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

Funding Agency:
National Science Foundation

August 29, 2023

Dear Colleagues:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is committed to the inclusion of all people and institutions in the research enterprise because all are vital to the nation’s health, security, and global leadership in STEM. Strategies to successfully broaden participation in research projects through efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion of individuals and institutions traditionally underrepresented in STEM during pre-college years will help 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 individuals from those groups underrepresented in STEM to encourage participation of the full spectrum of diverse talent that society has to offer.

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 stipend, 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 costs must be explained in the budget justification.




Community Outreach and Engagement
Curriculum Development
Environmental & Life Sciences