the number and effectiveness of farmers’ market participation in SNAP. Read more.

Department of Health and Human Services: New Pathways for Fathers and Families

The Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance is announcing its intent to competitively award demonstration projects that support activities promoting responsible fatherhood as enacted by the Claims Resolution Act of 2010. The Responsible Fatherhood initiative is designed to help fathers establish or strengthen positive parental interaction by providing activities that develop and improve relationship, communication and parenting skills, and contribute to the financial well-being of their children by providing job training and other employment services. Responsible Fatherhood activities also help fathers improve relationships with their spouses, significant others, and/or the mothers of their children. ACF is particularly interested in organizations that have the capacity and proven record of accomplishment in helping low-income fathers, and comprehensive fatherhood programs that integrate robust economic stability services, healthy marriage and relationship activities, and activities designed to foster responsible parenting. Learn more.

For more opportunities, please visit Grants.gov

The SEC is looking for Enforcement Attorneys!!

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s New York Regional Office is looking for Enforcement Attorneys.

Typical Duties Include:

  • Conducts comples investigations being undertaken by the SEC. Develops investigative and litigation plans and adjust plans as appropriate.
  • Leads all aspects of investigations. Drafts subpoenas and other requests for documents, questions witnesses through interviews, testimony, or depositions, prepares written analysis of documentary and testimonial evidence, and makes recommendations as to whether sufficient evidence exists to prove violations of federal securities laws.
  •  Provides management and agency officials at all levels with advice and work products exhibiting knowledge, insight, sound judgment, and sophisticated understanding of relevant law and facts.
  •  Communicates with agency officials at all levels, including supervisors and coworkers, officials at other agencies and regulatory bodies, staff in federal courts, counsel, and members of the public.
  •  Organizes work across multiple investigations, sets priorities, and determines short- and long-term goals and strategies to achieve them. Develops innovative solutions to address factual and legal issues, and problems involving novel or unexplored questions of law or policy.
  • Participates in all aspects of litigation in federal court and administrative proceedings.

Basic Requirements: All applicants must possess the following

  • J.D. or LL.B. degree, preferably with 3+ years of experience AND
  •  Active membership of the bar in good standing in any state, territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the commonwealth of Puerto Rico. (Note: proof of bar membership will be required before entry on duty.)

To be considered for these positions, please email your resume and cover letter to: newyork@sec.gov

 

 

 

 

 

FY 2015 Graduate Research Fellowship Program for Criminal Justice Statistics

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Bureau of Justice Statistics

(BJS) is seeking applications to fund one or more fellows under its Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) Program for Criminal Justice Statistics. This program furthers the Department’s mission by facilitating collaboration between academic and government researchers in survey methodology, statistics, economics, and social sciences. BJS provides Graduate Research Fellows the unique opportunity to address substantive, methodological, and analytic issues relevant to BJS programs and to further existing knowledge about and understanding of the operation of the criminal justice system.

Click HERE for more information

 

How HBCUs Can Get Federal Sponsorship from the United States Department of Education

By: Ivory A. Toldson & Amanda Washington

“Ensuring that every student—from the wealthiest to the poorest and historically underserved—has access to a high-quality education is what our work is all about…We aren’t just talking the talk; we are awarding millions of dollars in grants to help institutions better serve minority students through various programs and services.” – U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Prelude

This series is designed to expand federal support of HBCU research, programs, and outreach through competitive grants and contracts. The Department of Education (ED) accounts for more revenue to HBCUs than any other federal agency – totaling more than $4.7 billion in 2013. Any given year, HBCUs collectively receive between $600 – $750 million from ED through grants and contracts. Because of the nature and purpose of many of the grant programs, HBCUs have been uniquely suited to receive funding from ED.   The White House Initiative on HBCUs (WHIHBCUs) believes that increasing revenue to HBCUs from federal grants and contracts is vital to the long term sustainability of these institutions. By developing innovative proposals, working with HBCU liaisons at federal agencies and taking advantage of federal funding opportunities, HBCUs can increase the resources necessary to initiate and sustain vital programs.

