Posted: 10/2/2023

Dear Colleague Letter: Veterans Research Supplement (VRS) Program

September 28, 2023

Dear Colleague:

The Directorates for Biological Sciences (BIO), Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), STEM Education (EDU); Engineering (ENG), Geosciences (GEO), Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), Social, Behavioral, and Economics Sciences (SBE) and the Office of Integrative Activities (OIA) at the National Science Foundation (NSF), through this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) provide support for alternate pathways to encourage veterans' engagement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) research in academia and industry. NSF's commitment to broadening participation is embedded in its Strategic Plan. Initiatives such as the Veterans Research Supplement (VRS) program emphasize the need to proactively seek and effectively develop STEM talent from all sectors and groups in society. NSF recognizes that veterans represent an underutilized workforce for U.S. STEM communities. Through this DCL - BIO, CISE, EDU, ENG, GEO, MPS, OIA and SBE hope to provide additional support to veterans transitioning from active military service to civilian careers and exploring education options through the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Areas of Interest

Veteran is defined as a person who served in the active military, naval, air, or space service, and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable, under Title 38 USC 101. This DCL engages veterans in research by providing supplemental funding to active NSF awards. Veterans supported by VRS funding may participate in research activities associated with any active award supported by programs listed in the following Divisions and Offices of the NSF Directorates:

BIO: Divisions and Office

CISE: Divisions and Office

EDU: Divisions

ENG: Divisions and Office

GEO: Divisions and Office

MPS: Divisions

OIA: Programs

SBE: Divisions and Office

This DCL affords veterans who are undergraduate and graduate students, K-12 teachers, or community college faculty the opportunity to work with active NSF recipients to conduct basic and/or industrially relevant research and to gain a deeper understanding of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Education.

Eligibility Requirements

A request for VRS support may be submitted to one of the programs in the Divisions and Offices listed above as a post-award supplemental funding request to an active award. Note: The PI or co-PI of the award cannot be the VRS participant.

Eligibility to participate in the VRS program is limited to the following four groups:

  1. Veteran full- or part-time STEM undergraduate students at U.S. 2- and 4-year institutions of higher education (IHEs);
  2. Veteran full- or part-time STEM graduate students;
  3. Veteran K-12 STEM teachers; or
  4. Veteran community college STEM faculty.

Graduate students that are being nominated for support must not have other government-funded support (stipend and tuition), e.g., students currently being supported full-time by the Principal Investigator (PI) on any NSF award as a doctoral student are not eligible for VRS support. NSF Graduate Research Fellows also are not eligible for VRS support. However, students who have received past support from the Post-9/11 GI Bill (and/or associated programs such as the Yellow Ribbon program) are eligible for support.