National Science Foundation

Dear Colleague Letter: Fundamental Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER) Focused on Undergraduate and Graduate STEM Education within the EHR Core Research (ECR) Program

Thursday, March 14, 2019

NSF 19-044

Dear Colleagues:

The EHR Core Research (ECR) program of National Science Foundation's (NSF) Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) wishes to notify the community of its intention to support, through EHR Core Research (ECR) program solicitation NSF 19-508, fundamental discipline-based education research (DBER) focused on undergraduate and graduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. The NSF intends to foster DBER to develop foundational knowledge in STEM education at the undergraduate and graduate levels in each of ECR's three tracks: STEM Learning and Learning Environments, Broadening Participation in STEM, and STEM Workforce Development.

DBER is defined as "an empirical approach to investigating learning and teaching that is informed by an expert understanding of [STEM] disciplinary knowledge and practice".[1] DBER addresses complex problems in STEM education by integrating expert knowledge of particular STEM disciplines' models, theories, culture and educational challenges with relevant models, theories and research methodologies from a variety of fields such as education, the learning sciences, psychology, and many more. With this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), NSF invites proposals that request support to conduct fundamental DBER (basic or use-inspired) focused on developing and testing models or theories in undergraduate or graduate STEM education, including all areas of STEM supported by NSF including interdisciplinary or convergent topics.

As described in ECR solicitation NSF 19-508, the program will support a wide range of fundamental research activities in STEM education. As outlined by the National Research Council (NRC) DBER report, some key goals of DBER include, but are not limited to, understanding how people learn the concepts, practices, and ways of thinking in particular STEM disciplines; understanding the nature and development of expertise in a discipline; identifying and measuring appropriate learning objectives and instructional approaches for a particular STEM discipline; contributing to the knowledge base in a way that guides the translation of DBER findings to classroom practice; and identifying approaches to make STEM education and the STEM workforce broad and inclusive. With respect to broadening participation in STEM, DBER research is needed to develop and test theories that contribute to the understanding of the effects of discipline-based education strategies on the culture of STEM classrooms, student affect, persistence, graduation, and learning outcomes of women and underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities within and across different STEM disciplines. In addition, the 2018 report on Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century recommends research to better understand graduate STEM education including, but not limited to, the effects of the several models of graduate education on student knowledge, competencies, mind-sets, and career outcomes; and studies on how the various STEM disciplines can integrate the changing scientific enterprise into graduate education.[2] ECR is also interested in supporting synthesis projects and conference proposals related to DBER focused on undergraduate or graduate STEM education.

For information on how to develop a strong ECR proposal, please refer to the guidance in the ECR program solicitation, NSF 19-508. Note that the ECR program places emphasis on the rigorous development of theory, and therefore proposers must clearly articulate theoretical underpinnings and how the proposed research would advance fundamental knowledge of STEM education at the undergraduate or graduate level.

The deadline for submission of proposals to NSF 19-508 is October 3, 2019, and the first Thursday in October annually thereafter. When responding to this DCL, please begin your proposal title with "ECR DBER DCL: ". Submissions should follow the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) and the guidelines in ECR solicitation NSF 19-508.

Principal investigators with questions pertaining to this DCL may contact:

  • STEM Learning & Learning Environments: Dawn Rickey, Program Director, drickey [at] nsf [dot] gov
  • Broadening Participation in STEM: Jessie Dearo, Program Director, jdearo [at] nsf [dot] gov
  • STEM Workforce Development: Earnestine Easter, Program Director, eeaster [at] nsf [dot] gov

Sincerely,

Karen Marrongelle 
Assistant Director, EHR

References

[1] National Research Council. 2012. Discipline-Based Education Research: Understanding and Improving Learning in Undergraduate Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/13362.

[2] National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25038.

Dear Colleague Letter: Expanding the NSF INCLUDES National Network

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Dear Colleague:

Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES) is a comprehensive effort to enhance U.S. leadership in science and engineering discovery and innovation by developing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) talent from all sectors and groups in our society. NSF INCLUDES is one of the 10 "Big Ideas" for Future NSF Investments.

