Angelica Willis Celebrates #CSEdWeek

2015 HBCU All-Star

Celebrating #CSEdWeek

Why did you decide to major in Computer Science?

Angelica Willis

Angelica Willis North Carolina A&T University Junior, Computer Science

When the time came for me to choose a major in college, I was stumped. I knew that I was good at math and that I loved problem solving, therefore STEM interested me; however, I felt like a kid in a candy store being told I could only choose one treat from the hundreds of available varieties. For a while, I thought I liked architecture enough to spend four years of my academic life, and hopefully the rest of my career, pursuing it. I later realized that was not the case. I embarked on similar journeys of discovery followed by eventual commitment issues with biomedical engineering, aerospace engineering, and ecology. As college application season approached, I put my research skills to good use and made a hypothesis: there has to be one common thread that links every facet of innovation–an occupation that is vital to every STEM related industry–that will allow me to dabble in everything I love.

 

 

What do you plan to do with your computer science major in the future?

Computer science proved my hypothesis, as it is crucial to innovation in all disciplines of STEM. Everything from the mapping of the human genome and 3D modeling, to space travel and driverless car technology, relies heavily on software engineering and data science. I want to become the type of computer scientist who contributes to ambitious, exploratory and ground-breaking projects that positively and dramatically affect the technological advancement of mankind. I am now a junior computer science student at North Carolina A&T State University who enjoys coding to solve global problems.

Andronica Klaas

2015 HBCU  All-Star

Celebrating #CSEDWeek

 Why did you decide to major in Computer Science?

Andronica Klaas

Andronica Klaas
Johnson C. Smith University
Junior, Computer Science

Even though I will be the first of my siblings to graduate college, my major was influenced greatly by my engineering and tech related background; my older sister is a self-taught electrician, my older brother is a self-taught computer genie and my little sister is an absolute science junkie. Growing up around a love for STEM challenged me to find my niche and I eventually grew to realize that my brother and I both shared a love for computers. Along with this experience, I spent 3 years in high school taking Information Technology as one of my major subjects and absolutely loved it – it was challenging yet fun and I later grew a passion for the field. Upon my arrival in college I decided to pursue computer science because through the above-mentioned experiences I had learned that I have a passion for this field. I later grew to find more benefits of being in computer science that have influenced me to continue pursuing the field, benefits such as; the opportunity of working in a wide range of industries, serving as a mentor to young black female aspiring computer scientists, joining a fast growing industry, having more job prospects and earning a higher salary upon graduation in comparison to my peers.

 

What do you plan to do with your computer science major in the future?

 

In the near future, specifically upon graduation, I plan on attending graduate school and advancing my computer science degree to an MBA in Information Systems and eventually advancing it to a PhD in Computer Science and Information Systems. I plan to continue obtaining the necessary knowledge and skills in my field, until I reach a point at which I can devise ways through which to bridge the digital divide. I plan on working with third world countries, especially South Africa, to bridge the divide by sharing the knowledge and skills obtained throughout my years of schooling and training.


Andronica Klaas is a 2015 HBCU All-Star attending Johnson C. Smith University.  She is a junior studying computer science.

How HBCUs Can Get Federal Sponsorship from the United States Department of Health & Human Services

By: Ivory A. Toldson, Tracy Branch, & DeShawn Preston

Highlights

  • The United States Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) provides more financial support to HBCUs than any federal agency aside from the Department of Education; typically accounting for more than $150 million annually to HBCUs.
  • In FY 2014, HHS awarded $18.4 billion to Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) with $166.1 million awarded to HBCUs. Less than 1 percent of the funding HHS awards to all IHEs go to HBCUs.
  • In FY 2014, HHS awarded more than $111.6 million to HBCUS for research and development.
  • For FY 2016, President Obama requested $83.8 billion, an increase of $4.8 billion from FY 2015 to help 1) make health coverage affordable; 2) decrease long-term health care cost; 3) improve care for citizens of the United States of America; 4) train new health care providers; 5) address public health priorities; 6) assist vulnerable populations; and 7) support medical research.
  • Of the operating divisions within HHS, the National Institutes of Health, Health Resources and Services Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provided the largest percentage of funding to institutions of higher education in fiscal year 2014.

For more than a century, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have conducted research, implemented programs and provided advocacy on a range of issues relevant to the health and wellbeing of all people, but especially underserved communities. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) supports the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities’ (WHIHBCUs) efforts to connect HBCUs to the resources necessary to develop and maintain first-rate health and educational programs.

In fiscal year (FY) 2014, HHS committed $175,227,288 to support 54 HBCUs and 11 predominately-Black institutions’ (PBI) efforts to increase workforce diversification and improve educational and health care access to underrepresented racial and ethnic minority populations. In total, HHS provided $18,429,409,906 in support to all institutions of higher education. HBCUs received $693,506,518 in funding while PBIs received $9,049,140. These funds were awarded through grants, contracts, services, and in-kind resources in 2014.

Investments in HBCUs and PBIs help to establish best practice models, address health disparities, provide tuition assistance and training opportunities for students, as well as grants and loan repayment to faculty. In FY 2016, HHS plans to support MSIs in the following programmatic areas: (1) research and development; (2) program evaluation; (3) training; (4) internships, traineeships, and recruitment; (5) student tuition assistance, scholarships, fellowships, and other aid; (6) direct institutional subsidies; (7) third-party awards; (8) administrative infrastructure; (9) economic development; (10) facilities and equipment; (11) private-sector involvement; and (12) other activities.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Overview

The mission of HHS is to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans. This mission is fulfilled by providing effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services. HHS was established in 1980 by combining offices from several federal agencies. HHS’s 77,000 employees work under three main branches; Operating Divisions, which is comprised of 11 operating division, including 8 public health agencies and 3 human services agencies; Office of the Secretary Staff Divisions, which provides leadership through 17 offices that oversee operations, provide guidance, and ensures laws are followed fairly; and Regional Offices, where 10 regional offices oversee programs at the local level.

For FY 2016, President Obama requested $83.8 billion, an increase of $4.8 billion from FY 2015 to help 1) make health coverage affordable; 2) decrease long-term health care cost; 3) improve care for citizens of the United States of America; 4) train new health care providers; 5) address public health priorities; 6) assist vulnerable populations; and 7) support medical research.

Specific line items in the FY 2016 budget request include:

  • For National Institute of Health (NIH), $638 million for Alzheimer’s research , $135 million for the BRAIN Initiative, and a $100 million increase for antimicrobial resistance;
  • For the reauthorization of the Health Profession and opportunity Grants, an increase of $4 million; and
  • An increase of $40 million for a competitive, value-based graduate medical education program.

White House Initiative on HBCUs’ Liaison to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

The Office of Minority Health (OMH) is the HHS lead agency on the WHIHBCUs. Dr. J. Nadine Gracia is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and the Director of the Office of Minority Health at HHS. OMH provides funding, training, and in-kind services to HBCUs and PBIs to support programs and organizational and professional development that improve academic institutions ability to increase the number of underrepresented individuals’ ability to complete a college degree and enter the workforce.

