Dear Colleague Letter: High School Student Research Assistantships (MPS-High) Funding to Broaden Participation in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Funding Agency:
National Science Foundation

February 7, 2022

Dear Colleague:

The mission of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) Directorate is to empower the collective efforts of the mathematical and physical sciences communities to address the most compelling scientific questions, educate the future advanced high-tech workforce, and promote discoveries to meet the needs of the Nation. Comprised of the Divisions of Astronomical Sciences (AST), Chemistry (CHE), Materials Research (DMR), Mathematical Sciences (DMS), and Physics (PHY), as well as the Office of Multidisciplinary Activities (OMA), MPS takes the position that diversity is an indispensable component of achieving research excellence.

Strategies to successfully broaden participation during pre-college years will help to ensure that the future MPS workforce will be a diverse pool of future students, faculty, and researchers. As part of a supplemental funding request to an existing NSF award, the five Divisions that comprise the Directorate for the Mathematical and Physical Sciences will consider requests that:

  • Foster interest in the pursuit of studies in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences; and
  • Broaden participation of high school students with particular emphasis for those who are in groups that have been traditionally underrepresented and under-served in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM enterprise, such as members of racial and ethnic groups (including Blacks and African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, Native Americans including Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Native Pacific Islanders), persons with disabilities, those identifying as LGBTQ+, persons with low socio-economic status, high schoolers who would be first generation college students, and women in sub-disciplines where they are underrepresented.

Supplemental funding requests to an active MPS award must be prepared and submitted through FastLane in accordance with the instructions in Chapter VI.E.5 of the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG).

Reminder: Any supplemental funding awarded by NSF must be expended by the end date of the original award.




Engineering and Physical Sciences