The vision of NSF INCLUDES is to catalyze the STEM enterprise to work collaboratively for inclusive change, which will result in a STEM workforce that reflects the population of the Nation. The initiative is developing a National Network composed of NSF INCLUDES Design and Development Launch Pilots (DDLP), NSF INCLUDES Alliances, an NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub, NSF-funded broadening participation projects, other relevant NSF-funded projects, scholars engaged in broadening participation research, and organizations that support the development of talent from all sectors of society to build an inclusive STEM workforce. The Design and Development Launch Pilots explore new ways to solve a complex broadening participation challenge in STEM over a two-year period. The Alliances leverage the Launch Pilots to solve collectively a specific set of objectives. The Coordination Hub facilitates communication and networking, network assistance and reinforcement, and visibility and expansion of the NSF INCLUDES National Network.

NSF is interested in funding the best approaches to increasing diversity in STEM1. NSF INCLUDES' goals include but are not limited to: increasing the percentage of women and girls participating in fields where they are currently underrepresented (e.g., Engineering, Economics, Computer Science, Physics); developing and expanding strategies proven to enhance student persistence among underrepresented minority groups across all STEM degree areas; increasing the representation in NSF directorate research portfolios of principal investigators from minority-serving institutions (e.g., Hispanic Serving Institutions2, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Predominantly Black Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities) and community colleges; increasing the number of faculty from underrepresented groups in stable, tenure-track positions and STEM career professionals in informal institutions and organizations who support research and education; and furthering evidence-based research that tests the efficacy of various approaches, especially collective impact-style approaches. This DCL encourages the submission of funding requests for supplements to NSF grants to connect with the NSF INCLUDES Network and supplemental funding requests for DDLPs to continue to participate in network activities.

NSF welcomes supplemental funding requests from:

And

  1. Active NSF INCLUDES Design and Development Launch Pilot awards to maintain linkages to the NSF INCLUDES National Network by supporting DDLP efforts to collect data, communicate and participate in activities with the NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub and NSF INCLUDES Network. The amount of supplemental funding requested must: (1) be less than 20% of the original award amount; and (b) not exceed $15,000 in direct costs.
  2. Any active NSF awards outside of the NSF INCLUDES National Network to develop:
    • Opportunities among currently funded NSF projects, including NSF broadening participation projects and projects from the other Ten Big Ideas for Future NSF Investments or other major Foundation investments, with the goal to build a collaborative infrastructure for broadening participation in NSF-funded research activities;
    • Linkages between current activities including working with the NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub, Alliances, and Design and Development Launch Pilots to adopt common goals, shared measures, and mutually reinforcing activities;
    • New ideas to bring a community of NSF-funded projects into the NSF INCLUDES National Network.

The amount of supplemental funding requested must: (a) be less than 20% of the original award amount; and (b) not exceed $200,000 in direct costs.

PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION OF SUPPLEMENTAL FUNDING REQUESTS

Supplemental funding requests must be received by 5 p.m., submitter's local time on May 6, 2019.

Awardees of NSF grants from any directorate with an end date beyond September 15, 2019 may request supplemental funding. To be competitive, the supplemental funding must have the potential to enhance both the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts of the existing project.

Eligible Principal Investigators are strongly encouraged to contact both their cognizant NSF Program Director(s) and the nsfincludes [at] nsf [dot] gov (NSF INCLUDES team) at NSFINCLUDES [at] nsf [dot] gov by April 22, 2019 to discuss their request for supplemental support prior to submitting to NSF.

Funding is dependent on the availability of funds. Supplemental funding requests should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the guidance in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG).

Each supplemental funding request must include "NSF INCLUDES DCL NSF 19-042 Supplement" in the first sentence of the summary section of the proposal.

REVIEW INFORMATION

Requests for funding submitted in response to this Dear Colleague Letter will be reviewed externally by expert reviewers and/or internally by NSF Program Directors. All supplemental funding requests are subject to the availability of funds and the quality of the requests received as determined by review.

Competitive supplemental funding requests will explicitly describe and demonstrate their alignment and/or connections to the mission and goals of NSF INCLUDES. Failure to sufficiently demonstrate relevancy to NSF INCLUDES will result in the supplemental funding request being declined.

Sincerely,

Karen Marrongelle, Assistant Director
Directorate for Education and Human Resources

Participating NSF Directorates and Offices

Directorate for Biological Sciences
Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering
Directorate for Education and Human Resources
Directorate for Engineering
Directorate for Geosciences
Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
Office of Integrative Activities
Office of International Science and Engineering


Footnotes

1 The NSF INCLUDES National Network consists of Design and Development Launch Pilots, Alliances and the Coordination Hub (see list here). These entities provide an important base of activity for effective expansion of the NSF INCLUDES National Network.