As the HBCU liaison for HHS, Dr. Rashida Dorsey works with the WHIHBCUs to organize efforts to strengthen the capacity of HBCUs through increased participation in appropriate Federal programs and initiatives. Specifically, Dr. Dorsey helps the WHIHBCUs to: (1) Establish how the department or agency intends to increase the capacity of HBCUs to compete effectively for grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements and to encourage HBCUs to participate in Federal programs; (2) Identify Federal programs and initiatives where HBCUs may be either underserved or underused, and improve the Participation within those areas; and (3) Encourage public and private sector, as well as community involvement in improving the overall capacity of HBCUs. Dr. Dorsey is the director of the Division of Policy and Data in the Office of Minority Health. Her email address is Rashida.Dorsey@hhs.gov.

What opportunities are there for HBCUs to compete for grants/contracts through HHS?

Of the operating divisions within HHS, the National Institutes of Health, Health Resources and Services Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provided the largest percentage of funding to institutions of higher education in fiscal year 2014.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

As the nation’s leading biomedical research agency, NIH funds research that has the potential to enhance human health, lengthen life and reduce illness and disability. NIH is the largest funder of HBCUs within HHS. For active funding opportunities, see the NIH Guide to Grants and Contacts’ Funding Opportunities and Notices. HBCUs are encouraged to subscribe to the NIH Guide listserv for current opportunities available from each of NIH’s 24 grant-making Institutes and Centers (IC). NIH offers several types of grant opportunities, including Research Grants, Career Development Awards, Research Training and Fellowships, Program Project/Center Grants, Resource Grans, and Trans-NIH Program Grants.

There are three standard due dates annually for competitive grant applications with other targeted opportunities announced throughout the year. NIH’s ICs each publish an annual funding strategy, including research priorities and award policies. HBCUs can also attend NIH Regional Seminars. These seminars help with the application and review process, clarify Federal regulations and policies, and highlight current areas of special interest or concern.

NIH provided $17,095,532,583 in funding to all IHEs during fiscal year 2014, of that funding $117,181,426 supported HBCUs and $8,192,549 supported PBIs in the form of grants and contracts. All of the funding made to HBCUs and PBIs in FY 2014, supported research and development, and training activities. FY 2016 projects to allocate $31.3 billion to support biomedical research at NIH, providing over 1,200 more new Research Project Grants that will aid in better understanding the fundamental causes and mechanisms of diseases.

An increase of $200 million has been proposed for the Precision Medicine Initiative. Precision medicine is an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person. President Obama unveiled the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) — a bold new enterprise to revolutionize medicine and generate the scientific evidence needed to move the concept of precision medicine into every day clinical practice.

Some specific NIH programs worth noting are:

  • Research Centers in Minority Institutions Programs (RMCI) – RCMI programs develop and strengthen the research infrastructure of minority serving institutions through the expansion of human and physical resources for conducting basic, clinical, and translational research.  Funding supports institutions with health professions, health related, and doctoral degree programs in the basic, biomedical, and applied sciences.
  • Loan Repayment Program (LRP) Extramural LRP supports researchers by furnishing student loan repayment for a commitment to the conduct of biomedical, behavioral, social, and clinical research. These health professionals are required to commit a minimum of two years to conducting qualified research funded by a U.S. nonprofit organization or government entity in exchange for NIH’s repayment of $35,000 maximum per year of qualified student loan debt. Loan repayment benefits are offered in addition to the institutional salary earned for the research.
  • Biomedical and Cancer Education to Middle/High School and Undergraduate students– This program funds existing programs at HBCUs and other MSIs to sustain and expand the training and education programs to attract middle and high school students into biomedical sciences early, and encourage increased graduation of undergraduate students as well as ensure their successful progression through the education path.
  •  Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research- The program is designed to improve the diversity of the research workforce by recruiting and supporting high school and undergraduate students, post-doctorates, and eligible investigators from traditionally underrepresented populations into research internship and training opportunities.
  • Center of Excellence (COE) Program is a congressionally mandated program that creates centers within colleges and universities to address health disparities. The program focuses on the fundamental strategies of research, training a diverse scientific workforce, and community engagement.
  • Research Endowment Program is a congressionally mandated program that supports research infrastructure and capacity-building at eligible academic institutions.
  • Building Research Infrastructure and Capacity (BRIC) Program, formerly the Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions (RIMI) program provides grants to enhance the research capacity, educational programs, and curricula of colleges and universities that serve students from health disparity populations.
  • Resource-Related Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Initiative supports health disparities research activities using a cooperative agreement which requires substantial Federal scientific or programmatic involvement. The initiative focuses on bioethics research, global health, data infrastructure and information dissemination, and research on healthcare for rural populations.
  • Science Education Initiative (SEI) supports educational, mentoring, and career development programs for individuals from health disparity populations that are underrepresented in the research sciences. The program consists of five separate initiatives ranging from kindergarten through early-stage investigators and an outreach component.
  • Transdisciplinary Collaborative Centers (TCC) for Health Disparities Research – TCC programs support regional coalitions of academic institutions, community organizations, service providers and systems, government agencies and other stakeholders focused on health policy research, social determinants of health and men’s health research.

For 2016, the NIH awarded major awards to Howard University, Meharry Medical College, North Carolina Central University and Savannah State University.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

HRSA has a number of funding opportunities under the Bureau of Health workforce. HRSA provided $660,984,499 in funding to all IHEs during fiscal year 2014; of that funding $35,966,274 supported HBCUs and $753,001 supported PBIs in the form of contracts and grants. All funding made to HBCUS and PBIs in fiscal year 2014, supported research and development, training, student tuition assistance, program evaluation, and other activities.

Some specific HRSA programs worth noting are:

  • Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students – The purpose of this program is to promote diversity among health professions students and practitioners by providing scholarships to full-time students with financial need from disadvantaged backgrounds enrolled in health professions and nursing programs.
  • Nursing Workforce Diversity (NWD) Program – The purpose of NWD is to increase nursing education opportunities for individuals who are from disadvantaged backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities that are underrepresented among registered nurses. Grant activities and partnerships will focus on supporting education, training, licensure, and career placement of health professions students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities underrepresented among health professionals.
  • Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Program – The purpose of this program is to enhance access to high quality, culturally competent health care through academic-community partnerships that improve the distribution, diversity, and supply of the primary care professionals who serve in underserved health care delivery sites.
  • National Health Service Corps Outreach to Minority Serving Institutions – HRSA’s Bureau of Health Workforce plans to continue to engage in outreach and recruitment visits to HBCUs to educate medical and health professions students and residents about opportunities to participate in and apply for the NHSC and NURSE Corps Scholarship and Loan Repayment Programs.
  • Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Professional/paraprofessionals – The training program is to assist in developing and expanding the mental health and substance abuse workforce, who after training, will focus on children, adolescents, and transition-age youth at risk for developing, or who have developed, a recognized behavioral health disorder.

Most of the HBCU awards from HRSA for 2016 have been committed to medical colleges, including Meharry Medical College, Morehouse School of Medicine and Howard University Medical School. Notable exceptions include, Southern University Shreveport, which received funding for the Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP): Skills Training and Health Workforce Development for Paraprofessionals, and Tougaloo College, which received more than $1 million for its Delta Health Partners Healthy Start Initiative-Eliminating Perinatal Health Disparities.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

CDC provided $513, 816,419 in funding to all IHEs during FY 2014; $3,553,954 of the funds awarded to HBCUs was in the form of grants. FY 2014 funding supported research, disease prevention, surveillance, and training programs for undergraduate students through post-doctoral professionals in a variety of health disciplines.