Highlights

  • The United States Department of Education (ED) is responsible for more revenue to HBCUs than any other federal agency; typically accounting for more than $4.7 billion from the Federal Government.
  • In FY2013, ED awarded more than $700 million to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) for capacity building programs.
  • The vast majority of the revenue from ED to HBCUs comes from noncompetitive opportunities; however, ED invests hundreds of millions of dollars into research and programs, in which HBCUs are distinctively qualified to apply.
  • New opportunities from ED, including First in the World and The Pathways to the Education Sciences Research Training Program, provide unique opportunities for HBCUs to compete for grants through ED.

Introduction

Educational inequities that exist for African Americans underscore the need for education research programs and advocacy at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The Department of Education (ED) accounts for more revenue to HBCUs than any other federal agency – totaling more than $4.7 billion in 2013. ED is a multifaceted agency, and revenue to HBCUs comes from ED in many forms. The bulk of the funding is awarded to students to attend HBCUs in the form of grants and loans for qualifying students. ED also offers noncompetitive grants to HBCUs through the “Strengthening HBCUs program.” Also known as “Title III,” these noncompetitive awards, which are aimed at building the capacity of HBCUs, account for approximately $300 million of the revenue that ED awards to HBCUs.

Any given year, HBCUs collectively receive between $600 – $700 million from ED through grants and contracts. Because of the nature and purpose of many of the grant programs, HBCUs have been uniquely suited to receive funding from ED. However, many HBCUs have challenges with locating the appropriate grant opportunities and completing competitive proposals.

This series is designed to expand federal support of HBCU research, programs, and outreach through competitive grants and contracts. The White House Initiative on HBCUs (WHIHBCUs) believes that increasing revenue to HBCUs from federal grants and contracts is vital to the long term sustainability of these institutions. By developing innovative proposals, working with HBCU liaisons at federal agencies and taking advantage of federal funding opportunities, HBCUs can increase the resources necessary to initiate and sustain vital programs.

The U.S. Department of Education Overview

ED’s mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access. This agency was created in 1980 by combining offices from several federal agencies. ED’s 4,400 employees and $68 billion budget are dedicated to: 1) establishing policies on federal financial aid for education, and distributing, as well as, monitoring those funds; 2) Collecting data on America’s schools and disseminating research; 3) Focusing national attention on key educational issues; and 4) Prohibiting discrimination and ensuring equal access to education.

For FY 2016, President Obama requested $70.7 billion for ED; an increase of approximately $3.6 billion, or a 5.4 percent, in ED’s discretionary funding from the previous year. ED’s FY 2016 request budget targets four key areas:

  • Increasing equity and opportunity for all students;
  • Expanding high-quality early learning programs;
  • Supporting teachers and school leaders; and
  • Improving access, affordability, and student outcomes in postsecondary education.

According to the ED’s budget proposal, improving college access and completion is an economic necessity and a moral imperative. Reclaiming the top spot in college completion is essential for maximizing both individual opportunity and our economic prosperity.

White House Initiative on HBCUs’ Liaison to the U.S. Department of Education

As the liaison between the White House Initiative on HBCUs (WHIHBCUs) and ED, Jon O’Bergh (Jon.OBergh@ed.gov) works with the WHIHBCUs to organize efforts to strengthen the capacity of HBCUs through increased participation in appropriate federal programs and initiatives.

Specifically, Mr. O’Bergh helps the WHIHBCUs to:

  • Establish how the department or agency intends to increase the capacity of HBCUs to compete effectively for grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements and to encourage HBCUs to participate in federal programs;
  • Identify federal programs and initiatives in which HBCUs may be either underserved or underused as national resources, and improve HBCUs’ participation therein; and
  • Encourage public-sector, private-sector, and community involvement in improving the overall capacity of HBCUs.

Jon O’Bergh is a senior policy advisor for the Office of the Under Secretary, where he works on matters related to postsecondary data and accountability.

What opportunities are there for HBCUs to compete for grants/contracts through ED?

There are many programs within ED, however, only a few have grant opportunities for Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs). The following link has a comprehensive list of all programs and competitions under which ED has invited or expects to invite applications for new awards and provides actual or estimated deadline dates for applications. This section outlines the programs within ED that have grant opportunities for HBCUs.

The Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE)

OPE aims to strengthen the capacity of colleges and universities to promote reform, innovation and improvement in postsecondary education, promote and expand access to postsecondary education and increase college completion rates for America’s students, and broaden global competencies that drive the economic success and competitiveness of our Nation. OPE has several noncompetitive opportunities, including Title III programs and a federal appropriation to Howard University. In addition, OPE has several competitive grant opportunities including:

                Student Services Awards

  • The First in the World (FITW) program provides grants to IHEs to spur the development of innovations that improve educational outcomes and make college more affordable for students and families, and to develop an evidence base of effective practices. In 2014, HBCUs received $3.5 million. Hampton University is the only HBCU that received a major award through the FITW competition. This year, Congress has appropriated $60 million to ED for the FITW grant competition, with a $16 million set-aside for Minority-Serving Institutions (MSI’s). Although priorities for the FY2015 competition have not yet been announced, ED is providing general information about FITW to help institutions begin preparing. On Monday, April 27th , the White House Initiative for Historically Black Colleges and Universities hosted “Office Hours” for MSIs interested in FITW.  For FY 2016, President Obama’s budget proposes $200 million for FITW, a $140 million increase over FY 2015.
  • Federal TRIO Programs (TRIO) are federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes eight programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs. TRIO also includes a training program for directors and staff of TRIO projects. In 2014, HBCUs received nearly $54 million for TRIO projects. For FY 2016, President Obama’s budget proposes $860 million for TRIO, a $20 million increase over 2015.
  • Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program (CCAMPIS) supports the participation of low-income parents in postsecondary education through the provision of campus-based child care services. In 2014, the CCAMPIS program awarded $15,134,000 to 86 projects. Of this amount, $336,193 was awarded to Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. For FY 2016, the CCAMPIS program is expected to be discontinued.
  • Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. GEAR UP provides six-year grants to states and partnerships to provide services at high-poverty middle and high schools. GEAR UP grantees serve an entire cohort of students beginning no later than the seventh grade and follow the cohort through high school. GEAR UP funds are also used to provide college scholarships to low-income students. Records indicate that HBCUs collectively receive between $4 million and less than $1 million per year from this program. For FY 2016, President Obama’s budget proposes $301.6 million for GEAR-UP.
  • Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) provides fellowships, through academic departments and programs of IHEs, to assist graduate students with excellent records who demonstrate financial need and plan to pursue the highest degree available in their course study at the institution in a field designated as an area of national need. Records indicate that HBCUs collectively receive less than $500,000 per year from this program. For FY 2016, President Obama’s budget proposes $29.3 million for GAANN.

 

Institutional Development Awards

Since President Obama was elected in 2008, ED has offered several grants to build the institutional capacity of HBCUs, including Minority Science and Engineering Improvement (MSEIP), Master’s Degree Programs at HBCUs, Graduate Research Opportunities for Minority Students (Minorities and Retirement Security Program), Title VII – Higher Education Disaster Relief, and Earmarks/Directed Grants. In 2014, HBCUs received approximately $11 million from OPE institutional development awards. For example, in FY 2014, Fayetteville State and Prairie View A&M were awarded grant funding through “The Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program.” Year-by-year, these opportunities vary considerably, so it is important to consult the point of contact for each opportunity to determine if a current service award is available and suitable for your HBCU. For FY 2016, President Obama’s budget proposes $9 million for MSEIP and $58.8 million for “Strengthening Historically Black Graduate Institutions.”

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES)

IES supports research on education practice and policy. IES is the repository of the What Works Clearinghouse; the ERIC education database; ten Regional Educational Laboratories; national Research and Development Centers; and many conferences, publications and products. They fund research on educational outcomes for all students, particularly those at risk of failure. IES is the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education, and by law their activities must be free of partisan political influence.

For 2016, President Obama’s Administration is seeking $675.9 million for IES activities, an increase of $101.9 million over the 2015 appropriation. According to the President’s budget proposal, “This request would enable IES to award approximately $60 million in new research and development grants in early learning, elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and adult education in 2016, including research focused on issues related to students with disabilities.” If fully funded, IES would have more than $200 million for educational research, development, and dissemination.

A review of data and correspondence with program officers at IES reveal that IES has not awarded any grants to HBCUs over the last six years. Recently, IES has initiated and completed several technical assistance programs to broaden HBCU and MSI participation. IES established a new funding opportunity aimed at using MSIs, including HBCUs, to build the next generation of educational scholars, through The Pathways to the Education Sciences Research Training Program (Pathways Training Program).

