Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program (STEP)


Limited Submission Program (LSP): This funding opportunity and the Limited Submission Program (LSP) is 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: 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 Sponsored Research Services (SRS).

Proposal Limit: 1 (2, if an institution is submitting a proposal under the "Special Funding Focus on Retention in Engineering and Computer Science")

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 (United States 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.


September 5, 2013: 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

September 12, 2013: 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 and 2-page Bio-sketch.

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, click HERE for help to activate your NetID. You will need your UIN and your date of birth.

If you have any questions, please contact: or 979.862.2233.

October 3, 2013: Target date for the notifications to PIs of the result of the internal competition.

December 3, 2013: Sponsor deadline for the full application (due by 5 p.m. proposer’s local time). 

Internal Selection Procedures:
Texas A&M University 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.

Upcoming Events
Postdoctoral Professional Development Series: Communicating Science to Non-Scientists Mar 27, 2017 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
Demystifying the NSF! Mar 28, 2017 01:00 PM - 03:30 PM — 103 Henderson Hall
PDA Bi-Annual General Meeting Apr 03, 2017 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM — MSC
NSF Broader Impacts Workshop Apr 12, 2017 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM — 103 Henderson Hall
PDA Networking Event Apr 19, 2017 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM — Taz
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