2021 Semillas Mentored Grantsmanship Program


NSF HSI National STEM Resource Hub is pleased to announce a call for proposals for the 2021 Semillas Mentored Grantsmanship Program to strategically support project leaders who need time to develop a research project, build partnerships, identify and work with an evaluator, prepare an IRB, and write the proposal for the NSF HSI Program. Semillas will support Hispanic Serving Institutions’ efforts to enhance the quality of undergraduate STEM education at HSIs and to increase the retention and graduation rates of students pursuing associate or baccalaureate degrees in STEM. In addition, the Semillas Mentored Grantsmanship Program seeks to build capacity at HSIs that typically do not receive high levels of NSF grant funding. Semillas participants will prepare proposals for one of two tracks in the NSF HSI Initiative Solicitation (20-599):

  • Track 1 (Planning or Pilot Projects (PPP)), is open to all eligible institutions. This track seeks to enhance undergraduate STEM education and build capacity at less-resourced institutions and to increase these institutions’ ability to compete for NSF funding from other programs.
  • Track 2 (Implementation and Evaluation Projects (IEP)), is open to all eligible institutions. This track supports the implementation of evidence-based unit-, department-, or multi-department-level activities that will enhance the quality of undergraduate STEM education. All HSI institution types are encouraged to apply, especially PUIs (including community colleges).


  • To apply for a mini-grant, submit a proposal by 5:00 pm Alaska time on Friday, January 22, 2021, at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/semillas2
  • Applicants who are accepted will participate in the mentored grantsmanship training experience and are eligible to apply for an individual Semillas Professional Development Minigrant (max $5000).
  • Applicants will be notified of the status of their application by February 15, 2021.

Number of Anticipated Awards: 10

Mini-Grant Details

  • Proposals Open

    December 18, 2020

  • Deadline for Proposals

    January 22, 2021 (5:00pm Alaska Time)

Participant Expectations

  • Attendance at all scheduled grant writing sessions.
  • Meet all weekly deadlines for submission of grant writing assignments.
  • Produce a complete draft of the grant proposal for the IUSE: HSI Solicitation August 2021 deadline (NSF 20-599) upon completion of the program.

Please note: Minigrants are not renewable.

2021 NSF HSI STEM Hub Semillas Mentored Grantsmanship Program Timeline

  • December 18, 2020 – Call for proposals opens
  • January 15, 2021 (5:00 p.m. Alaska Time) – Deadline for all proposals
  • February 15, 2021 – Applicants notified

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for participation, applicants must:

  1. Provide proof of HSI Certified Institution status (https://nsf.gov/ehr/HSIProgramPlan.jsp)
  2. Confirm they are STEM faculty/staff employed full-time at a Hispanic Serving Institution.

Please note: Faculty/staff at NMSU, CSUN and DACC are not eligible to apply.

Selection Criteria

Award priority is for projects that meet the following criteria:

  • New/junior investigators within the first 10 years of their academic appointments.
  • New applications not previously summited for review to the NSF HSI Initiative.
  • Applicants from HSIs that have received less than $5,000,000 in NSF funding since January 2016.
  • Applicants from HSIs that do not have a current Track 2 award.
  • Applicants from HSIs that have dual status as HSI/HBCU or HSI/Tribal College or AANAPISI.
  • Applicants who will serve as the Lead PI for the project when it is submitted to NSF.

Review Criteria

  • We anticipate selecting ten investigators for the Semillas 2 cohort based on the NSF Intellectual Merit and Broader Impact of the project and ensuring a broad and diverse geographical and institutional representation.
  • Applications will be reviewed by individuals with a track record of successful NSF funding. Applicants should be aware that the decision of the selection committee is final and that summary reviews will not be provided.


If you have questions, please contact:
Shannon Rodriguez
Program Specialist
NSF HSI STEM Resource Hub
[email protected]