2 For the purposes of this Dear Colleague Letter, a Hispanic Serving Institution will be defined as any institution that has 25 percent or more undergraduate full-time equivalent Hispanic enrollment.

Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Computing in Undergraduate Education (IUSE:CUE)

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

PROGRAM SOLICITATION
NSF 19-546

NSF Logo  

National Science Foundation

Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering
     Division of Computer and Network Systems
     Division of Computing and Communication Foundations
     Division of Information & Intelligent Systems
     Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure

Directorate for Education & Human Resources
     Division of Undergraduate Education

Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

     May 09, 2019

Synopsis of Program

Increasingly, undergraduate computer science (CS) programs are being called upon to prepare larger and more diverse student populations for careers in both CS and non-CS fields, including careers in scientific and non-scientific disciplines. Many of these students aim to acquire the understandings and competencies needed to learn how to use computation collaboratively across different contexts and challenging problems. However, standard CS course sequences do not always serve these students well. With this solicitation, NSF will support teams of Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) in re-envisioning the role of computing in interdisciplinary collaboration within their institutions. In addition, NSF will encourage partnering IHEs to use this opportunity to integrate the study of ethics into their curricula, both within core CS courses and across the relevant interdisciplinary application areas.

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award: Standard Grant

Estimated Number of Awards: 12 to 15

Anticipated Funding Amount: $4,500,000

We expect to fund 12 to 15 awards. Proposals that do not include an ethics component may request a maximum budget of $300,000 over 18 months; and proposals that do include an ethics component may request a maximum budget of $350,000 over 18 months.

Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds.

Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR): Institutes for Data-Intensive Research in Science and Engineering - Frameworks (I-DIRSE-FW)

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

PROGRAM SOLICITATION
NSF 19-549

NSF Logo  

National Science Foundation

Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

     May 07, 2019

Synopsis of Program

In 2016, the National Science Foundation (NSF) unveiled a set of "Big Ideas," 10 bold, long-term research and process ideas that identify areas for future investment at the frontiers of science and engineering (see https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/big_ideas/index.jsp). The Big Ideas represent unique opportunities to position our Nation at the cutting edge of global science and engineering leadership by bringing together diverse disciplinary perspectives to support convergence research. As such, when responding to this solicitation, even though proposals must be submitted to CISE/OAC, once received, the proposals will be managed by a cross-disciplinary team of NSF Program Directors.

NSF's Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR) Big Idea is a national-scale activity to enable new modes of data-driven discovery that will allow fundamental questions to be asked and answered at the frontiers of science and engineering. Through this NSF-wide activity, HDR will generate new knowledge and understanding, and accelerate discovery and innovation. The HDR vision is realized through an interrelated set of efforts in:

  • Foundations of data science;
  • Algorithms and systems for data science;
  • Data-intensive science and engineering;
  • Data cyberinfrastructure; and
  • Education and workforce development.

Each of these efforts is designed to amplify the intrinsically multidisciplinary nature of the emerging field of data science. The HDR Big Idea will establish theoretical, technical, and ethical frameworks that will be applied to tackle data-intensive problems in science and engineering, contributing to data-driven decision-making that impacts society.

This solicitation is for Frameworks for Data-Intensive Research in Science and Engineering (DIRSE) as part of the HDR Institutes activity. These Frameworks represent one path of a conceptualization phase aimed at developing Institutes as part of the NSF investment in the HDR Big Idea.

The HDR Institutes activity seeks to create an integrated fabric of interrelated institutes that can accelerate discovery and innovation in multiple areas of data-intensive science and engineering. The HDR Institutes will achieve this by harnessing diverse data sources and developing and applying new methodologies, technologies, and infrastructure for data management and analysis. The HDR Institutes will support convergence between science and engineering research communities as well as expertise in data science foundations, systems, applications, and cyberinfrastructure. In addition, the HDR Institutes will enable breakthroughs in science and engineering through collaborative, co-designed programs to formulate innovative data-intensive approaches to address critical national challenges.

