NASA has awarded 14 planning grants to Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) through its Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP), part of the agency’s Office of STEM Engagement. Four grants were directed to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). The grants, totaling more than $587,000, are part of a phased partnership effort with the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The grants will encourage the development of coalitions aimed at broadening participation in engineering, in alignment with the goals of the NSF Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (INCLUDES) initiative.

“Efforts with Minority Serving Institutions to broaden student participation exemplify the work of the federal coordination in STEM community and highlight the direct benefit to students when agencies work together,” said Mike Kincaid, NASA associate administrator for STEM Engagement. “We look forward to see the results of this partnership.”

“NSF is thrilled to welcome MUREP’s planning grant awardees to the NSF INCLUDES National Network of partners,” said Karen Marrongelle, assistant director of NSF’s Directorate for Education and Human Resources. “We value NASA’s support for the vision of the NSF INCLUDES initiative, as we work collaboratively for inclusive change to the STEM workforce, and we look forward to the outcomes of the catalytic work that will be conducted through these planning grants.”

Continuing to invest in MSIs is an ongoing priority for MUREP. Through these planning grant awards, the lead MSIs have developed coalitions with a variety of partners, including other MSIs, non-MSIs, industry, non-profit organizations and other non-governmental organizations.

The recipient institutions, and their proposed projects, are:

Florida A&M UniversityNASA MUREP-NSF INCLUDES Fueling Opportunities for Successful Engineering Retention of Non-Traditional STEM (FOSTER-NTS) Majors into PhD Programs at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering

The goal of this planning grant is to generate an Opportunity Response Team, comprised of Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University-Florida State University College of Engineering faculty and graduate students, along with faculty from three Historically Black Colleges and Universities, to develop a FOSTER-NTS program for non-engineering STEM underrepresented minority students who want to obtain PhDs in engineering.

North Carolina A&T State University, GreensboroiCASE: Inclusive Consortium of Autonomous Systems Engineers

iCASE will be a diverse, comprehensive consortium focused on exposing, encouraging, educating, engaging, and employing the underrepresented minority engineering community.

Southern University, Baton Rouge, LouisianaSTEM^3 in South-East Louisiana

STEM^3 plans to help develop a strong technical workforce in the targeted region with a concentration in advanced additive manufacturing technologies.

University of Arkansas, Pine BluffDeveloping a Community of Space Scientists

The proposed objectives of this project are to develop plans to engage Arkansas’ aerospace community and educational stakeholders in NASA-relevant activities to lay the foundation for faculty, students, and community participation through shared goals and objectives; and to identify activities that will increase the capacity of UAPB’s Industrial Technology Management and Applied Engineering program to plan, collaborate and share NASA research with faculty, students, stakeholders, and the community.

NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project supports the training and development of students and faculty at MSIs in STEM fields by providing opportunities for research and education that inspires and prepares minority students for STEM careers.