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National Science Foundation
Division of Undergraduate Education
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22230

NSF Computer Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Scholarships -
Supplementary Funds
(NSF 01-40)


Dear Colleague:

The National Science Foundation Computer Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Scholarship (CSEMS) Program provides funds to institutions to support academically talented, financially needy students who are pursuing degrees in the CSEMS disciplines. CSEMS is funded by H1-B visa revenues from employers of foreign workers to fill jobs where there is critical need. Recently, Congress passed the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000. This act made some significant changes to the H1-B visa allocations and fees that will result in additional funds in FY2001 for the CSEMS program. It also increased the maximum CSEMS scholarship amount from $2,500 to $3,125 per student, per academic year for up to four years.

The NSF is announcing a special opportunity for institutions that received NSF CSEMS awards in response to Program Announcement NSF 99-121 to request supplementary funds for their existing CSEMS grants. The purpose of this supplemental funding opportunity is to provide for up to two years of additional funding thereby extending original CSEMS awards. The supplemental funds must support students in the same discipline groups covered by the original CSEMS awards. This one-time supplement would result in a total four year funding period that is in line with the new legislation.

Program Overview

NSF invites CSEMS awardees to submit requests for two years of supplemental funding for continuation of awards made in response to Program Announcement NSF 99-121. These requests may include funding for scholarships, program management structures, and special student support structures for selected students in the CSEMS disciplines. Institutions receiving supplemental funds are expected to continue their current CSEMS scholarship programs for an additional two years at the increased stipend level. Scholarship support is limited to students at awardee institutions who meet the CSEMS eligibility criteria and compete successfully in a selection process developed by the institution.

Scholarship recipients must achieve one of the following by the end of the two year supplemental funding period;

  • Receive an associate, baccalaureate, or graduate degree in one of the CSEMS disciplines;

  • Transfer from an associate to a baccalaureate degree program or from a baccalaureate to graduate degree program in one of the CSEMS disciplines;

  • Successfully complete a stage within an associate, baccalaureate, or graduate degree program in one of the CSEMS disciplines that, in the particular institution, is documented as a point of unusually high attrition.


Requests for supplemental funding must be prepared by the current CSEMS principal investigator using NSF's FastLane System.

Requests should include a streamlined progress report of the current CSEMS program and the plans for the additional two years. Project narratives (inserted under Summary of Proposed Work in FastLane Supplemental Funds Request) are limited to six pages total and should contain the following information:

1. Short statement of purpose of supplement

2. Discussion of progress with current CSEMS project
  • Number of students applying for CSEMS 2000 scholarships and number funded
  • Disciplines covered by current CSEMS scholarships
  • Progress of students so far
  • Faculty involvement with CSEMS scholars
  • Support structures in place for CSEMS scholars
3. Description of scope of supplemental funding
  • Number of students targeted and rationale for number of scholarships
  • Amount of each scholarship
  • Disciplines involved
  • Criteria for selection of students
  • Support structures that will be continued or added for new CSEMS students
  • Faculty commitment and involvement with new CSEMS students
  • Description of management and administrative plan
  • Expertise of PIs for the project
  • Plans for documentation of project activities and outcomes

Requests for supplemental funding should contain responses to each of the items listed above, including short summarizing descriptive statements for items that are being handled in essentially the same manner as described in the original proposal. Requests should also document progress and modifications made as a result of experience with the current CSEMS project that will occur with the supplemental funding.

Requests for supplemental funding will be reviewed by NSF program officers familiar with the CSEMS program to ensure that reasonable progress has been made with the CSEMS 2000 funding and that the supplemental funding plans match the guidelines of the CSEMS program as outlined in Program Announcement NSF 99-121 and Dear Colleague letter. Institutions who successfully complete this review process will be awarded supplemental funds to support an additional two years of the CSEMS program.

Note that this special supplemental funding is open only to awardees funded under Program Announcement NSF 99-121 and is available one time only. Furthermore, current CSEMS awardees who submit requests for supplemental funds in response to this letter will not be eligible to participate in the FY2001 CSEMS solicitation for new proposals.

Previous CSEMS awardees may instead elect to submit proposals for future funding in the FY 2001 solicitation or later solicitations. These proposals will be subject to the normal competitive peer review process used in the standard CSEMS program.

Budgetary Information

Requests for supplemental funding must also include budgets on standard NSF Budget Form 1030 for up to two years of additional funding. Funds may be requested for scholarships of up to $3,125 per student per academic year. These funds can be used for expenses normally incurred by all full-time students in the indicated fields at the institution, including tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment. Note that recent legislation raised the maximum scholarship from $2,500 in the CSEMS 2000 cycle to the current maximum of $3,125.

In addition to the request for scholarship funds, grantee institutions may request additional funds to address the student support infrastructure costs as well as the project management and administrative costs associated with their CSEMS programs. Up to 5% of the total scholarship amount may be added to the budget for student support infrastructure. An additional 5% of the total scholarship amount may be added to the budget for project management and administration. No indirect costs are allowed. Funds requested for student support and administrative and management purposes must be listed under standard NSF budget categories (and not OTHER) with appropriate budget justification provided for each category.

Proposals should clearly state the number and amount of each scholarship requested and should provide evidence that an adequate student applicant pool exists at the institution. The number of scholarships requested must be equal to or less than the number of scholarships in the current CSEMS 2000 award. Requests must not exceed $137,500 per year (funds to provide $3,125 maximum scholarships for up to 40 students per year plus 10% for administrative and student support costs).