HDR Institutes will be developed through a two-phase process involving conceptualization followed by convergence. The conceptualization phase will be implemented in FY 2019 via two complementary funding opportunities. The first opportunity in FY 2019 will encourage individuals with compelling data-intensive science and engineering problems and/or technical expertise to self-organize into teams with the aim of developing innovative, collaborative research proposals through an Ideas Lab process. The second opportunity in FY 2019, described in this solicitation, will encourage applications from teams of researchers proposing frameworks for integrated sets of science and engineering problems and data science solutions. The conceptualization phase will result in two-year awards aimed at building communities, defining research priorities, and developing interdisciplinary prototype solutions. NSF anticipates implementing the subsequent convergence and co-design phase in the 2021 timeframe with awards that integrate and scale successful prototypes and new ideas into larger, more comprehensive HDR Institutes that bring together multiple science and engineering communities with computer and computational scientists, mathematicians, statisticians, and information scientists around common data science approaches.

The overarching goal of the HDR Institutes DIRSE Frameworks solicitation is to foster convergent approaches to data-driven research in science and engineering. Frameworks will consist of interdisciplinary teams to conceptualize and pilot new modalities for collaboration and convergence that go beyond institutional walls and traditional disciplinary boundaries, to build innovative connections between scientific groups and data scientists and engineers, to integrate research infrastructure and education infrastructure. The Frameworks should focus on science and engineering areas that: (1) are at a "tipping point" where a timely investment in data-intensive approaches has the maximum potential for a transformative effect, (2) have needs that can benefit from interdisciplinary investments in data analytics infrastructure, and (3) represent investment priorities for the participating NSF directorates during, and beyond, the lifetime of the HDR Big Idea. Specific outcomes expected from the Frameworks include identification of frontier science and engineering challenge problems and the associated data and data-science barriers or tipping points, as well as development of new strategies and innovative approaches to foster scientific breakthroughs involving researchers from diverse scientific backgrounds.

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award: Standard Grant or Continuing Grant

Estimated Number of Awards: 8 to 10

8 - 10 awards in FY 2019 pending availability of funds and the type, scale, and variety of project ideas proposed.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $21,000,000

Up to a total of $21 million is available for 8 - 10 two-year awards stemming from Frameworks proposals.

Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds.

Eligibility Information

Who May Submit Proposals:

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:

  • Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) - Two- and four-year IHEs (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the US, acting on behalf of their faculty members. Special Instructions for International Branch Campuses of US IHEs: If the proposal includes funding to be provided to an international branch campus of a US institution of higher education (including through use of subawards and consultant arrangements), the proposer must explain the benefit(s) to the project of performance at the international branch campus, and justify why the project activities cannot be performed at the US campus.
  • Non-profit, non-academic organizations: Independent museums, observatories, research labs, professional societies and similar organizations in the U.S. associated with educational or research activities.
  • NSF-sponsored Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs).

Who May Serve as PI:

Individuals who accept an invitation to participate in the HDR I-DIRSE Ideas Labs will be ineligible to be a PI or co-PI on proposals submitted to the HDR I-DIRSE-FW solicitation. This is to ensure a diversity of ideas and expertise during the conceptualization phase of the HDR Institutes activity.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization:

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI: 1

An individual may participate as PI, co-PI, or other Senior Personnel in at most one Framework proposal pursuant to this solicitation. Note that any individual whose biographical sketch is provided as part of the proposal will be considered as Senior Personnel in the proposed activity, with or without financial support from the project.

In the event that any individual exceeds this limit, any proposal submitted to this solicitation with this individual listed as PI, co-PI, or Senior Personnel after the first proposal is received at NSF will be returned without review. No exceptions will be made. For this purpose, a multi-institution collaborative project is treated as one proposal that is considered submitted when the last component proposal is submitted.

View the full solicitation here

A Science of Science Policy Approach to Analyzing and Innovating the Biomedical Research Enterprise (SCISIPBIO)

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

PROGRAM SOLICITATION 
NSF 19-547

NSF Logo  

National Science Foundation

Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences
     SBE Office of Multidisciplinary Activities

 
NIH        logo

National Institutes of Health

    National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Full Proposal Target Date(s):

     May 08, 2019

     September 09, 2019

     September 9, Annually Thereafter

     February 10, 2020

     February 9, Annually Thereafter

Synopsis of Program

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are interested in proposals that will propel our understanding of the biomedical research enterprise by drawing from the scientific expertise of the science of science policy research community.

