NSF published a revised program solicitation for the Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program last week with the following program changes:

  • The program now has a separate due date for Targeted Partnerships (October 14 this year). The Institute Partnerships, MSP-Start Partnerships, Phase II Partnerships, and RETA Projects are now due in July.
  • The program no longer requires that the PI on partnership proposals be a mathematician, scientist, or engineer and a college or university faculty member. In place of this requirement the solicitation now includes an additional review criterion designed to encourage involvement of math, science, or engineering faculty.
  • The definition of nonprofit organization has been tweaked under the eligibility requirements. Nonprofit organizations eligible to serve as lead on a partnership must be a “nonprofit research institute or a nonprofit professional association with demonstrated experience and effectiveness” in math or science education.
  • The maximum award for Targeted Partnership proposals has been reduced to $10 million.
  • The Research, Evaluation, and Technical Assistance (RETA) program now encourages submissions in any of the three elements rather than requiring all three.

Due to the late release of the program revisions, MSP proposals are not eligible under the Innovation through Institutional Integration (I3) program this year. Presumably they will be eligible next year if the new solicitation is posted in time.

The total funding for the program has increased by $7 million to $42 million, and NSF anticipates making 27 awards. Last year the program reserved $5.5 million for I3 projects, so the late announcement may work to the benefit of those institutions that aren’t in a position to apply under I3.