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Science Education Partnership Awards

NIH's Science Education Partnership Awards (SEPA) program is designed to improve life science literacy throughout the nation through innovative educational programs. SEPA-supported projects create partnerships among biomedical and clinical researchers and K-12 teachers and schools, museums and science centers, media experts, and other educational organizations.

Working together, these partners provide educational resources such as classroom curricula, mobile laboratories, workshops, films, software and websites that give K-12 students, teachers and the public a better understanding of the life sciences.

Science centers and museums across the country use SEPA funding to develop stationary and traveling exhibits on fundamental biology and related topics. SEPA support also provides researchers who study human disease a vehicle for contributing to science education programs by sharing their knowledge and demonstrating the excitement of carrying out health-related research.

A dedicated SEPA website Exit Disclaimer has been established to provide access to the educational materials and expertise produced through these efforts.


SEPA Program Announcement

PAR-14-228 Science Education Partnership Award (R25) encourages applications to its SEPA program for the development and evaluation of innovative research education programs to improve PreK-12 research career opportunities and the community's understanding of the health science advances supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded clinical and basic research. SEPA encourages dynamic partnerships between biomedical and clinical researchers and PreK-12 teachers and schools and other interested organizations. Particular importance will be given to applications that target PreK-12 and/or ISE/media topics that may not be addressed by existing curriculum, community-based or ISE/media activities.


Funded Projects



NCRR Issues 17 Science Education Partnership Awards

October 22, 2009 — The topics may seem beyond the grasp of most primary- or secondary-school students: bioinformatics, sickle-cell disease and neuroscience. But scientists and teachers receiving new grants from the National Institutes of Health disagree. Their efforts to teach students about these topics are three among 17 NIH-funded Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) projects administered by the National Center for Research Resources. Read More


NIH Funds 16 Science Education Partnership Awards

October 30, 2008 — NCRR announces that it will provide up to an estimated $17 million to fund 16 Science Education Partnership Awards (SEPAs). SEPAs provide two to five years of support to stimulate scientific curiosity and encourage hands-on science education activities. These 16 awards bring the SEPA portfolio to 66 active grants, including 18 underway at science museums and planetariums. Through diverse venues, these new projects will continue the SEPA tradition of encouraging the next generation of health professionals while advancing public understanding of health and medicine. Read More


NCRR Announces Two More Science Education Partnership Awards for FY 2007

January 21, 2008 — NCRR announces that it will provide more than $2 million to fund two additional 2007 Science Education Partnership Awards (SEPA) to institutions at opposite ends of the country: Seattle Biomedical Research Institute (SBRI) and the University of Southern Maine. Designed to improve the public's understanding of health and biomedical research, the SEPA program supports projects that increase scientific literacy, create innovative educational opportunities and provide the nation's youth with early exposure to the excitement of science—ultimately contributing to the development of a future generation of scientists and clinical researchers. Read More


NIH Funds 10 Science Education Partnership Awards

November 13, 2007 — NCRR announces that it will provide over $9 million to fund 10 Science Education Partnership Awards (SEPA). Promoting science careers in rural and underserved populations; using interactive museum exhibits to explain the genetic factors of health; and disseminating an HIV/AIDS documentary by inner-city high school students are just some of the new ways the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is increasing the public's understanding of biomedical research. By supporting interactions between scientists, educators, and community organizations, the SEPA program helps improve public understanding of NIH-funded medical research and encourages the participation of young people in science careers. Read More


Conference Reports


Contact Information

L. Tony Beck, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Science Education/SEPA
Office of Research Infrastructure Programs
Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives
Office of the Director
National Institutes of Health
One Democracy Plaza, Room 956
6701 Democracy Boulevard, MSC 4874
Bethesda, Maryland 20817-1572 
Telephone: 301-435-0805
Fax: 301-480-3819





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