All public Arizona state universities part of $50 million NSF investment in new STEM alliances


Arizona State University, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University, the three public state universities, are each a part of the five new National Science Foundation (NSF) INCLUDES Alliances.

INCLUDES, or Inclusion Across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science, is the NSF’s initiative to “enhance preparation, increase participation and ensure the inclusion of individuals from historically underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.”

Currently, a little more than 30% of the U.S. population is Black, Indigenous, or Latinx. By 2050, the percentage is expected to increase to 40%. These groups, in addition to women, those from low-income backgrounds and those with disabilities, continue to be underrepresented in STEM.

The NSF Alliances are meant to change that narrative.

“Creating pathways to success for a STEM workforce reflective of the U.S. population is of national importance to ensuring America’s competitiveness in a global research landscape,” said Sylvia Butterfield, the acting assistant director for NSF’s Education and Human Resources Directorate, in the announcement of the new grants.

The Arizona universities are part of three of the five new Alliances. The Alliances are:

The other two Alliances are the Alliance for Identity-Inclusive Computing Education – A Collective Impact Approach to Broadening Participation in Computing, which will be led by Duke University, and Engineering Partnerships Launching Underrepresented Students (PLUS), led by Northeastern University.

Each Alliance will build partnerships involving public, private and academic sectors and share best practices and knowledge on how to broaden participation in STEM.