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Lasers & Sources

NSF grants aim to grow STEM talent and leadership

SPIE Newsroom
29 February 2016

Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES) is a comprehensive national initiative designed to enhance U.S. leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) discoveries and innovations focused on NSF's commitment to diversity, inclusion, and broadening participation in these fields. NSF INCLUDES supports efforts to develop talent from all sectors of society to build the STEM workforce.

The initiative aims to improve the preparation, increase the participation, and ensure the contributions of individuals from groups that have traditionally been underrepresented and underserved in the STEM enterprise, including women, members of racial and ethnic groups, persons with disabilities, and persons with low socio-economic status. Significant advancement of these groups will result in a new generation of promising STEM talent and leadership to secure the future of the United States in science and technology.Funding for INCLUDES is $15.5 million this year, with awards to expected to be made to 30 to 40 institutions.

"The INCLUDES program presents a unique opportunity to encourage collaboration across communities and provide a forum for enhancing the role of a diverse STEM community in the progress of science and engineering," said Anita Mahadevan-Jansen, professor of biomedical engineering and neurological surgery at Vanderbilt University, who chairs an SPIE presidential advisory committee on diversity. "We encourage SPIE members to take advantage of this opportunity (if eligible) to build a diverse optics and photonics community."

Groups interested in getting an INCLUDES pilot grant must first submit a preliminary proposal, which is due 15 April. Full proposals are due 24 June 2016. More details are available at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2016/nsf16544/nsf16544.pdf