Part C Early Intervention Services funds comprehensive primary health care for individuals living with HIV disease. Screening programs provide risk-reduction counseling, antibody testing, medical evaluation, and clinical care. Health care programs provide antiretroviral therapies (ART), medical, oral health, nutritional, psychosocial, and other care services for HIV-infected clients. Social services provide case management to ensure access to services and continuity of care for HIV-infected clients and attention to other health problems that occur frequently with HIV infection, including tuberculosis and substance abuse.

For 2016, the CDC awarded its largest grants to HBCUs to Morehouse School of Medicine to increase access to chronic disease prevention, risk reduction, and management opportunities, and Morehouse College to support an 8-week summer internship to encourage undergraduate students’ interest in minority health. They also awarded $206,108 to Tuskegee University support an annual commemoration of the Presidential Apology for the U.S. Public Health Service Syphilis Study at Tuskegee, Alabama and promote public health ethics.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

SAMHSA provided $36,381,339 in funding to all minority-serving institutions in fiscal year 2014; of that funding $7,998,000 supported HBCUs and 99,878 supported PBIs in the form of grants. All funding made to HBCUs in FY 2014 supported training and other activities.

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities Center for Excellence in Behavioral Health is housed under SAMHSA Programs and Initiatives. This program: (1) Promote student behavioral health to positively impact student retention; (2) Expand campus service capacity, including the provision of culturally appropriate behavioral health resources; and (3) Facilitate best practices dissemination and behavioral health workforce development.

Minority Serving Institutions in Partnership with Community-Based Organizations (MSI CBO) Program is also under SAMHSA. MSI CBO reaches students in minority serving institutions and individuals in neighboring communities who are at risk for substance abuse and new HIV infection transmission. MSI CBO programs provide students with access to behavioral health services that are culturally, linguistically, gender, and age appropriate. For 2016, SAMHSA has committed awards of $250,000 or more to 33 different HBCUs under the MSI CBO program.

What advice does the Department of Health & Human Services give to HBCUs in order to be more competitive in obtaining grants and contracts?

  1. Attend Seminars. Various organizations within HHS provide seminars to give insight into current issues within their organization including the state of current funding; new and current policies and procedure; and pertinent administrative issues. Officers representing each organization within HHS will also be present to provide up-to-date information about various funding opportunities and to answer any questions. OMH facilitates the Higher Education Technical Assistance Project (HE-TAP) Regional Training program. The program supports institutions of higher education, to include HBCUs, through in-person regional trainings that provide attendees with training, information, and resources to support college and university fiscal development goals. Visit this link to learn more about the HE-TAP program.
  2. Get involved. The various organizations within HHS are always seeking qualified individuals to participate in the reviewing process of applications for grant funding. Working in such positions will provide a better understanding of how to compose an effective proposal, as well as more insight to how HBCUs can receive more funds.
  3. Make connections. Contact the program officer in charge of each division within the directorate before starting the application. Find out about administration priorities and application imperatives. If you have difficulties identifying the program officer within the divisions, contact the assistant director of each directorate.
  4. Start early. Institutions should apply for grant funding early while also striving for the proposal to be collaborative, evidence-based, measured, and comprehensive. Build in an initial rejection and revision into the expected time between starting the application and getting funded.
  5. Collaborate. The Health and Human Services recommends IHEs apply for grants as the primary fiscal agent, in addition identify partnerships with local and national agencies, regional organizations, and a variety of relevant affiliates.
  6. Ground your proposal in research. Successful grant proposals provide in-depth scholarly work and concrete action plans. Consult the program director for each division to understand the accepted validated standards for HHS programs.
  7. If first you don’t succeed, try again. If your institution is denied grant funding, it is imperative to seek counsel from the organizations within HHS to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal. The agency suggests that denied applicants capitalize on this feedback to revise grant proposal and reapply in the next application season.

All institutions of higher education are eligible to apply for competitive funding opportunities posted by HHS agencies. Information on funding opportunities can be found on the agencies funding website or by visiting one of these websites.

  • OMH Resource Centercan provide tailored funding searches free of charge to organizations and institutions;
  • Grants.gov – can provide tailored funding opportunity searches free of charge, also sign up for email notification when new funding meeting your criteria is announced; and
  • Bid Contract – posts federal, state, and local government contract opportunities.

Opportunities are also available for individuals willing to serve as peer reviewers for grants. Serving as a peer reviewer provides individuals with the opportunity to learn the nuances of the grant writing process and the level of detail that grant reviewers are looking for in grant application submissions. Follow the links below to sign up to be a peer reviewer.

Conclusion

HHS has boundless opportunities for HBCUs for advance health research, practice and policy through grants, contracts, fellowships and many other forms of financial and in-kind support. Although HHS provides more financial support to HBCUs than any other federal agency aside from the Department of Education, less than one percent of the funding HHS awards to all IHEs go to HBCUs. The percentage and the total revenue of funds to HBCUs from HHS will increase with coordinated efforts between federal agency officials and HBCU leaders to (1) increase the total number of applications that HHS receives from HBCUs; (2) identify and mitigate any barriers to HBCU participation within HHS; and (3) improve the overall competitiveness of HBCU applications and proposals. The WHIHBCUs will continue to provide reports such as this, which has information regarding the agency’s HBCU liaison, background facts, funding trends, existing HBCU relationships, and agency emphasis. The WHIHBCUs is here to work with Federal partners to provide technical support to HBCUs who are interested in applying for funding from HHS.

 


Ivory A. Toldson, Ph.D., is the executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He is currently on leave from his position as associate professor at Howard University.

Tracy Branch is a commander for the U.S. Public Health Service and public health advisor to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health.

DeShawn Preston is a doctoral student in Higher Educational Leadership at Clemson University. He holds a B.A. in History from Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama. His dissertation topic examines the role/influences HBCUs play in assisting African Americans with enrollment into doctoral programs.

How HBCUs Can Get Federal Sponsorship from the National Science Foundation

By: Ivory A. Toldson & DeShawn Preston

Highlights

  • The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds more than 11,000 grants to support research, education, and training projects annually.
  • NSF accounts for 24 percent of all federal support to colleges and universities in the United States for basic research.
  • In 2014, NSF awarded $5,253,638,733 to Institutions of Higher Education with $91,230,809 of the funding awarded to HBCUs.
  • For Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, the budget proposes $1.2 billion for STEM education activities, including NSF research Traineeships, Cyber Corps; Scholarships for Service; Graduate Research Fellowship Program; Improving Undergraduate STEM Education; and NSF INCLUDES (Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners that have been Underrepresented for Diversity in Engineering and Science).

Introduction

Although Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) make up only 2 percent of the nation’s institutions of higher education (IHEs), they are the primary incubators of Black students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). According to a recent NSF report, 21 of the top 50 institutions for producing Black graduates who go on to receive their doctorates in Science and Engineering (S&E) are HBCUs. In 2012, HBCUs awarded 17.8 percent of Science and Engineering bachelor’s degrees to Black students.

The National Science Foundation awards over $5 billion to institutes of higher education (IHEs), however HBCUs received only 1.7 percent of this revenue in the most recent year of data available. Over the past two FYs (2012, 2013) the funding to HBCUs declined primarily because of reductions in the funding of LSAMP, CREST, and two scholarships (SFS- S STEM). The purpose of this article is to provide information to assist HBCUs who are interested in securing federal sponsorship for their research and programs through NSF.

