The Director shall award grants, on a merit-reviewed, competitive basis, to institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations, or consortia of such institutions and organizations, for sites designated by the Director to provide research experiences for 6 or more undergraduate STEM students for sites designated at primarily undergraduate institutions of higher education and 10 or more undergraduate STEM students for all other sites, with consideration given to the goal of promoting the participation of individuals identified in section
1885b of this title. The Director shall ensure that—
(1)at least half of the students participating in a program funded by a grant under this subsection at each site shall be recruited from institutions of higher education where research opportunities in STEM are limited, including 2-year institutions;
(2)the awards provide undergraduate research experiences in a wide range of STEM disciplines;
(3)the awards support a variety of projects, including independent investigator-led projects, interdisciplinary projects, and multi-institutional projects (including virtual projects);
(4)students participating in each program funded have mentors, including during the academic year to the extent practicable, to help connect the students’ research experiences to the overall academic course of study and to help students achieve success in courses of study leading to a baccalaureate degree in a STEM field;
(5)mentors and students are supported with appropriate salary or stipends; and
(6)student participants are tracked, for employment and continued matriculation in STEM fields, through receipt of the undergraduate degree and for at least 3 years thereafter.
(b) Inclusion of undergraduates in standard research grants
The Director shall require that every recipient of a research grant from the Foundation proposing to include 1 or more students enrolled in certificate, associate, or baccalaureate degree programs in carrying out the research under the grant shall request support, including stipend support, for such undergraduate students as part of the research proposal itself rather than as a supplement to the research proposal, unless such undergraduate participation was not foreseeable at the time of the original proposal.
Section was enacted as part of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, also known as the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Reauthorization Act of 2010, and also as part of the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2010, and not as part of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 which comprises this chapter.
For definitions of terms used in this section, see section 2 ofPub. L. 111–358, set out as a note under section
6621 of this title, and section 502 ofPub. L. 111–358, set out as a note under section
1862p of this title.
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