Arecibo Center for STEM Education and Research

National Science Foundation

28 February 2023
United States of America
Research, Development and Innovation Natural Sciences
Research, Development and Innovation Social Sciences

The National Science Foundation (NSF) hereby solicits proposals for the establishment of the Arecibo Center for STEM Education and Research (ACSER) at the original site of the Arecibo Observatory (AO). NSF seeks to evaluate proposals that would transition the existing AO site to the new ACSER, shifting the disciplinary focus from primarily on the astronomical sciences to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and research more broadly [1]. ACSER would serve as a hub for STEM discovery and exploration by building upon existing programs and opportunities currently in place at the AO site, while also creating and implementing new STEM education, research, and outreach programs and initiatives. The goals of ACSER would be to:

  • promote STEM education, learning, and teaching,
  • support fundamental and applied STEM and STEM education research,
  • broaden participation in STEM, and
  • build and leverage existing and new collaborations and partnerships. The reimagined Center would have a significant role in modeling and advancing equitable and inclusive STEM education and research, especially in Puerto Rico and for individuals and communities underrepresented in STEM. ACSER would be poised to serve as a catalyst for increased and inclusive engagement in a broad range of STEM disciplines, cutting-edge research, and workforce development initiatives by students, teachers, researchers, local communities, and the public within and outside of Puerto Rico. NSF recognizes the scientific, educational, historic, cultural, and economic significance of the AO site to Puerto Rico and the global scientific community. Listed on the US National Register of Historic Places, the AO site is identified as a historic district worthy of preservation and includes a Learning Center, a Visitor’s Center and Shop, an auditorium, exhibition space, cafeteria, office space, and dormitories. This solicitation calls for proposals to manage the education, research, and outreach aspects of ACSER. A third-party contractor would be responsible for overall site maintenance. [1]Prior to reaching a final decision in response to this solicitation, NSF will need to complete any required environmental reviews.

*Who May Submit Proposals: Proposals may only be submitted by the following: - The categories of proposers eligible to submit proposals to the National Science Foundation are identified in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), Chapter I.E. Unaffiliated individuals are not eligible to submit proposals in response to this solicitation -------------------------------------------------------------- Required: For a single institution proposal (with or without subawards), the submitting institution must be a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), two- and four-year Institutions of Higher Education that satisfies the definition of an HSI as specified in section 502 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1101a). For collaborative proposals submitted by multiple organizations (see PAPPG, II.D.3.b), the lead institutionorat least one non-lead institution (i.e., collaborative institution) on the proposal must be an HSI, two- and four-year Institutions of Higher Education that satisfies the definition of an HSI as specified in section 502 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1101a). All proposal submissions must include a HSI Designation Letter(s) provided by the Department of Education for the HSI institution(s) involved. --------------------------------------------------------------- Submissions are strongly encouraged but not required from the following:

  • Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research Jurisdictions (EPSCoR)– EPSCoR jurisdictions; Proposals that include EPSCoR jurisdictions are strongly encouraged to explicitly state the value of including the EPSCoR jurisdiction(s) in the proposed work, including but not limited to, a brief statement on how the proposal aligns with at least one EPSCoR program goal. For more information on EPSCoR goals and its jurisdictions, please seehttps://beta.nsf.gov/funding/initiatives/epscor/state-websites.
  • Non-profit Organizations: Independent museums and science centers, observatories, research labs, community-based organizations, professional societies and similar organizations in the U.S., especially in Puerto Rico, associated with educational or research activities.
  • Other Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs)- Two- and four-year IHEs (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the United States, acting on behalf of their faculty members.

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19 April 2023