The National Science Foundation Overview

The National Science Foundation’s mission is to “promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense,” by identifying and funding work at the frontier of science and engineering. NSF was created by Congress in 1950 as an independent federal agency and employs about 2,100 people, including 1,400 career employees, 200 scientists from research institutions on temporary duty, and 450 contract workers and staff. NSF is divided into seven directorates made up by divisions that support science and engineering research and education.

The FY 2016 budget requests $7.7 billion, an increase of $379.3 million from FY 2015 for NSF. This increase will mirror the agenda from President Obama’s administration to support science and engineering broadly, as well as the people that are enhancing the nation’s scientific knowledge and discovery. This budget will allow NSF to continue to make investments in learning and discovery that will grow the economy, sustain a competitive advantage, and enable the United States to remain the world leader in innovation. Specifically, the FY 2016 request:

  • $143.9 million to Understanding the Brain (UtB), contributing to the Administration’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovation and Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative.
  • $58 million to Risk and Resilience, which aims to improve predictability, risk assessment, increase resilience to extreme natural and manmade events, and to rescue the impact on the quality of life, society, and the economy.
  • The Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS) to receive $74.96 million to study, design, and model how food, energy, and water systems operate through research.
  • $15 million to Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners that have been Underrepresented for Diversity in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES) for national initiatives to increase the preparation, participation, advancement, and potential contributions to underrepresented students in STEM.

White House Initiative on HBCUs’ Liaison to the National Science Foundation

As the liaison between the White House Initiative on HBCUs (WHIHBCUs) and NSF, Tracy Gorman works with the WHIHBCUs to organize efforts to strengthen the capacity of HBCUs through increased participation in appropriate Federal programs and initiatives.

Specifically, Ms. Gorman helps the WHIHBCUs to:

  • Establish how the department or agency intends to increase the capacity of HBCUs to compete effectively for grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements and to encourage HBCUs to participate in Federal programs;
  • Identify Federal programs and initiatives where HBCUs may be either underserved or underused, and improve the participation within those areas; and
  • Encourage public and private sector, as well as community involvement in improving the overall capacity of HBCUs.

Ms. Gorman serves as a NSF Program Officer and Staff Assistant in the office of the Director for NSF. She is responsible for tracking funds allocated to Minority Serving Institutions and for writing the annual funding report.

What Opportunities are there for HBCUs to compete for grants/contracts through NSF?

There are over 300 funding opportunities offered by NSF in which Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs), including HBCUs, are encouraged to apply. The best way to gain access to these funds is to align research and grant proposals to agency-identified priority areas. HBCUs should identify the needs and requests from science and engineering communities, and congressional interests to increase the probability of allocating funds from NSF. HBCUs can review the funding opportunities for IHEs offered by NSF on their webpage (http://www.nsf.gov/funding/). Funding can be identified by either program area (e.g. biology, cyberinfrastructure, engineering, geosciences, and physical sciences) or type of activities (e.g. cross-cutting, NSF-wide, or broadening participation).

Research and Development (R&D)

The majority of NSF’s solicited and unsolicited funding activities come from R&D. For FY 2016, NSF projects to fund $4.1 billion to IHEs for R&D. Research projects are proposed by single investigators or collaborative teams. Teams are supported in the following areas: biology; geosciences; engineering; education; social, behavioral, and economic sciences; mathematical and physical sciences; and computer and information science and engineering. In FY 2014, HBCUs were awarded new and incremental funding from 64 research programs. From the 64 research programs HBCUs received $34.8 million of the $4.1 billion allocated to IHEs, making up only 0.8 percent of all funds for R&D.

  • Core Research: These programs provide funding for basic research in the science and engineering fields supported by NSF. Funding for this particular category can be solicited or unsolicited. The research may focus on a single discipline or interdisciplinary. Information about core research areas and activities can be found on the seven Directorate/Division webpage.
  • Foundation-wide: All directorates within NSF participate in this award. These solicitation driven programs fund basic research and education in all supported NSF fields of science and engineering. Some of the programs in this category are The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program, Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), and Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and engineering Careers (ADVANCE).
  • Targeted Programs: HBCUs in previous years have participated in targeted programs within R&D. These programs are solicitation driven and cover a number of research activities looking to develop on-campus research capacity or partnerships within a region, internationally, or with other institutions of higher education. Program eligibility and requirements maybe restricted and are detailed in the solicitation. Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST), HBCU Research Infrastructure for Science and Engineering (HBCU-Rise), Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials (PREM), and Partnerships in Astronomy and Astrophysics Research and Education (PAARE) are all targeted programs eligible to HBCUS or Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and have all been awarded to a number of HBCUs.

Education and Training

The majority of the programs in this category are centered on advancing STEM learning, improving scientific knowledge, and preparing a globally competitive science and engineering workforce. HBCUs have proven to be most successful in this particular category. In FY 2014, HBCUs were awarded new and incremental funding from 14 programs, receiving $53.2 million making up 7.8 percent of all funds allocated to IHEs. This category includes the majority of programs specifically eligible to MSIs, such as the Louis Stoke Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP), Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP),and Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP). For FY 2016, the president’s budget request to Congress proposes $15 million for a new program, NSF INCLUDES (Inclusion across the nation of Communities of Learners that have been Underrepresented for Diversity in Engineering and Science).

Facilities and Equipment

Another area where HBCUs are more successful within NSF is in support of Facilities and Equipment. In FY 2014, HBCUs received $2.5 million, making up 2.4 percent of all funds allocated to IHEs. In total, eight HBCUs received new MRI awards. The majority of the awards received by HBCUs come from the major Research instrumentation Program (MRI). MRI desires to improve the quality and expand research and training in science and engineering, and to integrate research and education by providing instrumentation for research-intensive learning environments. For FY 2016, the budget will see a 0.2 percent decrease in funding for facilities and equipment. However, HBCUs are still encouraged to seek funding in this area.

Fellowships, Internships, Traineeships, Recruitment and IPAs

There are several programs throughout NSF that fund fellowships, internships, traineeships, and recruitment. Funding to HBCUs has supported individuals in two major programs: Graduate Research Fellowships (GRF) and Intergovernmental Personnel Mobility Act (IPA). In FY 2014, HBCUs received support for one GRF and four IPAs, bringing in $568,000 to all HBCUs, and making up 0.2 percent of all funds allocated to IHEs. The various opportunities offered through this category are vital roles at NSF, especially IPAs. Having active personnel in various roles will allow HBCUs to build stronger relationships with NSF, as well as learn a more effective strategy to receive grants.

What advice does the National Science Foundation have for HBCUs who are seeking federal grants and contracts?

