The Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) program provides Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) with funds for scholarships to encourage and enable low income academically talented students with demonstrated financial need to enter the workforce or graduate study following completion of associate, baccalaureate, or graduate degrees in STEM. Ultimately, the S-STEM program seeks to increase the number of low-income students who graduate with a S-STEM eligible degree and contribute to the American innovation economy with their STEM knowledge.
S-Stem awards in 3 different tracks to facilitate the establishment of infrastructure and collaborations to: adapt and implement evidence-based curricular and co-curricular activities to support NSF S-STEM scholars; increase retention, student success, and graduation of these low-income students in STEM; test strategies for systemically supporting students academic and career pathways in STEM in ways that are congruent with the institutional context and resources; and disseminate findings on what works related to the supports and interventions undertaken by the project, in particular to other institutions working to support low-income STEM students.
Recognizing that scholarships alone cannot address low retention and graduation rates in STEM, the program also supports the implementation and testing of existing effective evidence-based curricular and co-curricular activities (e.g., evidence-based practices; professional and workforce development activities) featuring:
- close involvement of STEM faculty,
- student mentoring,
- provisions and adaptation of activities that support student success, including the formation of student cohorts and other effective practices (i.e professional and workforce development activities)
- covering academic expenses that become barriers for success for low-income students (e.g., graduation fees, standardized testing fees, graduate school application fees, etc.)
NOTE: Proposals with a strong focus on workforce development are encouraged to partner with business, industry, local community organizations, national labs, or other federal or state government organizations to provide appropriate opportunities to scholars, including but not limited to internships, research and service-learning activities and other opportunities above and beyond the financial support provided through scholarships.
S-STEM Eligible Degree Programs
- Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Engineering, and Associate of Applied Science
- Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Applied Science
- Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Engineering
S-STEM Eligible Disciplinary fields include any field in which research is funded by NSF, with the following exceptions:
- Clinical degree programs, including medical degrees, nursing, veterinary medicine, physical therapy, and others not funded by NSF, are ineligible degrees.
- Business school programs that lead to Bachelor of Arts or Science in Business Administration degrees (BABA/BSBA/BBA) are not eligible for S-STEM funding.
- Masters and Doctoral degrees in Business Administration are also excluded.
- Technology fields associated with the S-STEM-eligible disciplines (e.g., biotechnology, chemical technology, engineering technology, information technology).
Proposers are strongly encouraged to contact Program Officers before submitting a proposal if they have questions concerning degree or disciplinary eligibility.