Minority Institution Sciences Enhancement Program

Minority Institution Sciences Enhancement Program
Opportunity: Establish a $200 million authorization and appropriation annually through
FY2013 for the Minority Institution Science Enhancement Program.
Background and Objectives: Historically Black Colleges and Universities are those
schools that were founded to educate the United States’ black population at time when it
was not welcome at other US colleges and universities. These schools occupy an
important role in African-American culture as well as that of the nation as a whole. The
science programs at many of these institutions are woefully outdated. This problem
creates a ripple effect throughout the black community, which is underrepresented in the
sciences. The objective of this program is to update and incentivize participation in
science programs at HBCUs, in the hopes that greater scientific achievements could be
made within this underserved community of schools. It is possible to do this by setting
aside grant money over which these schools can compete.
EPSCoR: The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competition in Research set out to
address a similar problem, linked to geography not race. Many states were being
marginalized in the attempts of their universities to win federal science grants. EPSCoR
set aside funds for schools only in previously underrepresented states. This program has
been extremely successful. The states in which the schools are located have benefited as a
result of a labor pool with more scientists attracting more jobs and an increase in
entrepreneurial activity in the area. The funding levels of EPSCoR provide direction as
to what would be an effective funding level for MISEP upon full implementation.
Program Overview Based upon the model of EPSCoR, MISEP will seek to improve the
science programs at HBCUs through collaboration with federal agencies heavily involved
in the sciences and grants directed by these agencies. These grants will go first to
upgrade the physical infrastructure in the STEM facilities at the HBCUs. Secondly
grants for specific research programs and education programs will be provided. In both
situations all funds will be distributed on a competitive basis with the HBCUs submitting
grant proposals and agencies awarding funding to the best. As in the EPSCoR model the
funds for this program will be a very small portion of the R&D budget of several
This model will have the dual effect of moving the STEM programs at HBCUs towards
parity with the nations other schools as well as benefit the community that they serve
over a longer term.
The fiscal control agent and the program manager will be an established public not for
profit with extensive experience in management of federal programs as well as proven
successful management of EPSCoR programs. The existence of an unbiased honest
broker acting in this capacity will help ensure a fair and equitable distribution of these
competitive funds.
Substantive additional material has been generated and can be furnished upon request.