  1. Subscribe to NSF Updates. An online subscription service offers updates on events, funding opportunities, publications, and vacancies, among other items. IHEs may customize their subscription so it focuses on activities or programs of interest to them. https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USNSF/subscriber/new?pop=t&qsp=823
  2. Attend NSF Grant Conferences. NSF provides a bi-annual conference to give insight into current issues at NSF including the state of current funding; new and current policies and procedures; and pertinent administrative issues. Officers representing each NSF directorate will also be present to provide up-to-date information about various funding opportunities and to answer any questions. To be notified of future conferences sign up at http:events.signup4.com/nsfnotification
  3. Get involved. The various directorates within NSF are always seeking qualified individuals to participate in the reviewing process of applications for grant funding. The same individuals may also qualify for IPA assignments, panelists, advisors. Working in such positions will provide an understanding of the operations and goals of NSF, as well as more insight to how HBCUs can receive more funds.
  4. Make connections.  Contact the program officer listed on the program webpage or in a solicitation before starting the application. Find out about the program priorities and application imperatives. If you have difficulty identifying the appropriate program officer, contact the Division Director.   A complete NSF organization list (directorates and divisions) including phone numbers is available online at http://www.nsf.gov/staff/orglist.jsp.
  5. Start early. Institutions should apply for grant funding early while also striving for the proposal to be collaborative, evidence-based, measured, and comprehensive. Build in an initial rejection and revision into the expected time between starting the application and getting funded.
  6. The National Science Foundation recommends IHEs to apply for grants as the primary fiscal agent, in addition identify partnerships with local and national agencies, regional organizations, and a variety of relevant affiliates.
  7. Ground your proposal in research. Successful grant proposals provide in-depth scholarly work and consist of concrete action plans. Consult the program director for each division to understand the accepted validated standards for NSF programs.
  8. If first you don’t succeed, try again. If your institution is denied grant funding, it is imperative to seek the counsel of NSF to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal. The agency suggests that denied applicants capitalize on this feedback to revise grant proposal and reapply in the next application season.

Conclusion

There are many grant opportunities within NSF. While NSF has special programs gear towards minority and HBCUs, they have a number of competitive opportunities that are available to all IHEs. In order to increase funding, HBCUs must take full advantage of all funding opportunities, and not limit proposals to opportunities designated specifically to HBCUs.

In recent years HBCUs have mainly received funds for educational activities. The awards are typically distributed to programs such as HBCU RISE, HBCU-UP, and CREST, which have not seen an increase in the budget since 2014. In order for HBCUs to increase funding opportunities these institutions must broaden the participation within NSF. HBCUs must apply for more grants and research within Research and Development where they are only receiving 0.8 percent of the funds and in Fellowships, Internships, Traineeships, Recruitment, and IPAs where they only receive 0.2 percent of the awards. It is imperative for HBCUs to seek funding from these particular categories, because this is where the overwhelming majority of funds are allocated through NSF. By continuously applying within the two areas HBCUs will gain partnership within NSF, allowing for better comprehension of the language, day to day operations, and goals of NSF, this should prove to be advantageous in the funding application process.

The WHIHBCUs should frequently provide reports such as this, which has information regarding the agency’s HBCU liaison, background facts, funding trends, existing HBCU relationships, and agency emphasis. The WHIHBCUs is here to work with Federal partners to provide technical support to HBCUs who are interested in applying for funding. HBCUs should develop their institutional capacity to produce competitive grants. Members of Congress can help HBCUs to network with key personnel at federal agencies. Members can also help HBCUs connect with corporate and philanthropic partners to strengthen collaborative efforts.

List of Program and Program Directors

Contact specific directorate of interest


Ivory A. Toldson, Ph.D., is the interim executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He is currently on leave from his position as associate professor at Howard University.

DeShawn Preston is a doctoral student in Higher Educational Leadership at Clemson University. He holds a B.A. in History from Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama. His research agenda focuses on African American students in graduate and professional programs. More specifically his dissertation topic examines the roll/influences HBCUs play in assisting African Americans with enrollment into doctoral programs.

Funding Opportunities- June

Department of Education: First in the World Competition

The First In The World program is designed to support the development, replication, and dissemination of innovative solutions and evidence for what works in addressing persistent and widespread challenges in postsecondary education for students who are at risk for not persisting in and completing postsecondary programs, including, but not limited to, adult learners, working students, part-time students, students from low-income backgrounds, students of color, students with disabilities, and first-generation students. Learn more.

Department of Agriculture: Farmers’ Market SNAP Support Grants

The United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announces, through this Request for Applications, the availability of $3.3 million in competitive grant funds, to be awarded through the Farmers’ Market SNAP Support Grants in fiscal year (FY) 2015. As approved by Congress in the President’s FY 2014 budget request for FNS, these funds are intended to support “the participation of farmers’ markets in SNAP by providing equipment and support grants to new markets and those currently participating in the program.” The goals of the FMSSG program are to increase SNAP accessibility and participation at farmers’ markets, and support the establishment, expansion, and promotion of SNAP/Electronic Benefits Transfer services at farmers’ markets. This is a new program, which may continue in subsequent years. Grant funds must be used to conduct tasks that are necessary for SNAP to operate at farmers’ markets, and to increase the number and effectiveness of farmers’ market participation in SNAP. Read more.

Department of Health and Human Services: New Pathways for Fathers and Families

The Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance is announcing its intent to competitively award demonstration projects that support activities promoting responsible fatherhood as enacted by the Claims Resolution Act of 2010. The Responsible Fatherhood initiative is designed to help fathers establish or strengthen positive parental interaction by providing activities that develop and improve relationship, communication and parenting skills, and contribute to the financial well-being of their children by providing job training and other employment services. Responsible Fatherhood activities also help fathers improve relationships with their spouses, significant others, and/or the mothers of their children. ACF is particularly interested in organizations that have the capacity and proven record of accomplishment in helping low-income fathers, and comprehensive fatherhood programs that integrate robust economic stability services, healthy marriage and relationship activities, and activities designed to foster responsible parenting. Learn more.

For more opportunities, please visit Grants.gov

Now Open: 2015 HBCU Week Conference Website

The 2015 HBCU Week Conference website is now open.

2015 HBCU Week Conference

HBCUs Innovators for Future Success

The Annual National Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Week Conference is planned under the leadership of the White House Initiative on HBCUs and with input from the President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs and its conference sponsors. It provides a forum to exchange information and share innovations among and between institutions. Stakeholders, which include: federal agencies, private sector companies and philanthropic organizations) provide an overview of successful engagements that if replicated could improve instruction, degree completion and the understanding of federal policies that shape and support higher education.

General registration will open on June 1, 2015.


 

Name Phone Email Role
ED color Conference Policy and Operations special.events@ed.gov Registration Questions
HBCU_Final Logo 2014-01ANW Conference Support Staff 202-453-5634 oswhi-hbcu@ed.gov Program Questions

Now Accepting: 2015 HBCU All-Star Program Applications, Deadline: June 17, 2015

The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) works to promote HBCU excellence, innovation, and sustainability. The Initiative recognizes undergraduate, graduate, and professional students for their accomplishments in scholarship, leadership, and civic engagement.

Are you a student who wants to impact your HBCU campus and community?

2015 HBCU All Star Application Form

PROGRAM DETAILS

The appointment period will last approximately one year, and during this time students will serve as ambassadors of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities by providing outreach opportunities and communications to their fellow students about the value of education and the Initiative as a networking resource. Through social media, personal and professional relationships with community-based organizations, student will share promising and proven practices that support opportunities for all young people to realize their educational and career potential. The program will provide an opportunity to participate in regional and national events, as well as, web chats with Initiative staff and other professionals from a wide range of disciplines that support a spirit of engagement and personal and professional development.

 

ELIGIBILITY AND RULES

  1. Nominee must be a current undergraduate, graduate, or professional student at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). Student must be enrolled for the 2015-2016 fall semester. View HBCU Listing by State
  2. Only complete applications will be accepted. This includes signed nomination form, unofficial transcripts, short essays, resume and endorsement letter. Review Process
  3. Submissions entered past the due date will not be acknowledged.

