Limited Submission Programs - NIH - Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) (R25)

Summary of Opportunity
NIH - Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) (R25)
OSP Deadline 07/24/14
Funding Agency Deadline

NIH Letter of Intent (not required): 06/30/14
NIH Deadline Date: 07/30/14

Funding or Award Criteria

Program Description: The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research educational activities that complement other formal training programs in the mission areas of the NIH Institutes and Centers. The over-arching goals of the NIH R25 program are to: (1) complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs; (2) enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research workforce; (3) help recruit individuals with specific specialty or disciplinary backgrounds to research careers in biomedical, behavioral and clinical sciences; and (4) foster a better understanding of biomedical, behavioral and clinical research and its implications.

The goal of the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) program is to invest in educational activities that complement or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs. SEPA encourages interactive partnerships between biomedical and clinical researchers and P-12 pre-service and in-service teachers (Teachers), schools and other interested organizations.  SEPA supports diversity in the workforce by providing opportunities for students from underserved communities to consider careers  in basic or clinical research, provides teachers with professional development in science content and teaching skills and improves community health literacy through its science centers and museum exhibits.   Applications that target P-12 or ISE topics that may not be addressed by existing school, community or ISE-based activities are encouraged. 

Educational activities supported under this FOA may include one or more of the following:

  • Courses for Skills Development  
    • Professional Development activities for P-12 Teachers that will enhance their pedagogical skills and STEM content knowledge.
  • Research Experiences
    • Research experiences for P-12 Teachers and students that will provide hands-on exposure to training in research methods and concepts that are not available through conventional Teacher training or classroom activities.
  • Mentoring Activities
    • Programs that provide Mentors and Near-Peer role models, in terms of age, gender and ethnicity for P-12 students.
  • Curriculum or Methods Development
    • Innovative P-12 curricula that will increase student interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) topics, understanding of the scientific research process and motivation to pursue careers in basic and medical research.
    • Veterinarian-based P-12 projects or ISE exhibits that will encourage students to consider careers in veterinary medicine and to educate students, Teachers, and the community on the need for, and the ethical use of, animals in research.Curriculum or Methods Development activities for P-12 Teachers that provide instruction in novel approaches to STEM curriculum that challenge the current knowledge base of pedagogy and STEM content.
    • Game-based projects where scientists partner with educators and game developers to create digital game-based learning resources for P-12 students, Teachers and the public solve significant STEM and health-related challenges such as the incidence of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, the spread of a new flu strain, or the impact of environmental pollution on community health.
    • Innovative and rigorous evaluation tools to assess the effectiveness of P-12 projects or ISE exhibits.  
  • Outreach
    • Collaborations with the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA), Institutional Development Awards (IDeA), Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) or STEM programs at other government agencies, e.g., Department of Education (ED), Department of Defense (DOD), National Science Foundation (NSF), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA).
    • Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) projects on important health prevention issues such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, e.g., non-clinical health fair format student and teacher-driven projects that bring information on food choices, exercise and health literacy to the community. 
    • Public service announcements, documentaries, films, radio, TV and other media-based health literacy projects.  Topics may include: lifestyle  and health correlations; chronic diseases, emerging infectious disease, NIH-funded research, regenerative medicine or the clinical trials process.
    • Science center and museum-based exhibits, traveling exhibits and public outreach activities,  e.g., Science Cafes and Community Health Fairs, that will educate students, Teachers and the community on health-related topics,

Proposed projects must focus on topics related to NIH-funded research.

SEPA funding does not support large scale STEM or ISE projects where the total cost of the project will exceed the total amount of the requested SEPA award.

This FOA is aligned with the 5-year Federal CoSTEM Strategic Plan. The STEM Strategic Plan outlines national goals to drive five priority STEM education areas. The priority STEM areas related to the SEPA program include: (1) Prepare 100,000 excellent new K-12 STEM teachers by 2020; (2) 50 percent increase in the number of U.S. youth who have an authentic STEM experience each year prior to completing high school; (3) Increase the number of students from groups that have been underrepresented in STEM fields that graduate with STEM degrees in the next 10 years and improve women’s participation in areas of STEM where they are significantly underrepresented.

Research education programs may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, but the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those training and education programs currently receiving Federal support. R25 programs may augment institutional research training programs (e.g., T32, T90) but cannot be used to replace or circumvent Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) programs.

Please see the solicitation for complete information.

Applicable Field(s)  
Number of Nominees Allowed

One (1) proposal per institution

An organization or institution may submit only one SEPA application or be a partner with another organization or institution submitting a SEPA application. 

If anyone has agreed to partner with another institution, send an email immediately to 

Required Internal Review Documents

Associate Deans or Designates should submit the following materials electronically to by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, June 13, 2014.

  1. Dean's or ORU Director's Letter of Nomination
  2. Two page maximum lay abstract describing the aims/needs of the proposed research project.
  3. Short bio sketch/CV of the UT PI

Each College or School may submit one (1) nomination for consideration.

Nominee(s) Selected to Advance

Dr. Eman Ghanem, College of Natural Sciences

Posting Date 05/28/14