Grants to USA institutions of higher education to promote diversity in math and science programs. The purpose of this program is to promote the participation of scientists from underrepresented communities in mathematics and physical sciences. Funding is intended to assist in launching the research career of early-career PIs and, in this way, make Mathematical and Physical Sciences programs more inclusive.
To address the need for initiating competitive research programs across an array of institutions and to enhance diversity in its programs, the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) offers Launching Early-Career Academic Pathways in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences (LEAPS-MPS) grants.The intent of these LEAPS-MPS awards is to initiate the research careers of pre-tenure faculty in tenure-track positions, particularly those at MSI, PUI, and R2 institutions, while also promoting the participation of scientists from all segments of the MPS scientific community, including those from underrepresented groups (Blacks and African Americans, Hispanics, Latinos, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other Native Pacific Islanders).A goal of this solicitation is that awards funded through the LEAPS program will in turn increase the number of proposals to MPS from targeted institutions, both to the regular research programs and to the CAREER program, and provides early federal funding to help launch the academic careers of individuals. Another critical goal is to support innovative plans for recruiting and retaining a broad representation of researchers in research programs supported by these grants.
LEAPS-MPS awards are for beginning investigators to undertake research activities that will improve the competitiveness of their future grant applications to NSF programs. These research activities might include the acquisition of preliminary data or other research results, or the development of collaborations for research.Proposals to this program must demonstrate the context of the work within or across disciplines supported by MPS, which includes the Divisions of Astronomical Sciences (AST), Chemistry (CHE), Materials Research (DMR), Mathematical Sciences (DMS), and Physics (PHY).

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