 

For more information regarding the 2015 HBCU All-Star Student program and application contact:

oswhi-hbcu@ed.gov and follow us on Twitter @WHI_HBCUs

How HBCUs Can Get Federal Sponsorship from the United States Department of Education

By: Ivory A. Toldson & Amanda Washington

“Ensuring that every student—from the wealthiest to the poorest and historically underserved—has access to a high-quality education is what our work is all about…We aren’t just talking the talk; we are awarding millions of dollars in grants to help institutions better serve minority students through various programs and services.” – U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Prelude

This series is designed to expand federal support of HBCU research, programs, and outreach through competitive grants and contracts. The Department of Education (ED) accounts for more revenue to HBCUs than any other federal agency – totaling more than $4.7 billion in 2013. Any given year, HBCUs collectively receive between $600 – $750 million from ED through grants and contracts. Because of the nature and purpose of many of the grant programs, HBCUs have been uniquely suited to receive funding from ED.   The White House Initiative on HBCUs (WHIHBCUs) believes that increasing revenue to HBCUs from federal grants and contracts is vital to the long term sustainability of these institutions. By developing innovative proposals, working with HBCU liaisons at federal agencies and taking advantage of federal funding opportunities, HBCUs can increase the resources necessary to initiate and sustain vital programs.

Highlights

  • The United States Department of Education (ED) is responsible for more revenue to HBCUs than any other federal agency; typically accounting for more than $4.7 billion from the Federal Government.
  • In FY2013, ED awarded more than $700 million to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) for capacity building programs.
  • The vast majority of the revenue from ED to HBCUs comes from noncompetitive opportunities; however, ED invests hundreds of millions of dollars into research and programs, in which HBCUs are distinctively qualified to apply.
  • New opportunities from ED, including First in the World and The Pathways to the Education Sciences Research Training Program, provide unique opportunities for HBCUs to compete for grants through ED.

Introduction

Educational inequities that exist for African Americans underscore the need for education research programs and advocacy at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The Department of Education (ED) accounts for more revenue to HBCUs than any other federal agency – totaling more than $4.7 billion in 2013. ED is a multifaceted agency, and revenue to HBCUs comes from ED in many forms. The bulk of the funding is awarded to students to attend HBCUs in the form of grants and loans for qualifying students. ED also offers noncompetitive grants to HBCUs through the “Strengthening HBCUs program.” Also known as “Title III,” these noncompetitive awards, which are aimed at building the capacity of HBCUs, account for approximately $300 million of the revenue that ED awards to HBCUs.

Any given year, HBCUs collectively receive between $600 – $700 million from ED through grants and contracts. Because of the nature and purpose of many of the grant programs, HBCUs have been uniquely suited to receive funding from ED. However, many HBCUs have challenges with locating the appropriate grant opportunities and completing competitive proposals.

This series is designed to expand federal support of HBCU research, programs, and outreach through competitive grants and contracts. The White House Initiative on HBCUs (WHIHBCUs) believes that increasing revenue to HBCUs from federal grants and contracts is vital to the long term sustainability of these institutions. By developing innovative proposals, working with HBCU liaisons at federal agencies and taking advantage of federal funding opportunities, HBCUs can increase the resources necessary to initiate and sustain vital programs.

The U.S. Department of Education Overview

ED’s mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access. This agency was created in 1980 by combining offices from several federal agencies. ED’s 4,400 employees and $68 billion budget are dedicated to: 1) establishing policies on federal financial aid for education, and distributing, as well as, monitoring those funds; 2) Collecting data on America’s schools and disseminating research; 3) Focusing national attention on key educational issues; and 4) Prohibiting discrimination and ensuring equal access to education.

For FY 2016, President Obama requested $70.7 billion for ED; an increase of approximately $3.6 billion, or a 5.4 percent, in ED’s discretionary funding from the previous year. ED’s FY 2016 request budget targets four key areas:

  • Increasing equity and opportunity for all students;
  • Expanding high-quality early learning programs;
  • Supporting teachers and school leaders; and
  • Improving access, affordability, and student outcomes in postsecondary education.

According to the ED’s budget proposal, improving college access and completion is an economic necessity and a moral imperative. Reclaiming the top spot in college completion is essential for maximizing both individual opportunity and our economic prosperity.

White House Initiative on HBCUs’ Liaison to the U.S. Department of Education

As the liaison between the White House Initiative on HBCUs (WHIHBCUs) and ED, Jon O’Bergh (Jon.OBergh@ed.gov) works with the WHIHBCUs to organize efforts to strengthen the capacity of HBCUs through increased participation in appropriate federal programs and initiatives.

Specifically, Mr. O’Bergh helps the WHIHBCUs to:

  • Establish how the department or agency intends to increase the capacity of HBCUs to compete effectively for grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements and to encourage HBCUs to participate in federal programs;
  • Identify federal programs and initiatives in which HBCUs may be either underserved or underused as national resources, and improve HBCUs’ participation therein; and
  • Encourage public-sector, private-sector, and community involvement in improving the overall capacity of HBCUs.

Jon O’Bergh is a senior policy advisor for the Office of the Under Secretary, where he works on matters related to postsecondary data and accountability.

What opportunities are there for HBCUs to compete for grants/contracts through ED?

There are many programs within ED, however, only a few have grant opportunities for Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs). The following link has a comprehensive list of all programs and competitions under which ED has invited or expects to invite applications for new awards and provides actual or estimated deadline dates for applications. This section outlines the programs within ED that have grant opportunities for HBCUs.

The Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE)

OPE aims to strengthen the capacity of colleges and universities to promote reform, innovation and improvement in postsecondary education, promote and expand access to postsecondary education and increase college completion rates for America’s students, and broaden global competencies that drive the economic success and competitiveness of our Nation. OPE has several noncompetitive opportunities, including Title III programs and a federal appropriation to Howard University. In addition, OPE has several competitive grant opportunities including:

                Student Services Awards

  • The First in the World (FITW) program provides grants to IHEs to spur the development of innovations that improve educational outcomes and make college more affordable for students and families, and to develop an evidence base of effective practices. In 2014, HBCUs received $3.5 million. Hampton University is the only HBCU that received a major award through the FITW competition. This year, Congress has appropriated $60 million to ED for the FITW grant competition, with a $16 million set-aside for Minority-Serving Institutions (MSI’s). Although priorities for the FY2015 competition have not yet been announced, ED is providing general information about FITW to help institutions begin preparing. On Monday, April 27th , the White House Initiative for Historically Black Colleges and Universities hosted “Office Hours” for MSIs interested in FITW.  For FY 2016, President Obama’s budget proposes $200 million for FITW, a $140 million increase over FY 2015.
  • Federal TRIO Programs (TRIO) are federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes eight programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs. TRIO also includes a training program for directors and staff of TRIO projects. In 2014, HBCUs received nearly $54 million for TRIO projects. For FY 2016, President Obama’s budget proposes $860 million for TRIO, a $20 million increase over 2015.
  • Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program (CCAMPIS) supports the participation of low-income parents in postsecondary education through the provision of campus-based child care services. In 2014, the CCAMPIS program awarded $15,134,000 to 86 projects. Of this amount, $336,193 was awarded to Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. For FY 2016, the CCAMPIS program is expected to be discontinued.
  • Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. GEAR UP provides six-year grants to states and partnerships to provide services at high-poverty middle and high schools. GEAR UP grantees serve an entire cohort of students beginning no later than the seventh grade and follow the cohort through high school. GEAR UP funds are also used to provide college scholarships to low-income students. Records indicate that HBCUs collectively receive between $4 million and less than $1 million per year from this program. For FY 2016, President Obama’s budget proposes $301.6 million for GEAR-UP.
  • Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) provides fellowships, through academic departments and programs of IHEs, to assist graduate students with excellent records who demonstrate financial need and plan to pursue the highest degree available in their course study at the institution in a field designated as an area of national need. Records indicate that HBCUs collectively receive less than $500,000 per year from this program. For FY 2016, President Obama’s budget proposes $29.3 million for GAANN.

