NSF presentation

Directorate for Education and Human
Resources (EHR)
EHR Core Research Program
Program Announcement: NSF 13-555
EHR Core Research
• Website:
• Full Proposal Target Date: February 3,
EHR Core Research
• Introduced in 2013 to support foundational
research in the following areas:
• STEM learning
• STEM learning environments
• STEM workforce development
• Broadening participation in STEM
• Encourage integration across the four areas
and collaboration among researchers in related
disciplines, including social and behavioral
Goals of ECR
• Make strategic research investments in
potentially transformative areas;
• Accelerate development and growth of
theory and methodology;
• Address challenges of practice;
• All in STEM Education, Broadening
Participation, and Workforce Development!
ECR Projects
• ECR projects are:
Theory driven
Theory generating
Theory testing
And predictive
• What has been funded (recent awards made
through this program, with abstracts)
ECR Proposal Types
• Core Research Proposals
• Maximum budget request: $1.5M
• Maximum duration request: 5 years
• Capacity Building Proposals
• Maximum budget request: $300K
• Maximum duration request: 3 years
Core Research Proposals
• Identify issues and questions critical to the
advancement and the improvement of
STEM learning and workforce participation.
• Propose to address these using a wide
range of research methods and data
gathering strategies.
• May expand knowledge in existing areas or
or build the base of research knowledge and
evidence in new areas.
Capacity Building Proposals
• Support the groundwork necessary for
advancing research within the four core
• Some examples:
• Workshops
• Syntheses
• Development of new measures and instruments
Contexts for Research
• Learners range from pre-K children to older
adults and from non-scientists to STEM
doctoral students to the STEM workforce
• Settings range from formal to informal, from
virtual to outdoor field environments, and
include institutional research and
EHR Core Research Areas
STEM learning
STEM learning environments
STEM workforce development
Broadening participation in STEM
STEM Learning
ECR entertains proposals on a wide range of learning issues,
• Learning of specific STEM disciplinary knowledge and practices
• Learning progressions, assessments and development
• Learning and engagement within and outside of formal
• Dissemination of knowledge and learning in social networks
• Integration of research and knowledge across different
theoretical perspectives
• Impacts of persistence and identity on learning.
Such issues may be addressed using:
• A range of theoretical and methodological approaches, including
the use of “big data”
• Theories and methods at the frontiers of STEM disciplines and
across disciplines
STEM Learning Environments
• ECR entertains proposals on a wide range of
learning environment issues, including:
• Changing and emerging environments across a age
groups and formal and informal settings, including
• Characteristics of learning environments and how they
interact with or support multiple aspects of STEM
• Special focus on emerging learning environments
and evidence-based approaches to undergraduate
STEM instruction including blended instruction,
virtual reality, personalized learning environments
• Such issues may be addressed using multiple
theoretical and methodological perspectives
STEM Workforce Development
• ECR entertains proposals on a wide range of
workforce development issues, including:
• Preparation of a diverse, globally-prepared and
highly-skilled STEM workforce - including teachers
• Focus on entire STEM workforce continuum, with
an emphasis on retention and degree attainment
• Emphasis on academic and non-academic STEM
career pathways and transitions across changing
contexts and climates
• Connecting workplace expectations to design of
• Special focus on public-private partnerships
and working with stakeholders.
Broadening Participation in STEM
• ECR entertains proposals on a wide range of
broadening participation issues, including:
• Evidence gathering about practices that broaden
participation, retention, and success of individuals
underrepresented in STEM
• Emphasis on academic transition points
• Study of accessibility and the impacts of technology on
diverse populations
• Measures, methods and metrics to assess impacts and
outcomes of broadening participation and institutional
capacity building
• Special focus on public-private partnerships and
working with stakeholders.
• ECR program page on NSF website
• ECR Program Announcement (NSF 13555)
• FAQs on ECR (NSF 13-103)
• NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) (NSF 131)
• Common Guidelines for Education
Research and Development (NSF 13-126)
• FAQs on the Common Guidelines (NSF
What do we mean by
“Common Guidelines”?
