The Office of Naval Research (ONR) seeks a broad range of applications for augmenting existing and/or developing innovative solutions that directly maintain and/or cultivate a diverse, world-class Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workforce to maintain the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps' technological superiority. The goal of proposed efforts must provide solutions that establish, build, and/or maintain STEM educational pathways and workforce opportunities for diverse U.S. citizens directly relevant to ONR science and technology areas.
As the capacity of the Department of the Navy (DoN) Science and Technology (S&T) workforce is interconnected with STEM education and outreach, ONR recognizes the need to support efforts that can jointly improve STEM student outcomes and align education and outreach efforts with Naval S&T current and future workforce needs. This announcement explicitly encourages projects that improve the capacity of education systems and communities to create impactful STEM educational experiences for students of all ages and the naval-related workforce. Projects must aim to increase engagement in STEM, from students to the current workforce, and enhance people with needed Naval STEM skills, knowledge and abilities. ONR encourages applications to utilize current STEM educational research for informing project design and advancing STEM careers and opportunities of naval relevance.
This FOA is specifically seeking STEM education and outreach projects that address scientific and\ technical areas identified in the following thrust areas. Project scope may range in size and complexity. While not a formal requirement or program focus of this FOA, Applicants are strongly encouraged to consider under-represented and under-served populations including women and minorities in project plans. Special audience priority areas may include, but not be limited to, military connected students, veteran initiatives, and education systems integral to naval science and technology.
STEM cybersecurity education and cyber awareness focused on 6th to 12th grade students. In particular, efforts that:
- Stimulate analytical/thinking skills
- Target age groups may require different levels of educational tools.
- Provide information and an environment to exercise, develop and understand cyber skills and training
- Focus on elements that are key to understanding cybersecurity issues, such as
- Host level security
- Network level security
- Software application development
- Suspicious activity intuition
STEM interests supporting warfighter performance include:
- Human Physiology and Performance
- Medical and Biology
- Bio-centric Technologies
- Artificial Intelligence and Autonomy
- Training and Education
- Social and Cultural
- Command and Control
ONR Global STEM interests include:
- Materials Engineering, in particular, corrosion
- Medical Sciences, Mental and Physical health
- Artificial intelligence
- Alternate Position Navigation & Time
- Self-paced software coding course for students in grades 6 through 12
- Courses to expose students to job opportunities available to computer programmers and software engineers
Naval Accelerator STEM interests include a broad range of STEM educational and training opportunities for career and workforce development, including but not limited to:
- Internships for veterans and underrepresented groups in STEM.
- National security innovation and entrepreneurial education programs to include:
- Materials to recruit participants, including veterans and underrepresented groups
- Model curriculum
- Training materials
- Best practices
- Experimental learning opportunities for program participants to interact with operational forces to better understand national security challenges.
- Coordinating and partnering with activities and organizations that employ Hacking for Defense, and related efforts
Applicants are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to contact the appropriate point of contact for each specific technical area to discuss their STEM proposal.
The primary basis for selecting proposals for acceptance will be technical merit, importance to agency programs, and fund availability. Cost realism and reasonableness will also be considered when selecting proposals. Applicant's proposals will be evaluated against the following criteria defined by the thrust area point of contact.
Criteria 1, 2, and 3 are equally important.
The thrust area point of contact makes the ultimate recommendation for award of proposals. Proposals will not be evaluated against each other since they are not submitted in accordance with a common work statement. ONR's intent is to review all proposal received as soon as possible after they arrive; however, proposals may be reviewed periodically for administrative reasons.