 

Institutional Development Awards

Since President Obama was elected in 2008, ED has offered several grants to build the institutional capacity of HBCUs, including Minority Science and Engineering Improvement (MSEIP), Master’s Degree Programs at HBCUs, Graduate Research Opportunities for Minority Students (Minorities and Retirement Security Program), Title VII – Higher Education Disaster Relief, and Earmarks/Directed Grants. In 2014, HBCUs received approximately $11 million from OPE institutional development awards. For example, in FY 2014, Fayetteville State and Prairie View A&M were awarded grant funding through “The Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program.” Year-by-year, these opportunities vary considerably, so it is important to consult the point of contact for each opportunity to determine if a current service award is available and suitable for your HBCU. For FY 2016, President Obama’s budget proposes $9 million for MSEIP and $58.8 million for “Strengthening Historically Black Graduate Institutions.”

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES)

IES supports research on education practice and policy. IES is the repository of the What Works Clearinghouse; the ERIC education database; ten Regional Educational Laboratories; national Research and Development Centers; and many conferences, publications and products. They fund research on educational outcomes for all students, particularly those at risk of failure. IES is the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education, and by law their activities must be free of partisan political influence.

For 2016, President Obama’s Administration is seeking $675.9 million for IES activities, an increase of $101.9 million over the 2015 appropriation. According to the President’s budget proposal, “This request would enable IES to award approximately $60 million in new research and development grants in early learning, elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and adult education in 2016, including research focused on issues related to students with disabilities.” If fully funded, IES would have more than $200 million for educational research, development, and dissemination.

A review of data and correspondence with program officers at IES reveal that IES has not awarded any grants to HBCUs over the last six years. Recently, IES has initiated and completed several technical assistance programs to broaden HBCU and MSI participation. IES established a new funding opportunity aimed at using MSIs, including HBCUs, to build the next generation of educational scholars, through The Pathways to the Education Sciences Research Training Program (Pathways Training Program).

Pathways Training Program is designed to prepare undergraduate students, recent graduates, and master’s students from under-represented groups for doctoral study in education research. The Institute intends these efforts to lead both to the training of talented education researchers from a variety of backgrounds and to the incorporation of diverse ideas and perspectives in education research. For this competition, all awards will be made as cooperative agreements in order to support the Institute’s involvement in the planning and implementation of the training program and coordination across programs. IES expects to support four grants under the Pathways Training Program and the maximum award is $1,200,000.

Importantly, the Pathways Training Program is only one of many funding opportunities within IES. For a comprehensive list of opportunities, visit their website.

Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE)

OCTAE both administers, and coordinates programs that are related to adult education and literacy, career and technical education, and community colleges. OCTAE runs formula grants to states and states must distribute funds to eligible local providers.  OCTAE advises that HBCUs are eligible for these grants and can compete by responding to their respective state request for proposal (RFP). Because there are very different processes to apply for each state RFP, OCTAE suggests looking at eligibility requirements on your state’s Adult Education website. Click here for a list of the state agencies for adult education.

Other ED Funding Opportunities

ED personnel estimates that in recent years HBCUs collectively received between $6.6 million and $9.2 million from competitive grants from the following ED offices: Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII); Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE); Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS); Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA); and Office of Safe and Healthy Students (OSHS). However, the 2016 budget proposal suggests that more than $26 billion will be invested in these offices for operation, as well as grants to schools, organizations, state and local governments and institutes of higher education (IHEs). Although only a fraction of the billions of dollars for advancing education are suited for IHEs, HBCUs have enormous opportunities to link with these offices for direct grants as contract, as well as collaborative partnerships.

HBCUs may be uniquely qualified to respond to several programs solicitations within these agencies including: Promise Neighborhood Implementation Grants, Teacher Quality Grants, Transition to Teaching Programs, and the School Leadership Program.

What advice does the Department of Education give to HBCUs in order to be more competitive in obtaining grants and contracts?

Become conceptually in sync. A review of the administration’s budget proposal reveals important priorities, which should be reflected in a grant proposal. The administration’s budget emphasizes four areas: increasing equity and opportunity for all students; expanding high-quality early learning programs; supporting teachers and school leaders; and improving access, affordability and student outcomes in postsecondary education. When appropriate, a proposal should reflect these commitments.

Get involved. ED is always seeking qualified individuals to join the pool of subject matter experts they call upon to review the strengths and weaknesses of applications for grant funding. More HBCU scholars should join the pool.

For other programs, contact the point of contact.

Make connections. Contact the program officer in charge of a request for proposals before starting the application. Find out about administration priorities and application imperatives. If you have difficulties identifying the program officer, contact the liaison to the program. Here is a partial list of points of contacts within ED:

If further information is required, or you have difficulties connecting to a point of contract, email Ivory A. Toldson (ivory.toldson@ed.gov), Deputy Director of WHIHBCUs.

Start early. Institutions should apply for grant funding early while also striving for the proposal to be collaborative, evidence-based, measured, and comprehensive. Build in an initial rejection and revision into the expected time between starting the application and getting funded.

Collaborate. The U.S. Department of Education urges IHEs to apply for grants as the primary fiscal agent while also identifying partnerships with local and national agencies, regional organizations and a variety of relevant affiliates.

Ground your proposal in research. In addition, successful grant proposals provide in-depth scholarly work and consist of concrete action plans. Consult the “What Works” Clearinghouse to understand the accepted validated standards for educational programs.

If at first you don’t succeed, try again. If your institution is denied grant funding, it is important to follow up with the specific office within the Department of Education to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal. The agency suggests that denied applicants utilize this feedback to revise grant proposals and reapply in the next application season.

Conclusion

ED is a multifaceted federal agency that has many opportunities for HBCUs. Although ED is the source of noncompetitive revenue to HBCUs, many HBCUs have neglected the many competitive opportunities that ED has to fund research and programs at HBCUs. Currently, many programs within ED do not provide a lot of funding to HBCUs when compared to other IHEs. However, this is partially attributed to the low numbers of HBCUs, which have applied to programs outside of OPE student services programs. HBCUs can expand support from ED through rich and collaborative partnerships with government officials.

HBCUs should work with the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the WHIHBCUs to identify institutional strengths and establish partnerships with federal agencies. HBCUs should also build their institutional capacity to produce competitive grants. Members of Congress can help HBCUs to network with key personnel at federal agencies. Members can also help HBCUs connect with corporate and philanthropic partners to strengthen collaborative efforts.

