SD EPSCoR Education/Workforce Development RFP

Posted on: October 5, 2016   |   Category: Announcements

SD EPSCoR and The Division of Career and Technical Education are now accepting grant applications!

 SD EPSCoR – Education /Workforce Development is looking for innovators in the area of CTE that would like to create, improve, or innovate a program that allows students to explore STEM related disciplines.  At least $170,000 will be granted to schools this December.  Grant awards will cap at $30,000 each.  Please read on to learn more and find out how you can apply!

What is EPSCoR?   The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research was established by the National Science Foundation to strengthen research and education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and drive science-based economic development.

What is the purpose of this grant? Proposals for SD EPSCoR funds through the Department of Education aim to increase the number of STEM graduates skilled in informatics and biosciences at all levels by partnering industry with K12 education and research activities to meet the growing workforce needs of South Dakota.  (This grant is focused on the 7-12 portion of K12 education)

Which areas are eligible?   Funds are awarded on a competitive basis to projects which allow students in grades 7-12 to explore STEM-related disciplines or which are parts of an approved Career & Technical Education (CTE) program in the following career clusters: 1) Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (Research & Development; 2) Information Technology (Analytics and Programming); 3) Health Science(Bioscience & Informatics – Research & Development); 4) Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (Bioscience & Informatics – Research & Development).  School districts that receive funding will be expected to fulfill the requirements of approved CTE programs in South Dakota during the 2016-17 school year.

What are the grant priorities?  Grant awards will be made based on alignment with the following priorities:

  1. Student participation: Demonstrates a capacity for a large number of students in grades 7-12 to participate in the project.
  2. STEM Awareness: Increases student awareness, knowledge and skills in the full range of STEM careers available in South Dakota.
  3. Partnership with business and industry: Provides networking opportunities for teachers and students, collaboration on work-based learning experiences, guidance related to student organization activities or other efforts. Business partners are encouraged to consider co-funding of internships via the Dakota Seeds program.
  4. Cooperation with postsecondary education (technical institutes or public universities): Provides support for the grant project through activities such as dual credit opportunities, guest speakers, teacher training, or program alignment. Innovative partnerships are encouraged.
  5. Diversity: Strengthens STEM education for diverse audiences, improving instructionfor underrepresented groups of students and those located in rural areas of the state.  Preference will be given to applications that recruit females, underrepresented minorities, student with disabilities, and students in rural schools to STEM education.

How can funds be used?  SD EPSCoR grants are intended to assist with project start-up costs; grant projects must be self-sustaining beyond this initial investment. Costs must be necessary and reasonable to complete the project; documentation must be available to support all expenditures.

 Funds may be used to support a variety of activities including (but not limited to):

  • Rigorous curricular programs
  • Student research culminating in participation in local and regional science fairs
  • Online course development
  • Teacher training
  • Teacher externships
  • Student capstone experiences or work-based learning opportunities in STEM fields
  • Industry tours and guest speakers
  • Competitive student events related to STEM
  • Career camps
  • Equipment and materials related to the content of project activities
  • Expenses associated with student assessments/certifications

Grant funds cannot be used for:

  • Salaries and benefits
  • Costs associated with writing the grant proposal
  • Contractual obligations which begin prior to the award date or are not approved for use prior to June 30, 2016
  • Purchases that become the property of any individual or organization other than the eligible recipient
  • Purchases or services beyond the project outcomes or activities
  • Administrative Fees

Who can apply? Applications may be submitted by K-12 school districts and education service providers in South Dakota.  The application must demonstrate partnerships with economic development corporations and/or industry partners.  Preference will be given to 7-12 school districts that meet the requirements of the grant.

What is the my timeline?  All proposals must be submitted electronically to by 5pm CST, Monday, November 7, 2016. A copy with necessary signatures in blue ink shall be submitted to Kim Van Den Hemel at 800 Governors Drive, Pierre, SD 57501-2291 – postmarked by November 7, 2016.  

When will the awards be announced?  Award notification will occur on Friday, December 9,2016.  SD EPSCoR grants will be awarded through a competitive process. All proposals will be read and judged by a review committee. The review committee will determine award winners based on the grant priorities and criteria using a scoring rubric. Both successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified. Award decisions made by the review committee are final.

 Where can I find the application?   The grant application, rubric, and reporting form are attached this email.

To view full RFP details and guidelines, click on the links below:

**Direct questions regarding grant applications to Jane Gubrud – 605.295.1892**