FY20-21 Grant Guidelines

Creating a Pathway to Success

We envision a San Diego where the young adults of today have the opportunity to become Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) leaders of tomorrow. The FY20-21 Science & Technology grant program will focus on the preparation of a skilled, equitable workforce in subject areas that are specific to the needs of the San Diego region.

Program Purpose

The San Diego economy is at an important tipping point that will impact the future of the entire region. As the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and the Brookings Institution recently outlined in Future of Growth in San Diego: The Economic Case for Inclusion and Building San Diego’s Talent Pipeline, San Diego has grown to become an innovation powerhouse.

Despite this great potential, not all San Diegans are benefitting from the advances of the innovation economy. The San Diego region needs more highly-skilled workers in order to maintain its competitive edge. Inclusive economic growth involves the entire region in a vision for prosperity.

By focusing on young adults, we have the opportunity to strengthen the workforce of the near future. Not all students have the opportunity to explore and pursue STEM-related fields that lead to innovation economy jobs and a robust, diverse talent pool for local businesses. For example, the data tells us our region’s fastest-growing and therefore highest potential student population is facing the greatest barriers in completing post-secondary education. In San Diego, the Latino population is the region’s fastest growing group and will be the region’s largest ethnic group by 2030, representing nearly half of the future local talent pipeline, and yet is underrepresented in San Diego’s highest-paying industries.

San Diego is not alone, nationally we face the same challenge and have a similar opportunity for growth. The National Science Foundation defines women, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented minority groups (please see NSF.gov for more information) as underrepresented in science and engineering.

In order to address this disparity and ensure our region remains competitive, the Science & Technology program is focused on building and expanding pathways to success for all San Diegans.

The Funding Opportunity

The FY20-21 Science & Technology grant program supports efforts to create and expand a pipeline connecting young adults to college and career opportunities.

The goal of the Science & Technology grant program is to: 

Increase the number of underrepresented, high potential students in the STEM career pipeline by providing opportunities for stipend-supported internships in advanced technical and scientific fields.

Strategies to achieve this goal include:

  • Increase opportunities for historically underrepresented youth and young adults to work within academic/research institutions while receiving stipend support.
  • Connect with and engage historically underrepresented youth and young adults in STEM career readiness and stipend-supported internships that move students into advanced scientific or technical career opportunity pathways.
  • Strengthen relationships between academic STEM programs or non-profit educational providers and the local STEM business sector to increase internships and research opportunities, resulting in stipend-supported placements at local STEM businesses for youth/young adults.
Young woman intently working in a lab
Group of students wearing safety vests and hard hats for SDG&E field trip

View FY18-19 Grant Awards


Grant Criteria & Eligibility

We seek well established projects that:

  • Will utilize these funds (85% or more) for student stipends – this program directly supports students
  • Serve students underrepresented in STEM fields continuing their studies at San Diego county academic institutions
  • Enhance collaboration between academic institutions and the STEM business sector (e.g., biotechnology, technology, scientific research, engineering, medical) in order to connect students with paid internships that facilitate local STEM career pathways
  • Conduct robust outreach, training and real-world STEM experiences that engage historically underrepresented students to pursue college and career opportunities in STEM fields
  • Be able to offer direct student support, including paid internships / research stipends
  • Have demonstrated experience conducting relevant programs, with the ability to process and distribute stipends

Applicant organizations must: 

  • Be located and provide services in San Diego County
  • Have 501(c)3 status (or a fiscal sponsor)

Important dates

  • January 6, 2020: Open LOI (letter of intent) application
  • February 24, 2020: Close LOI (letter of intent) application
  • March 2020: LOIs are reviewed
    Please note that you may be contacted during this time by phone or email for follow up or clarification about your application
  • April 2020: selected applicants are invited to submit a full proposal
  • June 29, 2020 (5:00 p.m.): full proposals are due
  • Selection will be made by December 2020

Submit Letter of Intent

Frequently Asked Questions

How do we apply?

Applications will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, June 29, 2020. To apply, click on the “Submit LOI” button below.

We will have an additional webinar/information session in advance of the main application.

If you encounter technical issues or questions regarding the online application, please contact the Grants Manager at grants@sdfoundation.org

What is the application review process?

All applications submitted by the deadline will be reviewed by a grant committee comprised of Foundation staff and volunteers with background and expertise in a variety of STEM education, research, and workforce development. The review committee will evaluate applications based on the proposed project alignment with Science and Technology program goals, organizational capacity and leadership, budget and potential to leverage additional resources. The review committee adheres to a strict conflict of interest policy and other internal controls to ensure that grant funding is distributed in a methodical and objective manner, based on the merits of each application.

What is the grant award range?

FY20-21 Science & Technology grant awards are expected to range from $25,000 – $75,000.

What amount of the award is expected to support student stipends?

Grantees are expected to utilize 85% or more of TSDF funds for direct student stipend support.

What age-range are the students expected to represent?

In previous grant cycles, these funds have primarily supported college-aged students, and in some cases pre-college (high school) students.