Cost sharing is not required for supplemental funds requested under this Dear Colleague letter.


A. Institutions

Requests for supplements may be submitted only by institutions that submitted a proposal in response to Program Announcement NSF 99-121 and received an award from that proposal. The requests must be for scholarships for the same discipline groups of students as covered by the associated award. CSEMS awardees who received funding from the August 3, 2000 CSEMS funding cycle are not eligible for supplemental funds at this time.

B. Scholarships

CSEMS student scholarship recipients will be selected by awardee institutions, but must be:

  • United States citizens, nationals, refugee aliens, or permanent resident aliens at the time of application;

  • Able to establish financial need, defined here as eligibility for U. S. Department of Education Pell Grant or Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need;

  • Enrolled full-time in computer science, computer technology, engineering, engineering technology, and/or mathematics degree programs.

Supplement Request Preparation Instructions

Requests submitted in response to this Dear Colleague Letter should be prepared and submitted via the NSF Fastlane System. Principal investigators should use the Supplemental Funding Request link under the PI/Co-PI Functions of the FastLane system to submit the request. Visit the FastLane site on the World Wide Web (https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov).

Submission of Signed Budget Sheets. The signed copy of the supplemental funds request budget sheets must be postmarked within five working days following the request submission and be forwarded to the following address:

CSEMS Supplement Budget Sheets
Division of Undergraduate Education
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Blvd. Suite 835
Arlington, VA 22230

Submission Date

Requests for supplemental funding for the special CSEMS renewal cycle must be submitted by 5pm, local time, on March 7, 2001, using the NSF’s FastLane electronic proposal submission system.

Contact for Additional Information

General inquiries about the Dear Colleague Letter should be directed to Harriet Taylor (htaylor@nsf.gov, 703.292.4642) or Diane Jones (djones@nsf.gov, 703.292.4629).

For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact NSF’s FastLane Help Desk, telephone, 800.673.6188 , e-mail fastlane@nsf.gov; or Mark Claire, Division of Undergraduate Education, telephone 703.292.4619, e-mail duefl@nsf.gov.

Award Information

Requests for supplements submitted in response to this Dear Colleague Letter must be submitted by 5pm, local time, on March 7, 2001. Only requests from current awardees from Program Announcement NSF 99-121 will be considered. CSEMS supplements may be funded for up to 2 years and must not exceed $137,500 per year. The number of requests funded will depend on the availability of funds. Project directors will be notified of NSF funding decision of their request no later than June 2001.


Harriet Taylor and Diane Jones
CSEMS Co-Leads
Division of Undergraduate Education


About The National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. Awardees are wholly responsible for conducting their project activities and preparing the results for publication. Thus, the Foundation does not assume responsibility for such findings or their interpretation.

NSF welcomes proposals from all qualified scientists, engineers and educators. The Foundation strongly encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities to compete fully in its programs. In accordance with Federal statutes, regulations and NSF policies, no person on grounds of race, color, age, sex, national origin or disability shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from NSF (unless otherwise specified in the eligibility requirements for a particular program).

Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities (FASED) provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities (investigators and other staff, including student research assistants) to work on NSF-supported projects. See the program announcement/solicitation for further information.

The National Science Foundation has Telephonic Device for the Deaf (TDD) and Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) capabilities that enable individuals with hearing impairments to communicate with the Foundation about NSF programs, employment or general information. TDD may be accessed at (703) 292-5090, FIRS at 1-800-877-8339.

The National Science Foundation is committed to making all of the information we publish easy to understand. If you have a suggestion about how to improve the clarity of this document or other NSF-published materials, please contact us at plainlanguage@nsf.gov.

Privacy Act and Public Burden Statements

The information requested on proposal forms and project reports is solicited under the authority of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended. The information on proposal forms will be used in connection with the selection of qualified proposals; project reports submitted by awardees will be used for program evaluation and reporting within the Executive Branch and to Congress. The information requested may be disclosed to qualified reviewers and staff assistants as part of the proposal review process; to applicant institutions/grantees to provide or obtain data regarding the proposal review process, award decisions, or the administration of awards; to government contractors, experts, volunteers and researchers and educators as necessary to complete assigned work; to other government agencies needing information as part of the review process or in order to coordinate programs; and to another Federal agency, court or party in a court or Federal administrative proceeding if the government is a party. Information about Principal Investigators may be added to the Reviewer file and used to select potential candidates to serve as peer reviewers or advisory committee members. See Systems of Records, NSF-50, "Principal Investigator/ Proposal File and Associated Records," 63 Federal Register 267 (January 5, 1998), and NSF-51, "Reviewer/Proposal File and Associated Records," 63 Federal Register 268 (January 5, 1998). Submission of the information is voluntary. Failure to provide full and complete information, however, may reduce the possibility of receiving an award.

Pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.5(b), an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to an information collection unless it displays a valid OMB control number. The OMB control number for this collection is 3145-0058. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 120 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions. Send comments regarding this burden estimate and any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to: Suzanne Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, Information Dissemination Branch, Division of Administrative Services, National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA 22230, or to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for National Science Foundation (3145-0058), 725 17th Street, N.W. Room 10235, Washington, D.C. 20503.

OMB control number: 3145-0058
NSF 01-40
Electronic Dissemination