Field Notes: Native Science Report Blog

NSF-TCUP program solicitation released; new support for tribal “Enterprise Advancement Centers”

The National Science Foundation’s Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP) has released its new program solicitation, outlining funding opportunities for TCUP-eligible colleges and universities.

A significant new addition to this year’s solicitation is funding for “TCU Enterprise Advancement Centers.” These centers “will enable tribal colleges to become research and development resources for their reservations and communities,” according to the announcement. Specifically, “TEA Centers may address a critical tribal or community need or focus on a realm of STEM research or design that is beyond the scope of individual research grants or that is of interest to multiple tribes.”

Possible research areas include the “environmental sciences, social and behavioral sciences, and engineering, as well as indigenous research, service learning, and STEM entrepreneurship,” among others.

The full solicitation, with additional information about TEA Centers, submission deadlines, and submission requirements can be found here.


Administration for Native Americans announces 2018 funding opportunities

The Administration for Native Americans, an office within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has released its 2018 Funding Opportunity Announcements.

The ANA’s mission is to support social and economic self-sufficiency within Native American communities. Funding areas include:

  • Native American Language Preservation and Maintenance
  • Native American Language Preservation and Maintenance – Esther Martinez Immersion
  • Social and Economic Development Strategies Sustainable Employment and Economic Development Strategies
  • Environmental Regulatory Enhancement Social and Economic Development Strategies for Alaska
  • Native Language Community Coordination Demonstration Project Native Youth Initiative for Leadership, Empowerment, and Development

An interactive map of current grantees can be found here.

Visit ANA’s website for further information on the current funding announcements or for technical assistance for applicants. Applications are due April 9, 2018.


NSF video highlights work of tribal colleges

How long does it take to explain the value of STEM education within tribally controlled colleges and universities?

About one minute and thirty seconds.

That’s the length of this excellent video, produced by the NSF, which neatly summarizes the variety of STEM programs at tribal and Native-serving institutions and their educational and economic benefits.

Take a look.

TCUP helps tribal college students thrive

#DYK the Tribal Colleges and Universities Program, TCUP, began in the early 2000s as a way to address the lack of science, technology, mathematics and engineering programs and faculty at tribal colleges. Watch (and share!) the video to learn more.

Posted by National Science Foundation (NSF) on Thursday, November 30, 2017

Tribal college student research featured in Geophysical Union publication

Several research projects developed by students at Salish Kootenai College and Northwest Indian College are featured in a publication sponsored by the American Geophysical Union.

A recent article published in The Prow spotlights student-led projects at Salish Kootenai College on the Flathead Reservation of Montana that deepen understanding of traditional foods and environmental factors “that may impact future food availabilities.” Northwest Indian College was cited for its “hands-on research projects related to species protection and restoration along the northernmost coastline of Washington.”

These examples illustrate efforts by Native communities to “combine culture, traditional knowledge and contemporary scientific practices,” according to the article’s authors. “All this happens in the face of longstanding and ongoing challenges to tribal sovereignty established by treaties with the U.S. government.”

The full story can be found here.

Nominations sought for new STEM Education Advisory Panel

The NSF is seeking highly qualified individuals to serve on a newly established STEM Education Advisory Panel.

Established in collaboration with the Department of Education, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the panel is expected to advise the Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education (CoSTEM), and assess progress in carrying out responsibilities related to the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act.

The sponsoring agencies are now soliciting recommendations for membership on this prestigious panel. According to information provided by the NSF, the eleven-member panel will include representatives of academic institutions, non-profits, and industry. Additionally, “other factors that may be considered are balance among diverse institutions, regions, and groups underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.”

Recommendations should be submitted by November 30. Self recommendations are accepted.

For more information on the recommendation process, please visit




Tribal colleges encouraged to participate In the Community College Innovation Challenge

The National Science Foundation is encouraging tribally controlled colleges and other two-year Native-serving institutions to participate in the upcoming Community College Innovation Challenge.

According to the NSF, the Community College Innovation Challenge (CCIC) “is a prestigious, two-stage competition where community college teams use science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to innovate solutions to real-world problems, compete for cash awards, and earn full travel support (students and faculty) to attend an Innovation Boot Camp in Washington, D.C.”

The CCIC is an annual event in its fourth year. It is sponsored by the NSF and the American Association of Community Colleges.

Submissions will be accepted until February 14, 2018. Details can be found at


Pre-conference workshop on genomics for tribal colleges at 2017 FALCON conference

On Friday, November 3, 2017 from 3-5 pm, the new Tribal Colleges Consortium on Genomics Training (TCCGT) is holding a pre-conference workshop at the First Americans Land-Grant Consortium (FALCON) 2017 Annual Conference at the Westin Crystal City in Virginia.

TCCGT aims to create a network of tribal colleges and universities dedicated to expanding training and grant opportunities in genomics for tribal college faculty, increasing recruitment and preparation of tribal college students interested in genomics, enhancing genomics curricula at TCUs, and incorporating genomics in the context of traditional views.  Over coffee, treats, and snacks, workshop organizers will host an informal discussion of the new consortium’s purpose, structure, and outcomes.

The workshop is free to attend, but please register here.

SEA-PHAGES application deadline is October 31

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is inviting eligible tribal colleges to participate in its SEA-PHAGES program. The application deadline for fall 2018 classes is October 31, 2017.

SEA-PHAGES is an innovative undergraduate curriculum that replaces traditional introductory biology lab courses with a two-semester research-based course focusing on the isolation and analysis of bacteriophages from local soil samples. Over 100 colleges and universities, including four tribal colleges, now offer the SEA-PHAGES program.

Participating institutions receive faculty training, course materials, and an opportunity to participate in an annual SEA Symposium. NSF-TCUP awardee institutions are also eligible for supplemental funding from the NSF for program costs not covered by HHMI.

Program details and application forms are available at For additional information, contact HHMI at