Dear Colleague Letter: Research Assistantships for High School Students (RAHSS): Funding to Broaden Participation in the Biological Sciences

Funding Agency:
National Science Foundation

Date: July 11, 2018

Dear Colleagues:

NSF celebrates the progress that U.S. institutions of higher education have made in bringing diversity to the science and engineering enterprise. Strategies to successfully broaden participation during pre-college years will help to ensure a diverse pool of future students, faculty and researchers. As a part of a new or renewal NSF proposal or as a supplemental funding request to an existing NSF Award, the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) will consider requests that:

  • Foster interest in the pursuit of studies in the Biological Sciences; and
  • Broaden participation of high school students, particularly those who are underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and women in sub-disciplines where they are underrepresented.

See BIO Organizations websites at for deadlines dates.

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

For new or renewal proposals that include a RAHSS component, the Project Description should include relevant information about the broader impacts of the activity (e.g. the meaningful and challenging activities in which the student(s) will be involved and how the student(s) will be mentored). Budgets for RAHSS activities are generally under $6,000 per student. All student costs such as stipends, travel, and lodging, should be entered as "Participant Support Costs". Any proposed non-student costs, such as materials and supplies, should be appropriate for proposed activities and included in other sections of the budget. All expenses must be explained in the budget justification.

Supplemental funding requests to an active BIO award must be prepared and submitted through FastLane in accordance with the instructions in Chapter VI.E.4 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.

Funding Type



Community Outreach and Engagement
Curriculum Development
Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences