NSF: Dear Colleague Letter: Mid-Scale Research Infrastructure Incubators and Conferences for STEM Education Research with a Focus on Education Equity


With this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) notifies the community of a collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Schmidt Futures, and the Walton Family Foundation to offer Incubator and Conference proposal opportunities that support the development of Mid-Scale Research Infrastructure (RI) efforts, especially those that enable research on the assets and needs of those traditionally left out of STEM and that lead to greater education equity. Mid-Scale RI is a relatively new concept for the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education community because STEM education research has traditionally been distributed, individual, and less reliant on instrumentation. Improving the speed and scale at which STEM education research advances, however, requires national research infrastructures. Through this DCL, NSF aims to conceptualize and consolidate viable infrastructure ideas to support STEM education research that will transform teaching and learning.



Prior to submitting a Mid-Scale RI Incubator or Conference proposal, the PI must send an email to edumidsc@nsf.gov to ensure that the proposal fits the goals of this DCL. PIs will then be directed to Program Director(s) with subject matter expertise most appropriate for the project for further consideration and to ascertain whether an incubator or conference proposal would be best matched to the desired goals and outcomes. Proposals or requests where PIs have not contacted the Program Director to whom they have been directed will be returned without review. Mid-Scale RI Incubator and Conference proposals should be submitted via Research.gov or Grants.gov.

The target dates (by 5 p.m. local submitter's time) for incubator proposal submission are:

  • September 1, 2022
  • March 1, 2023

The target date for conference proposal submission is July 1, 2022, 5 p.m. local submitter's time. Proposals submitted by this date will be considered during Fiscal Year 2022.

Inquiries or questions about this DCL and submission of proposals in response to it should be directed to edumidsc@nsf.gov, not to individual Program Directors.


NSF will conduct two webinars to answer questions about this DCL. Register in advance for these webinars:

May 26, 2022, 03:00 - 04:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Jun 14, 2022, 03:00 - 04:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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