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Physics of the Cosmos News

4 June 2021

National Science Foundation Postdoctoral and Early-Career Programs for Underrepresented Groups in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) has announced a call for Launching Early-Career Academic Pathways (LEAPS-MPS) proposals. This LEAPS-MPS call also aims to broaden participation to include members from groups underrepresented in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences, including Blacks and African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders.

These grants are intended to support MPS principal investigators in initiating their research programs early in their careers, particularly at minority-serving institutions (MSIs), predominantly undergraduate institutions (PUIs), and Carnegie Research 2 (R2) universities. By providing this funding opportunity, MPS intends to help initiate viable independent research programs for researchers attempting to launch their research careers such that LEAPS-MPS awards are followed by competitive CAREER or individual-investigator grant submissions that build upon the research launched through this mechanism. This LEAPS-MPS solicitation welcomes proposals from principal investigators who share NSF's commitment to diversity.

Awards are for 24 months and are up to $250,000 total costs (direct plus indirect). Principal Investigators must be U.S. citizens or lawfully admitted U.S. permanent residents at the time of proposal submission; visa-holders are not eligible.

Proposals in response to this solicitation must be submitted to the Office of Multidisciplinary Activities (OMA) in the Directorate of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS); they will subsequently be transferred to and managed by an appropriate MPS Division.

LEAPS-MPS proposals are due by 14 June 2021. Further details can be found on the LEAPS-MPS program page.

MPS has also announced the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Ascending Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (MPS-Ascend) program, to support postdoctoral Fellows who will broaden the participation of groups that are underrepresented in MPS fields in the U.S. including Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics, Latinos, and Native Americans (to include Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, or other Native Pacific Islanders) as future leaders in MPS fields.

The program is intended to recognize beginning investigators of significant potential and provide them with experience in research that will broaden perspectives, facilitate interdisciplinary interactions, and help broaden participation within MPS fields. The program funds postdoctoral Fellows in postdoctoral research environments that will have maximal impact on their future scientific development and facilitates their transition into a faculty appointment. Awards will support research in any scientific area within the purview of the five MPS Divisions: the Divisions of Astronomical Sciences (AST), Chemistry (CHE), Materials Research (DMR), Mathematical Sciences (DMS), and Physics (PHY). Fellowships are awards to individuals, not institutions, and are administered by the Fellows.

Proposals for MPS-Ascend are due by 15 June 2021. Further details can be found on the MPS-Ascend program page.


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