Student STEM Enrichment Program

Funding Agency:
Burroughs Wellcome Fund

The Student STEM Enrichment Program (SSEP) supports diverse programs with a common goal: to enable primary and secondary students to participate in creative, hands-on STEM activities for K-12 students and pursue inquiry-based exploration in BWF's home state of North Carolina. These awards provide up to $60,000 per year for three years. Since the program's inception in 1996, BWF has awarded 275 grants totaling $41.4 million to 130 organizations that reach more than 43,000 North Carolina students.

SSEP awards support career-oriented and practical programs intended to provide creative science enrichment activities for students in K-12 education who have shown exceptional skills and interest in STEM, as well as those perceived to have high potential.  After-school programs are demonstrating value in helping to close opportunity gaps for underserved and underrepresented students. These programs must enable students to participate in hands-on STEM activities and pursue inquiry-based avenues of exploration—an educational approach that BWF believes to be an effective way to increase students’ understanding and appreciation of the scientific process. To increase academic achievement, programs must provide a well-defined structure that aligns with the school-day curriculum, well-trained staff, and student follow-up.

Deadline: June 9, 2023

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

The Student STEM Enrichment Program (SSEP) is open to nonprofit organizations in North Carolina. Eligible organizations include public and private schools, colleges and universities, community groups, museums, zoos, scientific groups, and others that can provide experiential activities for K-12 North Carolina students. Individuals and nonprofit organizations that offer religious programming are not eligible for SSEP awards.

SSEP activities must enable students to “do” science and mathematics in creative and engaging ways that involve hands-on activities and inquiry-based exploration. Activities should occur outside of the usual school environment, such as after school, on weekends, or during vacation periods. SSEP activities may be conducted all year, during the school year, or during the summer provided there is a year-long educational component. Programs with activities providing less than 10 contact hours over the course of the program for each student participant will not be considered.

BWF encourages partnerships (i.e., between individual schools or school systems and scientific groups, universities, local education associations, or community groups). For-profit companies may participate in collaboration with nonprofit organizations that assume the lead role for a SSEP grant. Applicants should enlist participation of representatives of partner organizations in developing project goals and activities. The proposal must clearly demonstrate the role of each partner.

SSEP awards are not intended to support curriculum development. As this program focuses primarily on students, only minimum levels of teacher training that involve student participation will be considered.

Funding Type





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

External Deadline

June 9, 2023