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National Science Foundation: Improving Undergraduate STEM Education – Education and Human Resources

Deadline: December 12, 2017

The fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) hold much promise as sectors of the economy where we can expect to see continuous vigorous growthin the coming decades. STEM job creation is expected to outpace non-STEM job creation significantly, according to the Commerce Department, reflecting the importance of STEM knowledge to the US economy. Through the National Science Foundation (NSF) Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) initiative, the agency makes a substantial commitment to the highest caliber undergraduate STEM education through a Foundation-wide framework of investments. The IUSE: Education and Human Resource (EHR) program is a core NSF undergraduate STEM education program that seeks to improve the effectiveness of undergraduate STEM education for both majors and non-majors.

NSF places high value on educating students to be leaders and innovators in emerging and rapidly changing STEM fields as well as educating a scientifically literate populace. In pursuit of this goal, IUSE: EHR supports projects that have the potential to improve student learning in STEM through development of new curricular materials and methods of instruction, and development of new assessment tools to measure student learning. In addition to innovative work at the frontier of STEM education, this program also encourages replications of research studies at different types of institutions and with different student bodies to produce deeper knowledge about the effectiveness and transferability of findings. IUSE: EHR also seeks to support projects that have high potential for broader societal impacts, including improved diversity of students and instructors participating in STEM education, professional development for instructors to ensure adoption of new and effective pedagogical techniques that meet the changing needs of students, and projects that promote institutional partnerships for collaborative research and development. IUSE: EHR especially welcomes proposals that will pair well with the efforts of NSF INCLUDES to develop STEM talent from all sectors and groups in our society. Collaborations are encouraged between IUSE proposals and existing INCLUDES projects, provided the collaboration strengthens both projects.

The National Science Foundation invests primarily in evidence-based and evidence-generating approaches to understand and improve STEM learning and learning environments, improve the diversity of STEM students and majors, and prepare STEM majors for the workforce. In addition to contributing to STEM education in the host institution(s), proposals should have the promise of adding more broadly to the understanding of effective teaching and learning practices. The IUSE: EHR program recognizes and respects the variety of discipline-specific challenges and opportunities facing STEM faculty as they strive to incorporate results from educational research into classroom practice and work with education research colleagues and social science scholars to advance our understanding of effective teaching and learning. Toward these ends the program features two tracks: (1) Engaged Student Learning, and (2) Institutional and Community Transformation. Two tiers of projects exist within each track: (i) Exploration and Design, and (ii) Development and Implementation.

Amount: $73,000,000 is available for awards ranging from $300,000-$3,000,000 each.

Eligibility: All institutions of higher education and associated organizations.

Link: https://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf17590

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