STEM Central

A Community of Practice for NSF STEM Projects

Breakout Session I -05 Institutionalization & Sustainability of STEP Projects

Presenters: Dr. Michael Georgiopoulos (PI) and Dr. Cynthia Young (Co-PI), University of Central Florida; Ms. Nirmala Ramlakhan (Senior Program Manager), WORKFORCE CENTRAL FLORIDA; and representatives from WORKFORCE organizations in NY, TX, CA.

Moderator: John Dwyer, St. Catherine University 


One of the biggest challenges of NSF STEP grantees is to find ways to institutionalize their projects' efforts at their respective institutions and to also find other reliable sources of funding for their efforts (private funding sources, other funding sources) well and beyond the resources that their institution can provide. This breakout session will showcase successful efforts from the attendees and eventually will come up with a list of successful strategies to institutionalize/sustain STEP grants and associated points of contact for each such successful strategy. 

The breakout session will start with a brief description by the UCF PIs (Michael Georgiopoulos and Cynthia Young) that explains the steps taken to have EXCEL (UCF STEP grant) institutionalized. Then, Nirmala Ramlakhan from WORKFORCE CENTRAL FLORIDA (WCF) will discuss the process to create a successful collaboration of a STEP grant and a WORKFORCE organization, using as an example the already established UCF-EXCEL/WCF collaboration. Nirmala Ramlakhan is coordinating with the other WORKFORCE organization representatives so that her presentation is reflective of what these organizations are interested in supporting.

Small group discussions will provide opportunities for participants to identify project components they plan to institutionalize and to share their ideas and strategies with other participants and with WORKFORCE organization representatives. We will conclude with a group reflection where each group provides one to two key elements to consider or hints for success in institutionalizing/sustaining STEP grants.

The expected outcomes from this breakout session is a list of strategies that have worked in institutionalizing and sustaining STEP grants and a point of contact (name and e-mail) for each such strategy. This list would provide the necessary follow up information to STEP grantees that could help them institutionalize/sustain components of their STEP efforts. Furthermore, the participating WORKFORCE organizations will provide a list of venues (e.g., conferences that they typically go to) where the forum is appropriate for STEP grantees to present the successes of their STEP efforts and seek for the support of WORKFORCE organizations from around the nation.