_______________________________________

 

Email from Broderick Johnson on the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance

White House Seal

Today, I will join President Obama as he travels to Lehman College in the Bronx, NY to speak about the importance of expanding opportunity and to applaud a new private-sector entity — the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance.A group of private-sector leaders and other prominent private citizens, led by Joe Echevarria (the former CEO of Deloitte LLP) have come together to form this new, independent non-profit. Joined by a diverse range of philanthropic, community, and private-sector partners, leaders of the Alliance are pledging to work to expand opportunity for youth, strengthen the American workforce, and fortify the economic stability of communities across America.

The Alliance will join other private-sector organizations all across America to focus on expanding opportunity and tearing down barriers facing our youth so that we can truly say the American Dream is available to all.

Meanwhile, at the White House, the work of the President’s My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Task Force, which it is my honor to chair, will continue to move forward on the work the President has charged us with. We will continue — with great urgency — to disseminate best practices, strengthen federal policy, and implement strategies to support communities in their efforts to expand opportunity for all youth.

When President Obama first announced the My Brother’s Keeper initiative from the East Room of the White House in February 2014, he framed it as a call to action for every American to recognize that “my neighbor’s child is my child” — that each of us has an obligation to give every child the same chance this country has given so many of us.

Over the past year, foundations, corporations, small business owners, educators, philanthropies, law enforcement, artists, athletes, and all levels of government from across the country have responded with remarkable energy and resolve, and they have announced an array of fresh initiatives to attack the challenges facing our youth in new ways.

Over the course of the Administration, we have made consistent progress on important goals, such as reducing high school dropout rates and lowering unemployment and crime.

Yet persistent gaps in employment, educational outcomes, and career skills remain, barring too many youth from realizing their full potential, and creating harmful social and economic costs to our nation.

Over the past year, we already have made progress addressing the central goals originally laid out by the President’s MBK Task Force to ensure that all young people enter school ready to learn, all young people are reading at grade level by the third grade, all youth are graduating from high school ready for college and career, all youth are completing postsecondary education or training, all young people are successfully entering the workforce, and all young people are safe from violence and provided the second chances they deserve.

Here are some examples on how we are working to achieve these goals:

Beyond the work of the President’s MBK Task Force, there are now more than 200 communities that have accepted the President’s My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge, committing to launching Local Action Plans with bold goals and strategies to produce results that will bridge opportunity gaps.

And, since the President’s call to action in February 2014, nearly $500 million in grants and in-kind resources have been independently committed by the private sector to attack the challenges facing our youth in new ways and expand opportunity, including a $100 million announcement just last week from Equal Opportunity Schools and its partners to increase enrollment of low-income and minority students in advance courses.

For so many of us, the My Brother’s Keeper initiative is deeply personal. As a proud son of Baltimore, this week’s announcement comes at a time of unique and special resonance for me.

As the country reflects on our shared responsibility to ensure that opportunity reaches every young person, I urge everyone to look at their own capacity to make a difference. Whether it’s taking time to mentor, tutoring young people in your neighborhood, or creating new internship or apprenticeship opportunities for young people in your community — everyone can play a role in building a brighter future.

The President’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative is about recognizing that our young people are not the problem, but rather the solution. And it’s about each of us seeing our neighbor’s child as our own. Their futures as individuals, and as members of a shared community and economy, are forever tied together.

As we move further into the fourth quarter of President Obama’s time in office, our entire team is following his lead and preparing to accomplish as much as we possibly can with the MBK Task Force. And as leaders like Joe Echevarria, MBK Alliance honorary chair John Legend, and their colleagues take initiative to respond to the challenges facing our youth in new ways — big and small, locally and nationally — I share the President’s confidence that we will begin to see a future come into focus that is increasingly inclusive, empowering, and rich with opportunity for all Americans.

We welcome the newly organized My Brother’s Keeper Alliance to this work, and look forward to the progress they will help build.

Broderick Johnson Chair, My Brother’s Keeper Task Force The White House

Please do not reply to this email. Contact the White House

The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 • 202-456-1111

PHMSA Offering $2 Million in University Research Grants for Pipeline Safety Solutions

PHMSA 01-15

Friday, April 10, 2015

Contact:  Patricia Klinger

Tel.:  (202) 366-4831

 

PHMSA Offering $2 Million in University Research Grants for Pipeline Safety Solutions

Grants Support Agency’s Recruitment Efforts

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) today announced that it is offering $2 million in grants for students and faculty at nonprofit institutions of higher education to research pipeline safety solutions – more than twice the amount awarded last year.  In addition to funding potential transportation solutions, PHMSA offers the grants to expose new engineers and scientists to the technical side of the energy transportation sector, supporting the agency’s recruitment efforts.

“The time is now to start investing in long-term safety innovations and retain a highly skilled, federal workforce,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “These grants will encourage students to use innovation and explore new ways to envision pipeline safety solutions for our transportation problems.”

The agency is hiring more than 100 new employees this year, most of whom will serve as pipeline safety inspectors.  The Competitive Academic Agreement Program (CAAP) supports the agency’s oversight of the nation’s exponentially growing energy production and transportation, and helps address the need for new technically trained federal employees.

Launched in 2013, the CAAP has grown based on previous student accomplishments and university interest.  To date, PHMSA has awarded more than $1.5 million to nearly 80 students’ multi-year research projects.  This year’s applicants may receive up to $300,000 for their proposed studies.  The awards are partially matched by non-federal funding.

A third of the federal workforce will be eligible to retire by 2017, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

“We’re not simply offering grants through the Competitive Academic Agreement Program; we’re demonstrating to engineering and technical students that their disciplines are in demand in the energy pipeline sector,” said PHMSA Acting Administrator Timothy Butters.  “PHMSA provides safety oversight for the country’s 2.6-million-mile pipeline network, and we need out-of-the-box thinkers.”

At least 48 hours prior to submitting proposals, applicants should register on PHMSA’s Research & Development website.  Official grant applications are due via Grants.gov on Monday, May 18, 2015. Applicants without a Grants.gov login access should request registration at least two weeks ahead of the grant deadline.

In consultation with other federal and state officials as well as other stakeholders, PHMSA is specifically seeking projects that address technical gaps in the following areas:

  • Preventing and Mitigating Pipeline Corrosion – What innovative new solutions can be proposed in chemical treatments or materials to prevent or manage on-shore hazardous liquid and/ or natural gas pipeline corrosion?
  • Developing Locatable Plastic Pipelines – Excavation damage to buried pipelines can be prevented when professionals detect and mark buried utility lines; however, many plastic pipes can go undetected with current above-ground technology.  Are there effective ways to add or insert electro/mechanical/metallic material to plastic pipes to make it locatable above-ground?  How would you innovate above-ground technology to detect plastic pipes?
  • Developing Inspection Tools to Quantify Pipe Strength and Toughness – How would you develop tools to accurately quantify pipeline strength and toughness which would allow pipeline operators to better understand and manage risks?

Proposals are evaluated on their scientific merit and quality as well as the feasibility of their management plans, work tasks, budgets and schedules.  In the long run, PHMSA intends to adopt the most promising findings into its core research program for further investigation.  For more information, potential applicants should read the full grant solicitation on Grants.gov.  Users can find the solicitation and announcement by searching with CFDA number 20.724 or Funding Opportunity Number DTPH5615SN0003.

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The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration develops and enforces regulations for the safe, reliable, and environmentally sound operation of the nation’s 2.6 million mile pipeline transportation system and the nearly 1 million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air.  Please visit http://phmsa.dot.gov for more information.