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National Science Foundation

Limited Submission Program (LSP): This funding opportunity and the Limited Submission Program (LSP) are open to all Texas A&M faculty and principal investigators who meet the eligibility requirements.  The University and The Texas A&M University System agencies jointly administer this process to select the proposal(s) that will be submitted to the sponsor in response to this solicitation.

Institutional Eligibility:  Type 1 proposals are invited from academic institutions accredited in, and having a campus located in the United States and its territories, from consortia thereof, or from nonprofit organizations that have established consortia among such academic institutions. The academic institutions must offer either associate degrees or baccalaureate degrees in science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics (STEM). Associate degree-granting institutions with a demonstrated record of articulation to STEM baccalaureate programs need not necessarily grant associate degrees in STEM fields in order to be eligible for this program.  Projects may involve a single institution, collaboration with business and industry partners, or collaboration among several institutions. For example, projects may include collaborative efforts that improve the transition of students among the collaborating institutions, such as transfer between two- and four-year institutions.

Type 2 proposals are invited from any individual or organization eligible to submit proposals to the NSF.

Proposal Limit: 1 + 1 more with exception 
An institution that awards baccalaureate degrees is allowed to submit only one Type 1 proposal, or to be part of only one consortium submitting a Type 1 proposal. There are no restrictions on the number of Type 2 proposals that an individual or organization may submit. Exception: If an institution is submitting a proposal under the "Special Funding Focus on Retention in Engineering and Computer Science" (see Program Description for details), it may also submit a second proposal under Type 1, either individually or as part of a consortium.

The proposal will be prepared and submitted by the Office of Sponsored Research Services (OSRS).

Summary:  The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program (STEP) seeks to increase the number of students (U.S. citizens or permanent residents) receiving associate or baccalaureate degrees in established or emerging fields within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Program activities under the STEP Type 1 competition should be efforts aimed at adapting and implementing best practices that will lead to an increase in the number of students (U.S. citizens or permanent residents) obtaining STEM degrees at institutions with baccalaureate degree programs or completing associate degrees in STEM fields or completing credits toward transfer to a baccalaureate degree program in STEM fields at community colleges. The goal of the project must be to increase the total graduation numbers of such students at the institution(s), and all STEP proposals must include specific numerical targets for these increases. If a project focuses efforts on only a subset of STEM fields, increases in those fields must not be at the expense of degrees granted in other STEM fields. Projects may focus on the retention and/or recruitment of undergraduate students into STEM fields. Outreach efforts are appropriate only if the efforts can be expected to result in additional STEM majors and graduates at the submitting institution(s) within the grant period.

Program activities under the STEP Type 2 competition represent educational research on factors affecting associate or baccalaureate degree attainment in STEM. The results are expected to contribute to the knowledge base of scholarly research in education. Proposals requesting up to a total of $1.5 million for projects of up to a duration of four years should be based in a research design that incorporates appropriate and proven methodologies and strategies. The proposal should identify the research questions, and the results should provide convincing evidence of the relationship of the factor(s) (including departmental/institutional) studied to the issues of associate and/or baccalaureate degree attainment, and/or undergraduate access to STEM careers, and/or persistence to STEM graduate study. These educational research studies should reflect explicit cognizance of the broad variety of institutions of higher education, and should address the unique challenges and opportunities posed by that variety. Studies that involve a single institution are discouraged unless the proposal provides compelling arguments that the results can be generalized to the larger community. The proposed research should be developed with the intent to provide the education community, including faculty, administrators, policymakers, and parents, with practical information to consider with respect to the impact of the factor(s) being studied within the educational system. The results should enable the education community to guide better the future development of learning experiences, and to foster the retention and academic success of diverse students in STEM. Faculty in STEM disciplines are strongly encouraged to collaborate with appropriate experts in educational research when developing a Type 2 proposal.

October 3, 2012, 5:00 p.m.: Deadline for an email of intent including the title of the internal proposal and a 1-3 sentence description of the project. 

Send email of intent to

October 11, 2012, 5:00 p.m.:  Deadline to submit an internal proposal.  All proposals for the LSP must be submitted electronically using the e-proposal on-line application system.

Be prepared to upload your internal proposal. The sections will include a 1-3 page research plan summary, bio-sketch, and budget (if required).

The e-proposal site is password protected. Texas A&M Principal Investigators may use their NetID and password to access the system. If you do not have a NetID, from the e-proposal site, click on “Signup,” fill in the pertinent information and an account will be created for you.

If you have any questions, please contact or 979.862.2233.

October 25, 2012: Target date for the notifications to PIs of the result of the internal competition.

December 10, 2012:  Sponsor deadline for the full application by 5:00 p.m. proposer’s local time.

Internal Selection Procedures:
Texas A&M has established a procedure to identify limited submission opportunities and internally select proposals for Texas A&M submissions.  Please contact us if you have any questions about the limited submission process.