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Grants to USA Nonprofits, For-Profits, IHEs, and Agencies for PreK-12 Computer Science Education and Research

Computer Science for All

GrantWatch ID# 183161
Agency: Federal

Funding Source
National Science Foundation (NSF)
CFDA Number: 47.070 --- Computer and Information Science and Engineering 47.076 --- Education and Human Resources
Funding or PIN Number: NSF 20-539
Array ( )

Geographic Focus

Important Dates
Deadline: 02/08/23 5:00 PM (Submitter's Local Time) Save

Grant Description
Grants to USA nonprofits, for-profits, IHEs, and government agencies to promote computer science and computational thinking educational opportunities for PreK-12 students. Funding is intended to support researcher-practitioner collaborations and research to build knowledge and promote efforts that aim to provide opportunities for all students to participate in computer science (CS) and computational thinking (CT) formal STEM learning at the elementary, middle, and high school grade levels.

Proposals will be funded in four “strands” that foster design, implementation at scale, and/or research. Researcher-practitioner partnerships (RPP) strands are:

  • For the High School Strand, the focus is on preparing and supporting teachers to teach rigorous CS courses;
  • For the PreK-8 Strand, the focus is on designing, developing, and piloting instructional materials that integrate CS and CT into preK-8 classrooms;
  • For preK-12 or preK-14 Pathways Strand, the focus is on designing pathways that support school districts in developing policies and supports for incorporating CS and CT across all grades and potentially into introductory levels at community or four-year colleges and universities.

For the Research Strand, the focus is on building strategically instrumental, or "high leverage" knowledge about the learning and teaching of introductory computer science to support key CS and CT understandings and abilities for all students.

CT refers to the thought processes involved in formulating problems and their solutions in such a way that the solutions can be effectively carried out by an information-processing agent (usually a computer). CT activities do not require the presence of a computing tool, but involve the requisite reasoning needed to capitalize on the use of computational tools. 

CS, as used in this solicitation, includes CT but also the broad range of understandings, competencies, and skills needed to apply computation in the digital world. It includes topics of problem specification and representation; algorithm development; software design, programming, and debugging; the Internet and networking; big data; cybersecurity; and application across a wide range of disciplines, including the associated societal impact and ethical considerations. This solicitation focuses on CS and CT instruction, as distinct from the mere use of computers or the use of common computational tools such as word processors or video editing or presentation software. The ability to use such tools is often referred to as computational literacy. This solicitation supports education beyond computational literacy.

RPPs aim to strengthen the capacity of an organization to reliably produce valued CS and CT education outcomes for diverse groups of students, educated by different teachers in varied organizational contexts. The focus is on building efforts that can succeed when implemented at scale. These studies require the deep engagement of researchers and practitioners during the collaborative research on problems of practice that are co-defined and of value to researchers and education agencies, such as a school district or community of schools. These types of projects seek to: 

  • Study implementation in the local context;
  • Employ rapid changes in implementation with short-cycle methods;
  • Capitalize on variation in educational contexts to address the sources of variability in outcomes to understand what works, for whom, and under what conditions;
  • Address organizational structures and processes and their relation to innovation;
  • Employ measurement of change ideas, key drivers, and outcomes to continuously test working theories and to learn whether specific changes actually produce improvement; and
  • Reform the system in which the approach is being implemented as opposed to overlaying a specific approach on an existing system.

For additional information about the RPP strands, see:

For additional information about the Research Strand, see:


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria
The categories of proposers eligible to submit proposals to the National Science Foundation are identified in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), Chapter I.E. Unaffiliated individuals are not eligible to submit proposals in response to this solicitation.

NSF welcomes proposals on behalf of all qualified scientists, engineers and educators. The Foundation strongly encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities to participate fully in its programs. In accordance with Federal statutes, regulations and NSF policies, no person on grounds of race, color, age, sex, national origin or disability shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under, any program or activity receiving financial assistance from NSF, although some programs may have special requirements that limit eligibility.

