Announcing the COVID-19 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Challenge


The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) is seeking submissions in a 3-page narrative format describing the evidence-based steps that Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) have taken, or will take, to mitigate the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the diversity, equity, and inclusion of undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty in STEM higher education programs and institutions. $200,000 in total cash prizes will be awarded to winning institutions.

Submissions will be accepted beginning October 14, 2021, through 11:59 EST January 31, 2022. IHEs do not need to have a grant from NSF to enter the challenge.

To enter, submit descriptions of institutional actions that have been implemented, or will be implemented, such as new and revised policies, procedures, and practices to ensure continued progress toward more diverse, equitable, and inclusive STEM higher education programs and institutions.

Cash prizes will be awarded in four categories: 1) STEM undergraduates at two-year IHEs, community, and technical colleges; 2) STEM undergraduates at four-year institutions; 3) STEM graduate students and postdoctoral researchers; and 4) STEM faculty. Each category will have first-, second-, and third-place cash winners and may include up to 10 honorable mention designees. Institutions may only submit one proposal per category but may enter in more than one category.

The first-, second-, and third-place challenge winners will be announced in March 2022 and invited to present their ideas at an NSF-hosted virtual event that will be open to the public, recorded, and made available to the public. The challenge is a public acknowledgment of the current or planned efforts by IHEs with the overall goal of knowledge sharing. The cash prize does not have to, but can, fund the actions submitted to the challenge.

For more details, see the Participants’ Guide and other resources here.