The NSF Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program was created to respond to the critical need for K-12 teachers of STEM by encouraging talented STEM students and professionals to pursue teaching careers in elementary and secondary schools. It was first authorized in 2002.
The Noyce program provides funding to institutions of higher education to provide scholarships, stipends, and programmatic support to recruit and prepare STEM majors and professionals to become K-12 teachers. Scholarship and stipend recipients are required to complete two years of teaching in a high-need school district for each year of support.
The program seeks to increase the number of K-12 teachers with strong STEM content knowledge who teach in high-need school districts. In addition, it supports the recruitment and development of Noyce Teaching Fellows who receive salary supplements while fulfilling a 4-year teaching requirement and supports the development of Master Teaching Fellows by providing professional development and salary supplements while they are teaching for five years in a high-need school district.
In 2015, the NSF Noyce program added a new focus on research studies related to teacher effectiveness and persistence, as well as teacher retention by high-need local educational agencies.