Skip to content Skip to navigation Skip to footer

Broadening Participation in Engineering (BPE)

NSF seeks to strengthen the future U.S. Engineering workforce by enabling the participation of all citizens through the support of research in the science of Broadening Participation in Engineering (BPE). The BPE program is a dedicated to supporting the development of a diverse and well-prepared engineering workforce. BPE focuses on enhancing the diversity and inclusion of all underrepresented populations in engineering, including gender identity and expression, race and ethnicity (African Americans/Blacks, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Native Pacific Islanders), disability, LGBTQ+, first generation college and socio-economic status.

BPE funds research to

  • Understand and analyze the systemic barriers that prevent underrepresented groups from pursuing and succeeding in engineering, for example, understand the problem of insufficient interest and poorly sustained participation in engineering across underrepresented demographic groups; insufficient preparation and scarce opportunities for members of underrepresented groups to learn meaningful, relevant engineering content.
  • Understand and analyze factors that enhance our ability to increase access to engineering by creating support systems and social networks that raise career awareness about different engineering pathways.
  • Develop innovative methods and projects to significantly impact the recruitment and retention of engineering students from underrepresented groups. Activities must be supported by relevant data and have the capability to produce a model that can be replicated in other contexts.
  • Develop innovative methods and projects to aggressively recruit and retain tenure track faculty from underrepresented groups.
  • Design and transform culture to make diversity, equity, and inclusion a priority in the engineering enterprise.


Visit Opportunity Site



Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Educational Research

College Students, Graduate Students or Post Docs, High School Students, K-5 Students, Middle School Students