The National Science Foundation – Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently opened applications for its Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program (Noyce).  As with many federal grant opportunities, there are a lot of “so” questions which need to be answered.

So, what is the Noyce Scholarship Program?

The National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program seeks to encourage talented science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors and professionals to become K-12 mathematics and science (including engineering and computer science) teachers. The program invites creative and innovative proposals that address the critical need for recruiting and preparing highly effective elementary and secondary science and mathematics teachers in high-need local educational agencies. The program offers four tracks: Track 1: The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarships and Stipends Track, Track 2: The NSF Teaching Fellowships Track, Track 3: The NSF Master Teaching Fellowships Track, and Track 4: Noyce Research Track. In addition, Capacity Building proposals are accepted from proposers intending to develop a future Track 1, 2, or 3 proposal.

So, what makes a project a good fit?

The National Science Foundation strives to invest in a robust and diverse portfolio of projects that creates new knowledge and enables breakthroughs in understanding across areas of science and engineering research and education.

Successful Noyce projects will:

  • contribute broadly to achieving societal goals. These broader impacts may be accomplished through the research itself, through activities that are directly related to specific research projects, or through activities that are supported by, but are complementary to, the project.
  • be of the highest quality and have the potential to advance, if not transform, the frontiers of knowledge. The interdisciplinary and transformative potential of the project will be evaluated within the intellectual merit of the proposal.

Advance Intellectual Merit – Intellectual merit criterion encompasses the potential to advance knowledge.

Broader Impacts – The boarder impacts criterion encompasses the potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes.

So, who is eligible to apply to the Noyce Scholarship Program?

Eligible organizations are public or private colleges or universities or non-profit organizations whose primary purpose is the conduct of research or science education activities.  Community colleges and school districts are often partners to create a pipeline for teachers in high need communities.

So, what if I am ready to apply? The deadline is coming quickly! To move your application forward, take the following actions ASAP:

  • Make sure your System for Award Management (SAM) registration is active and be sure you have agov profile. You can check your SAM status here: https://www.sam.gov/SAM/pages/public/searchRecords/search.jsf.
  • Begin gathering letters of support/commitment (key organizational support) from agency partners such as government entities, CoCs, non-profits, and service providers.
  • Gather data and documentation demonstrating your experience and success in serving the target population along with your ability to meet any statutory requirements.

So, what else do I need to know to get my project funded?

  • The application deadline is the last Tuesday in August, annually – August 25, 2020 this year.
  • AGS has a qualified team of grant professionals who have recently written several awarded Noyce Scholarship proposals, including $1.4 million for an institution in Maine, three $1.2 million awards for institutions in Texas, Nebraska, and South Carolina, $957,000 for an institution in Illinois, and $74,800 for an institution in Missouri. Our team can help with all aspects of preparing the application and managing the grant if you are awarded. If you think you may need assistance preparing this application contact Assel Grant Services as soon as possible. Rosie Brennan, Community Engagement Specialist will be happy to talk with you about this opportunity and provide you a quote for grant services.

So, what if I am not ready to apply this year? Start thinking and planning ahead for the next year’s round. Things you could begin thinking about are identifying areas where your project is lacking and create an actionable plan to strengthen your project design and conducting research on needs pertaining to the target population. If none exist, investigate conducting your own with the help and buy-in of your organization.

Competency #1: Knowledge of how to research, identify, and match funding resources to meet specific needs

Skill 1.2: Identify major trends in public funding and public policy

Skill 1.6: Identify fundable programs and projects for specific organization

Skill 1.7: Determine best matches between funders and specific programs