The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced plans to award $30M in grants to expand practical learning opportunities for individuals interested in entering or gaining more experience in emerging and novel technology areas, such as advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, quantum information science, and semiconductors and microelectronics.
NSF anticipates making 25 three-year grants to educational institutions, companies, non-profit professional organizations, and/or state-local government entities to support the Experiential Learning for Emerging and Novel Technologies (ExLENT).
According to NSF, “Using a cohort model and emphasizing the importance of mentorship, the ExLENT program will connect interested companies, governments and nonprofits with current and potential learners in science, technology, engineering and mathematics who are seeking paid opportunities to explore career paths and develop skills in emerging technology areas.“
Qualifying programs will fit into one of three tracks targeted at individuals interested in exploring STEM-related careers, STEM students seeking experiential learning opportunities in emerging technology fields, or experienced STEM professionals looking to explore and upskill for work in emerging tech.
“Partnerships are the future of STEM innovation,” said James L. Moore III, NSF assistant director for Education and Human Resources. “ExLENT’s cohort and mentoring model will help so many individuals develop much-needed skills to support our STEM workforce needs, especially in areas of utmost importance to our nation’s prosperity and security.”
Initial proposals are due by 2 March 2023. To see the announcement, go to: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2023/nsf23507/nsf23507.pdf
For more information on the ExLENT Program, go to: https://beta.nsf.gov/funding/opportunities/experiential-learning-emerging-novel-technologies