ITEST Solicitation 22-585: Initial Tips and Takeaways

ITEST Solicitation 22-585 (2022-2024)

NSF released the ITEST solicitation (NSF 22-585) on April 14, 2022, to cover proposals submitted between 2022-2024. STELAR has reviewed changes in this solicitation from the previous (19-583) and share some of our takeaways below. 

Deadline is Friday, August 11, 2023 at 5pm local time: Proposals should be submitted through by 5pm at the submitters local time. For more information about the new submission guidelines, see NSF Important Notice: is now required for submission of ITEST proposals.

As with any successful proposal, a thoughtful timeline for your ITEST proposal is key. You’ll want to start your proposal development process in earnest about three months out from the deadline.

Using the suggested timeline above, here’s an example of a high-level timeline:

  • May 1, 2023: Write a two-page concept paper. Your concept paper will help you organize your ideas, share your ideas with potential partners, and get feedback.
  • May 10, 2023: Finalize proposal-writing team, including key partners
  • May 15, 2023: Complete a detailed outline for your Project Description and proposal documents checklist (including section assignments)
  • July 3, 2023: Finish the first draft of your Project Description and budget, and share with your partners for feedback July 15, 2022: Finalize all supporting documents
  • July 31, 2023: Complete final draft of your Project Description
  • August 1, 2023: Begin uploading your supporting documents to
  • August 4, 2023: Upload your Project Description, confirm all supporting documents are complete and uploaded. We strongly recommend planning a week “buffer” to accommodate any unavoidable deviations from the timeline.
  • August 11, 2023: Your proposal needs to be officially submitted by 5pm in your local time.

Three ITEST Pillars
The ITEST program description has been reorganized around three key topic areas; technology, careers, and equity which are required to be addressed in your proposal. While these areas don’t represent a fundamental shift in the program from previous solicitations, it does streamline the focus of the program. The full descriptions of each pillar are described in the Program Description section of the solicitation.



Project Types (ETD, DEI, SEI)

The three main categories of ITEST project types are the same as in the previous solicitation, with slight changes to the number of anticipated awards and maximum funding amounts within these categories. According to the solicitation, ITEST plans to fund a total of 24 to 33 projects with an anticipated total funding amount of $25-30M.

Proposal Type Number of Awards Maximum Duration Maximum Budget
Exploring Theory and Design Principles for Innovations (ETD) 8-10 3 years $500,000
Developing and Testing Innovations (DTI)  8-10 4 years $1,300,000
Scaling, Expanding, and Iterating Innovations (SEI) 3-5 5 years $3,500,000


Note that the duration and budgets listed above are both maximum, and should align with the proposed scope of the project. ITEST will also fund synthesis studies, conferences/workshops, and a resource center. Please refer to the solicitation for more detailed information about these project types.

Solicitation Specific Criteria 

Your proposals need to address the following questions in the Project Description portion of your proposal. This section should appear in a clearly labeled section of your proposal.

  • Recruiting students from underrepresented groups: “To what extent does the proposal include explicit and adequate strategies for recruiting and selecting participants from underserved and underrepresented populations in STEM professions, careers, or education pathways?”
  • Addressing diversity, equity, and access: To what extent does the proposal describe approaches to address diversity, access, equity, and inclusion in PreK-12 learning environments to ensure that all students, particularly those from underserved and underrepresented populations, actively engage with STEM disciplines and fields that stimulate effective instruction and learning?
  • Leveraging strengths and addressing challenges: To what extent does the proposal describe specific research-informed instructional approaches to build on the strengths and challenges that students and their educators bring to classrooms and informal learning environments, particularly with students from underserved and underrepresented populations in STEM fields?
  • Age-appropriate technology: To what extent does the proposal explain how planned innovations with the technology are developmentally and age-appropriate for students and suited for the specific populations of students and educators from underserved and underrepresented student populations?

STELAR will continue to provide proposal development support to ITEST proposal writers, including concept paper review, webinars, and the online proposal development course. Stay tuned for additional resources, updates, and announcements!


As a reminder, this material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. DRL-1312022, 1614697 and 1949200. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.