Education and Special Programs in the Astronomical Sciences (ESP)

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after October 4, 2021. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 22-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


The Education and Special Programs (ESP) unit of the Division of Astronomical Sciences administers or advises on programs that have significant educational components and/or emphasis on broadening participation in astronomy.

Programs include:

Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Sites and Supplements, a program that supports undergraduate students to participate in active research;

The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program, a Foundation-wide activity that offers prestigious awards in support of early career-development activities of teacher-scholars; and

The Partnerships in Astronomy & Astrophysics Research and Education (PAARE) Program, which aims to enhance diversity in astronomy and astrophysics research and education by stimulating the development of formal, long-term, collaborative research and education partnerships among minority-serving institutions and partners at research institutions.

ESP also accepts unsolicited proposals with a significant emphasis on astronomy education and broadening participation on a rolling basis. Unsolicited proposals submitted to ESP before March 1 in any given year will be considered for funding in the subsequent fiscal year beginning October 1. Prospective PIs are strongly encouraged to contact the cognizant Program Officer prior to submission.

We also participate in NSF-wide and crosscutting programs that support the professional development of scientists and engineers. Full descriptions of these programs can be found by visiting the NSF home page and choosing "Crosscutting, NSF-wide" as the Program Area, or by visiting the Division of Astronomical Sciences home page.

Program Contacts

Hans A. Krimm (703) 292-2761 MPS/AST
Glen I. Langston (703) 292-4937 MPS/AST

Awards Made Through This Program

Browse projects funded by this program