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NIST Announces Funding Program Geared to Strengthen U.S. Standardization Education


Deadline for Applications is April 5

The U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Standards Coordination Office is accepting applications for a new program that will provide financial support and guidance for stronger educational curriculums focused on standardization in undergraduate and graduate institutions nationwide.

NIST's 2016 Curricula Development Funding Opportunity is intended to integrate standardization information and related content into seminars, learning resources, and courses for U.S. colleges and universities. Eligible recipients, located in the U.S. and its territories, include accredited institutions of higher education. Non-profit and commercial organizations and state, local, and Indian tribal governments are also eligible, as long as they describe and demonstrate their proposed or existing relationship with an accredited institution of higher education that will incorporate the applicant's project through a pilot or other program in the institution's educational programs.

Applications must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on Tuesday, April 5, 2016. Complete program information with eligibility and details on the application/proposal process may be viewed through NIST's recent announcement. View the grant opportunity here.

Efforts to Strengthen Standardization Education

NIST's program is an effort to establish standards education as a high priority within the U.S.—a key initiative of the U.S. Standards Strategy (USSS), a statement of purpose and ideals resulting from a reexamination of the principles and strategy that guide how the U.S. develops standards and participates in the international standards-setting process, released by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) [read more about the recently revised version].

NIST reflects the findings: "Traditionally in the United States, on-the-job training has been used as the primary method of educating engineers and others who participate on standards committees. Some training or education has been provided by industry, in particular SDOs [standards developing organizations] and professional societies. Very little has been provided in academia. There is a general lack of awareness concerning the significance of standards and the process of standardization."

NIST has an integral role in coordinating federal involvement in standardization education. Representatives from NIST's Standards Services Division serve on the ANSI Committee on Education (COE) as well as the International Cooperation on Education about Standardization (ICES).

ANSI also has a key role in fostering and supporting standardization education efforts. In its oversight of various educational initiatives, the COE participates in interactive workshops, for example, raising awareness of standards education within campus communities [see the recent coverage]. ANSI also offers an annual Student Paper Competition, open to post-secondary students of all disciplines, which calls on applicants to submit essays that exemplify the 2016 theme: "A World without Standards." The page provides K-12 learning resources for free download, to help spread the word to students and educators about the critical role of standards in their everyday lives. Extensive listings of additional standardization education efforts, including free e-learning courses and resources, are available on ANSI's portal.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]