Scientists, engineers and educators usually initiate proposals that are officially submitted by their employing organization. Before formal submission, the proposal may be discussed with appropriate NSF program staff. Graduate students are not encouraged to submit research proposals, but should arrange to serve as research assistants to faculty members. Some NSF divisions accept proposals for Doctoral Dissertation Research Grants when submitted by a faculty member on behalf of the graduate student.

Except where a program solicitation establishes more restrictive eligibility criteria, individuals and organizations in the following categories may submit proposals:
1. Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) - Two- and four-year IHEs (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the US, acting on behalf of their faculty members.
2. Nonprofit, Non-academic Organizations - Independent museums, observatories, research laboratories, professional societies and similar organizations located in the US that are directly associated with educational or research activities.
3. For-profit Organizations - US commercial organizations, especially small businesses with strong capabilities in scientific or engineering research or education. An unsolicited proposal from a commercial organization may be funded when the project is of special concern from a national point of view, special resources are available for the work, or the proposed project is especially meritorious. NSF is interested in supporting projects that couple industrial research resources and perspectives with those of universities; therefore, it especially welcomes proposals for cooperative projects involving both universities and the private commercial sector.
4. State and Local Governments - State educational offices or organizations and local school districts may submit proposals intended to broaden the impact, accelerate the pace, and increase the effectiveness of improvements in science, mathematics and engineering education in both K-12 and post- secondary levels.
5. Unaffiliated Individuals - Unaffiliated individuals in the US and US citizens rarely receive direct funding support from NSF. Recipients of Federal funds must be able to demonstrate their ability to fully comply with the requirements specified in 2 CFR § 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. As such, unaffiliated individuals are strongly encouraged to affiliate with an organization that is able to meet the requirements specified in 2 CFR § 200. Unaffiliated individuals must contact the cognizant Program Officer prior to preparing and submitting a proposal to NSF.
6. Foreign Organizations - NSF rarely provides funding support to foreign organizations. NSF will consider proposals for cooperative projects involving US and foreign organizations, provided support is requested only for the US portion of the collaborative effort. In cases however, where the proposer considers the foreign organization’s involvement to be essential to the project (e.g., through subawards or consultant arrangements), the proposer must explain why local support is not feasible and why the foreign organization can carry out the activity more effectively.
7. Other Federal Agencies - NSF does not normally support research or education activities by scientists, engineers or educators employed by Federal agencies or FFRDCs. Under unusual circumstances, other Federal agencies and FFRDCs may submit proposals directly to NSF.

Pre-Application Information
Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):
- February 8, 2023
- Second Wednesday in February, Annually Thereafter

Proposal Preparation Instructions

- Letters of Intent: Not required
- Preliminary Proposal Submission: Not required

Full Proposals:

- Full Proposals submitted via NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) guidelines apply. The complete text of the PAPPG is available electronically on the NSF website at:
- Full Proposals submitted via NSF Application Guide: A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via guidelines apply (Note: The NSF Application Guide is available on the website and on the NSF website at:

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Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants
Estimated Number of Awards: 27 (approximately 8 small RPP, 7 medium RPP, 3 large RPP, and 9 research) awards.

Estimated Size of Grant
- Small RPP proposals: Maximum of $300,000
- Medium RPP proposals: Maximum of $1,000,000
- Large RPP proposals: Maximum of $2,000,000
- Research proposals: Maximum of $500,000

Term of Contract
- Small Proposals may be for up to 2 years.
- Medium Proposals may be for up to 3 years.
- Large Proposals may be for up to 4 years.
- Research proposals: Up to 3 years

Contact Information
Apply with

Jeffrey Forbes, Program Officer, CISE/CNS
(703) 292-8950

Michael Ford, Program Director, EHR/DRL
(703) 292-5153

Allyson Kennedy, CISE/CNS, Assistant Program Director
(703) 292-8950

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