Pathways Training Program is designed to prepare undergraduate students, recent graduates, and master’s students from under-represented groups for doctoral study in education research. The Institute intends these efforts to lead both to the training of talented education researchers from a variety of backgrounds and to the incorporation of diverse ideas and perspectives in education research. For this competition, all awards will be made as cooperative agreements in order to support the Institute’s involvement in the planning and implementation of the training program and coordination across programs. IES expects to support four grants under the Pathways Training Program and the maximum award is $1,200,000.

Importantly, the Pathways Training Program is only one of many funding opportunities within IES. For a comprehensive list of opportunities, visit their website.

Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE)

OCTAE both administers, and coordinates programs that are related to adult education and literacy, career and technical education, and community colleges. OCTAE runs formula grants to states and states must distribute funds to eligible local providers.  OCTAE advises that HBCUs are eligible for these grants and can compete by responding to their respective state request for proposal (RFP). Because there are very different processes to apply for each state RFP, OCTAE suggests looking at eligibility requirements on your state’s Adult Education website. Click here for a list of the state agencies for adult education.

Other ED Funding Opportunities

ED personnel estimates that in recent years HBCUs collectively received between $6.6 million and $9.2 million from competitive grants from the following ED offices: Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII); Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE); Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS); Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA); and Office of Safe and Healthy Students (OSHS). However, the 2016 budget proposal suggests that more than $26 billion will be invested in these offices for operation, as well as grants to schools, organizations, state and local governments and institutes of higher education (IHEs). Although only a fraction of the billions of dollars for advancing education are suited for IHEs, HBCUs have enormous opportunities to link with these offices for direct grants as contract, as well as collaborative partnerships.

HBCUs may be uniquely qualified to respond to several programs solicitations within these agencies including: Promise Neighborhood Implementation Grants, Teacher Quality Grants, Transition to Teaching Programs, and the School Leadership Program.

What advice does the Department of Education give to HBCUs in order to be more competitive in obtaining grants and contracts?

Become conceptually in sync. A review of the administration’s budget proposal reveals important priorities, which should be reflected in a grant proposal. The administration’s budget emphasizes four areas: increasing equity and opportunity for all students; expanding high-quality early learning programs; supporting teachers and school leaders; and improving access, affordability and student outcomes in postsecondary education. When appropriate, a proposal should reflect these commitments.

Get involved. ED is always seeking qualified individuals to join the pool of subject matter experts they call upon to review the strengths and weaknesses of applications for grant funding. More HBCU scholars should join the pool.

For other programs, contact the point of contact.

Make connections. Contact the program officer in charge of a request for proposals before starting the application. Find out about administration priorities and application imperatives. If you have difficulties identifying the program officer, contact the liaison to the program. Here is a partial list of points of contacts within ED:

If further information is required, or you have difficulties connecting to a point of contract, email Ivory A. Toldson (ivory.toldson@ed.gov), Deputy Director of WHIHBCUs.

Start early. Institutions should apply for grant funding early while also striving for the proposal to be collaborative, evidence-based, measured, and comprehensive. Build in an initial rejection and revision into the expected time between starting the application and getting funded.

Collaborate. The U.S. Department of Education urges IHEs to apply for grants as the primary fiscal agent while also identifying partnerships with local and national agencies, regional organizations and a variety of relevant affiliates.

Ground your proposal in research. In addition, successful grant proposals provide in-depth scholarly work and consist of concrete action plans. Consult the “What Works” Clearinghouse to understand the accepted validated standards for educational programs.

If at first you don’t succeed, try again. If your institution is denied grant funding, it is important to follow up with the specific office within the Department of Education to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal. The agency suggests that denied applicants utilize this feedback to revise grant proposals and reapply in the next application season.

Conclusion

ED is a multifaceted federal agency that has many opportunities for HBCUs. Although ED is the source of noncompetitive revenue to HBCUs, many HBCUs have neglected the many competitive opportunities that ED has to fund research and programs at HBCUs. Currently, many programs within ED do not provide a lot of funding to HBCUs when compared to other IHEs. However, this is partially attributed to the low numbers of HBCUs, which have applied to programs outside of OPE student services programs. HBCUs can expand support from ED through rich and collaborative partnerships with government officials.

HBCUs should work with the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the WHIHBCUs to identify institutional strengths and establish partnerships with federal agencies. HBCUs should also build their institutional capacity to produce competitive grants. Members of Congress can help HBCUs to network with key personnel at federal agencies. Members can also help HBCUs connect with corporate and philanthropic partners to strengthen collaborative efforts.

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