A cross-agency framework that describes:
• Broad types of research and
• The expected purposes, justifications,
and contributions of various types of
research to knowledge generation about
interventions and strategies for improving
Types of Studies
• Foundational research and development studies
• Generate fundamental knowledge that may
contribute to teaching and/or learning
• Early stage/exploratory studies
• Examine relationships among constructs to
establish logical connections
• Design and development studies
• Design and iteratively develop particular
interventions (programs, policies, practices or
technologies); pilot test
Types of Studies (continued)
• Efficacy Studies
 Estimate the impacts of strategies under
optimal conditions of implementation
• Effectiveness Studies
 Examine implementation and estimate impacts
similar to routine practice but still on a limited
• Scale-up Studies
 Explore implementation and estimates impacts
under conditions that prevail under wide-scale
Foundational Research
Fundamental knowledge that may contribute to
improved learning & other education outcomes
Studies of this type:
• Test, develop or refine theories of teaching
or learning
• May develop innovations in methodologies
and/or technologies that influence & inform
research & development in different
Early-Stage or Exploratory
Studies of this type:
• Examine relationships among important
constructs in education and learning
• Seek to establish logical connections that
may form the basis for future
interventions or strategies intended to
improve education outcomes
• Connections are usually correlational
rather than causal
Important Features of Each Type
of Research
How does this type of research
contribute to the evidence base?
How should policy and practical
significance be demonstrated?
What types of theoretical and/or
empirical arguments should be made
for conducting this study?
Important Features…
Generally speaking, what types of
outcomes (theory and empirical
evidence) should the project
What are the key features of a
research design for this type of
Sections of Proposal
• Cover Sheet
• Project Summary
• State which of the four CORE area(s) are targeted
• Table of Contents
• Project Description
• Restate which of the four CORE area(s) are
• Include Results from prior NSF Support
Follow the NSF Grant Proposal Guide:
Sections of Proposal
References Cited
Biographical Sketch(es)
Budget / Budget Justification
Current and Pending Support
Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources
Supplemental Documents:
• Post-doc Mentoring Plan
• Data Management Plan
Additional Considerations
• Research design and methodology
• Appropriate and rigorous research methods
• Well-documented usable, and replicable
models, frameworks, data, literature, and
• Well-justified methods, consonant with theory,
and suited to the stated questions or
Award and Eligibility Information
• Standard or continuing grants
• Estimate making 28 awards
• Funding amount is $20,000,000
(pending availability of funds)
• No PI limit
• No limit of number of proposals per
• No limit on number of proposals per PI
NSF Merit Review Principles
• NSF projects should be of the highest quality and
have the potential to advance, if not transform,
the frontiers of knowledge
• NSF projects, in the aggregate, should contribute
more broadly to achieving societal goals
• Meaningful assessment and evaluation of NSF
funded projects should be based on appropriate
metrics, and include both the broader impacts
and intellectual merit of the project.
NSF Merit Review Criteria
• Intellectual Merit – the potential to advance
• Broader Impacts – the potential to benefit
society and contribute to the achievement of
specific, desired societal outcomes.
Both criteria, Intellectual Merit and Broader Impact,
will be given full consideration during the review and
decision-making processes. Proposers must fully
address both criteria.
Merit Review Considerations
• What is the potential for the proposed activity to:
• Advance knowledge and understanding within its own
field or across different fields (Intellectual Merit); and
• Benefit society or advance desired societal outcomes
(Broader Impacts)?
• To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and
explore creative, original or potentially transformative
• Is the plan for carrying out the proposed activities wellreasoned, well-organized, and based on a sound
rationale? Does the plan incorporate a mechanism to
assess success?
Merit Review Considerations
• How well qualified is the individual, team, or
organization to conduct the proposed activities?
• Are there adequate resources available to the PI
(either at the home institution or through
collaborations) to carry out the proposed
Please Note: Reviewers are also asked to review Facilities,
Equipment and Other Resources, Data Management Plan,
and Postdoctoral Researcher Mentoring Plan
IMPORTANT: Human Subjects - IRB
• IRB exemption/approval documentation is
required at the time of the award - in order
to receive funding
• Please plan for the timing necessary to
obtain institutional IRB approval
Program Contacts
Address questions to the program via:
[email protected]
Full Proposal Target Date: February 3, 2015

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