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H.R. 2528 (116th): STEM Opportunities Act of 2019

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Sep 26, 2019.

STEM Opportunities Act of 2019

This bill provides for guidance, data collection, and grants for groups historically underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education at institutions of higher education (IHEs) and at federal science agencies.

Specifically, the bill requires the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to provide specified guidance related to such groups to federal science agencies and IHEs.

Each federal science agency must collect comprehensive demographic data on recipients of merit-reviewed research and development grants given to IHEs and federal laboratories supported by that agency.

Each agency must also implement recommendations from the OSTP report titled Reducing the Impact of Bias in the STEM Workforce. In addition, each agency must carry out a pilot program and implement policies and practices to minimize the effect of implicit bias in the grant review process.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) must carry out and publish a survey to collect institution-level data on the demographics of STEM faculty, by broad fields of STEM, at different types of IHEs.

The NSF must also carry out a variety of grant programs, including grants for increasing (1) the recruitment, retention, and advancement of individuals from underrepresented minority groups in STEM careers; (2) the recruitment and retention of minority students who are underrepresented in STEM fields; and (3) student participation in computer science and computational thinking education programs at tribal colleges and universities.