NSF promotes the progress of science by maintaining the general health of research and education across all fields of science and engineering. The Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) Directorate within the NSF supports basic research on people and society. The SBE sciences focus on human behavior and social organizations and how social, economic, political, cultural, and environmental forces affect the lives of people from birth to old age and how people in turn shape those forces. SBE's Science of Science and Innovation Policy (SciSIP) program supports research designed to advance the scientific basis of science and innovation policy.

The NIH is the U.S. Federal agency charged with supporting biomedical research in the U.S. The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) within the NIH supports basic biomedical research that increases understanding of biological processes and lays the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.

Both the NSF and NIH believe that there are opportunities and needs in building and supporting research projects with a focus on the scientific research enterprise. The two agencies also recognize that when programmatic goals are compatible, coordinated management and funding of a research program can have a positive synergistic effect on the level and scope of research and can leverage the investments of both agencies.

Therefore, NIGMS and SBE are partnering to enable collaboration in research between the SciSIP program and NIGMS. This partnership will result in a portfolio of high quality research to provide scientific analysis of important aspects of the biomedical research enterprise and efforts to foster a diverse, innovative, productive and efficient scientific workforce, from which future scientific leaders will emerge.

Prospective investigators are strongly encouraged to discuss their proposals with the cognizant Program Officers before submission to determine project relevance to the priorities of both SBE and NIGMS. Specific questions pertaining to this solicitation can also be directed to the cognizant Program Officers.

Cognizant Program Officers

  • Cassidy R. Sugimoto, NSF, telephone: (703) 292-7012, email: csugimot [at] nsf [dot] gov

  • Dorit Zuk, NIGMS, telephone: (301) 594-0943, email: zukd [at] mail [dot] nih [dot] gov

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award:

Standard Grant or Continuing Grant or R01 project (if the proposal is selected to be funded by NIGMS).

Estimated Number of Awards: 4 to 8

It is estimated that about 4-8 awards per year will be made.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $2,000,000

NIGMS and SBE will each devote up to $1.0 million in funding, subject to availability of funds and receipt of meritorious proposals. Award sizes are expected to range from $100,000 to $250,000 (total costs) per year for up to 4 years.

View full solicitation here

Smart and Connected Communities (S&CC)

Monday, January 7, 2019

Program Solicitation
NSF 18-520

Summary

Communities in the United States (US) and around the world are entering a new era of transformation in which residents and their surrounding environments are increasingly connected through rapidly-changing intelligent technologies. This transformation offers great promise for improved wellbeing and prosperity, but poses significant challenges at the complex intersection of technology and society. The goal of the NSF Smart and Connected Communities (S&CC) program solicitation is to accelerate the creation of the scientific and engineering foundations that will enable smart and connected communities to bring about new levels of economic opportunity and growth, safety and security, health and wellness, and overall quality of life. This goal will be achieved through integrative research projects that pair advances in technological and social dimensions with meaningful community engagement.

For the purposes of this solicitation, communities are defined as having geographically-delineated boundaries—such as towns, cities, counties, neighborhoods, community districts, rural areas, and tribal regions—consisting of various populations, with the structure and ability to engage in meaningful ways with proposed research activities. A “smart and connected community” is, in turn, a community that synergistically integrates intelligent technologies with the natural and built environments, including infrastructure, to improve the social, economic, and environmental well-being of those who live, work, or travel within it.

A proposal for an S&CC Integrative Research Grants must include the following:

  • Integrative research that addresses the technological and social dimensions of smart and connected communities;
  • Meaningful community engagement that integrates community stakeholders within the project;
  • A management plan that summarizes how the project will be managed across disciplines, institutions, and community entities; and
  • An evaluation plan for assessing short-, medium-, and long-term impacts of the proposed activities.

S&CC is a cross-directorate program supported by NSF’s Directorates for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), Education and Human Resources (EHR), Engineering (ENG), Geosciences (GEO), and Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE). Awards may be requested for total budgets ranging from $750,000 to $3,000,000 for periods of up to four years.

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award

Standard Grant or Continuing Grant or Cooperative Agreement

Estimated Number of Awards

7 to 15

The number of awards is dependent upon the proposals received and the degree to which proposals meet the solicitation goals, NSF merit review criteria, and solicitation-specific review criteria.

Anticipated Funding Amount

$19,250,000

Subject to the quality of proposals received and availability of funds.

