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ADVANCE: Organizational Change for Gender Equity in STEM Academic Professions

Grants to USA Nonprofits and IHEs to Promote
Gender Equity in the STEM Disciplines

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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National Science Foundation (NSF)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

01/15/20 5:00 PM Submitter's Local Time - For Adaptation and Partnership requests only.


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Grants to USA nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher education for projects that increase the representation of women in STEM careers. A Letter of Intent or a Preliminary Proposal may be required prior to submission of the full proposal. Funding is intended to promote equity in STEM field recruitment, retention, and career advancement at academic institutions and workplaces. Activities should address organizational barriers that prevent women from fully participating and advancing through academic institutions.

The ADVANCE program seeks to develop systemic approaches to increase the participation and advancement of women in academic STEM careers.

The NSF ADVANCE program goal is to broaden the implementation of evidence-based systemic change strategies that promote equity for STEM faculty in academic workplaces and the academic profession. The NSF ADVANCE program provides grants to enhance the systemic factors that support equity and inclusion and to mitigate the systemic factors that create inequities in the academic profession and workplaces. Systemic (or organizational) inequities may exist in areas such as policy and practice as well as in organizational culture and climate. For example, practices in academic departments that result in the inequitable allocation of service or teaching assignments may impede research productivity, delay advancement, and create a culture of differential treatment and rewards.

Similarly, policies and procedures that do not mitigate implicit bias in hiring, tenure, and promotion decisions could lead to women and racial and ethnic minorities being evaluated less favorably, perpetuating historical under-participation in STEM academic careers and contributing to an academic climate that is not inclusive.

Intersectional approaches should be considered throughout the project design – from the data collection and analysis of institutional or disciplinary data to identify systemic inequities, to the design of the project strategies, and to the project evaluation. ADVANCE proposals should offer strategies that involve all faculty and promote equity for all faculty.

The program includes four funding tracks: Institutional Transformation (IT), Adaptation, Partnership, and Catalyst. For a detailed description of these tracks, and for a comparative chart, see and

NSF ADVANCE Partnership and Adaptation projects can focus on one (or more) STEM disciplines if designed to have national or regional impact. Adaptation projects from non-profit institutions of higher education must include all the STEM disciplines at the institution.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 176005

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

The total number of awards to be made under this solicitation is estimated to be between 18 and 38 over the two fiscal years of this solicitation.

Estimated Size of Grant:

NSF anticipates having up to $30,000,000 available over a period of two fiscal years (FY 2019-FY 2020) for support of the NSF ADVANCE portfolio. Up to $15,000,000 will be available for the FY 2019 competition and approximately $15,000,000 will be available for proposals for the FY 2020 competition.

In each year, NSF expects to make:

- Approximately two Institutional Transformation awards up to $3,000,000 for five-year projects
- Approximately six Adaptation awards up to $1,000,000 for three years
- Approximately six Partnership awards up to $1,000,000 for three to five years
- Approximately six Catalyst awards up to $300K for two years.

Up to three of the six Adaptation projects may qualify for an additional $100,000 for collaborating with an NSF funded graduate education project, and up to three of the six Partnerships projects may qualify for an additional $250,000 for collaborating with the NSF INCLUDES National Network.

Term of Contract:

Duration of projects:

- Institutional Transformation: Five years
- Adaptation: Three years
- Partnership: Three to five years
- Catalyst: Two years

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:

Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs): Non-profit two- and four-year IHEs (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the U.S., acting on behalf of their faculty members. Special Instructions for International Branch Campuses of U.S. IHEs: If the proposal includes funding to be provided to an international branch campus of a U.S. institution of higher education (including through use of subawards and consultant arrangements), the proposer must explain the benefit(s) to the project of performance at the international branch campus and justify why the project activities cannot be performed at the U.S. campus.

Non-profit, Non-academic Organizations: Independent museums, observatories, research laboratories, professional societies and similar organizations located in the U.S. that are directly associated with educational or research activities.

Additional Eligibility Info:

- IT-Preliminary proposals are accepted from a non-profit institution of higher education (IHE) eligible for NSF funding that has not had an ADVANCE IT award.
- Adaptation proposals are accepted from a non-profit institution of higher education (IHE) or a non-profit, non-academic organization eligible for NSF funding. IHEs cannot have had an ADVANCE IT or Adaptation award.
- Catalyst proposals are accepted from one non-profit IHE that is not, and has not been, the lead grantee on any type of previous NSF ADVANCE award.
- Partnership proposals are accepted from partnerships of two or more non-profit IHEs and/or non-profit, non-academic organizations. Partners may include past or current NSF ADVANCE grant recipients, new IHEs and organizations to ADVANCE, and unfunded strategic partners (such as the private commercial sector)

NSF ADVANCE is particularly interested in learning more about the adaptation of ADVANCE strategies for community colleges, primarily undergraduate institutions, minority-serving institutions (e.g. Tribal Colleges and Universities, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions, Alaska Native Institutions, Predominantly Black Institutions and Non-tribal, Native American Serving Institutions), women's colleges, institutions primarily serving persons with disabilities, and master's level institutions.

For the Catalyst track, only non-profit institutions of higher education that are not, and have not been, the lead on any type of NSF ADVANCE grant are eligible.

NSF ADVANCE does not provide fellowships, research, or travel grants to individual students, postdoctoral researchers, or faculty to pursue STEM degrees or research.

Pre-Application Information:

Letters of Intent are only required for the ADVANCE Adaptation and Partnership tracks. If an organization submits a letter of intent by the deadline then the organization is automatically eligible to submit the full proposal; there is no formal invitation or other notice after the letter of intent has been submitted. All Letters of Intent must be submitted through FastLane.

Preliminary proposals are required and must be submitted via the NSF FastLane system, even if full proposals will be submitted via (See link below for information about this application process.) Preliminary Proposals are only required for IHEs that want an opportunity to submit a full Institutional Transformation (IT) proposal.

Due Dates

- Letter of Intent Due Dates (required) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

1. May 15, 2019
Letter of Intent due for May 2019 Adaptation and Partnership competition
2. November 1, 2019
Letter of Intent for January 2020 Adaptation and Partnership competition

- Preliminary Proposal Target Dates (required): October 1, 2019
Target Date for IT-Preliminary proposals - preliminary proposals are only required for IHEs that want a chance to submit a full Institutional Transformation proposal

- Full Proposal Deadlines (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

1. May 22, 2019 Adaptation and Partnership (FY 2019 competition)
2. January 15, 2020 Adaptation and Partnership (FY 2020 competition)

- Full Proposal Target Dates:

1. June 3, 2019 Catalyst proposals
2. March 2, 2020 Institutional Transformation proposals - only IHEs invited as a result of an IT-Preliminary proposal may submit a full IT proposal

There is a target date for Catalyst proposals. ADVANCE will accept Catalyst proposals before and after the target date. Please contact the program office before submitting a Catalyst proposal to determine if funding is available.

Eligible IHEs can submit one proposal to IT-Preliminary, Adaptation, or Catalyst. IHEs can also be a partner on one or more Partnership proposals.

Eligible Non-profit, non-academic organizations can submit one proposal to the Adaptation competition and be a partner on one or more Partnership proposals.

IHEs and non-profit, non-academic organizations may be partners on multiple ADVANCE Partnership proposals in the same competition but can be the lead organization only on one Partnership proposal in the same competition.

For further information on this grant program on

To watch the Proposal Preparation Webinar from February 29, 2019:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.


Minerva Cordero, Program Director
(703) 292-7377

Jessie DeAro, Program Officer
(703) 292-5350

For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact FastLane Help Desk, telephone: 1-800-673-6188; e-mail:

For questions relating to contact Contact Center. If the Authorized Organizational Representatives (AOR) has not received a confirmation message
from within 48 hours of submission of application, please contact via telephone: 1-800-518-4726; e-mail

National Science Foundation
2415 Eisenhower Avenue
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Tel: (703) 292-5111

CFDA Number:

47.041 --- Engineering / 47.049 --- Mathematical and Physical Sciences / 47.050 --- Geosciences/ 47.070 --- Computer and Information Science and Engineering / 47.074 --- Biological Sciences / 47.075 --- Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences / 47.076 --- Education and Human Resources / 47.079 --- Office of International Science and Engineering / 47.083 --- Office of Integrative Activities (OIA)

Funding or Pin Number:

NSF 19-552

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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