Eligibility Information

Who May Submit Proposals

The categories of proposers eligible to submit proposals to the National Science Foundation are identified in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), Chapter I.E.

Who May Serve as PI

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI

2

An individual may appear as PI, Co-PI, Senior Personnel, or Consultant on no more than two proposals submitted in response to this solicitation.

In the event that an individual exceeds this limit, proposals received within the limit will be accepted based on earliest date and time of proposal submission (i.e., the first two proposals received prior to the deadline will be accepted and the remainder will be returned without review). This limitation includes proposals submitted by a lead organization and any subawards included as part of a collaborative proposal involving multiple institutions. No exceptions will be made.

Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

  • Letters of Intent: Submission of Letters of Intent is required. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

  • Preliminary Proposal Submission: Not required

B. Budgetary Information

  • Cost Sharing Requirements:

    Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.

  • Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations:

    Not Applicable

  • Other Budgetary Limitations:

    Not Applicable

C. Due Dates

  • Letter of Intent Due Date(s) (required) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

         January 30, 2018

  • Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

         February 28, 2018

Dear Colleague Letter: STEM Workforce Development Utilizing Flexible Personal Learning Environments

Thursday, December 13, 2018

December 4, 2018

Dear Colleagues:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) seeks new proposals and supplemental funding requests to existing awards that support flexible personalized learning to prepare the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce of the future. NSF envisions projects that collectively apply to all learners, from young children to those already in the workforce. In particular, we would like to support research that complements an anticipated future funding opportunity made possible by a gift from the Boeing Corporation, which was announced on September 24, 2018 (https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=296700).

The Boeing gift established a partnership between NSF and Boeing to accelerate training in crucial skill areas for the future U.S. workforce. It will be used to support design, development, implementation, and analysis of online courses in model-based engineering, model-based systems engineering, mechatronics, robotics, data science and sensor analytics, program management, and artificial intelligence. These courses will use personalized learning systems to maximize their effectiveness for diverse learners.

There will be two parallel funding opportunities to support STEM workforce preparation. One will be made possible by the Boeing gift and the other involves the efforts funded in response to this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL). For the opportunities in response to this DCL, NSF seeks proposals that will broadly inform development of personalized learning systems or generalize the research results generated during the deployment of online courses. This could be accomplished either by using the data generated by those systems or by studying the systems themselves. NSF encourages innovative educational research and development proposals that will help the nation educate the STEM workforce of the future.

NSF invites proposals to existing programs listed below and requests for supplemental funding to existing awards that engage a convergent science approach (https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/big_ideas/convergent.jsp). Such an approach often benefits from interdisciplinary teams representing multiple fields. Such teams can make learning a convergent experience and accomplish learning goals that are not otherwise achievable.

The outcomes of successful proposals responding to this DCL will advance evidence-based understanding of STEM workforce development at any level. Successful proposals will include a well-developed research plan that specifies how the project will strengthen the research base that informs investments in STEM workforce preparation and development. For example, proposals may address topics including, but not limited to:

  • effective design of personalized learning systems for STEM education at any level;
  • factors that increase persistence, motivation, self-efficacy, and retention of learners;
  • the influence of public/private partnerships on workforce preparation;
  • the design of educational interventions that meet workplace expectations for knowledge and competencies; and
  • measuring the effectiveness of these interventions for different audiences.

Proposers are encouraged to leverage current and anticipated future NSF investments (e.g., interdisciplinary research centers, large facilities, funded workforce development projects) as research bases. NSF anticipates that coordinated synergistic efforts are likely to be more fruitful than fragmented individual contributions.

RESPONDING TO THIS DCL

Proposals responding to this DCL should be made through one of the existing NSF programs listed below. Supplemental funding requests responding to this DCL for existing awards in the programs listed below are also welcome. To determine whether a research topic is within the scope of this DCL, principal investigators are strongly encouraged to contact the managing NSF Program Officer(s) of the participating program(s) to which they plan to submit their proposal. These programs include:

For new proposals to ensure proper consideration, principal investigators must refer to this DCL in the overview statement of the Project Summary and in the Project Description. Requests for supplemental funding to existing awards must also include a reference to this DCL. The Project Description or supplemental funding request should also include a brief description about how the project supports flexible personalized learning, thus complementing the work funded by the Boeing gift.

In summary, proposals responding to this DCL:

  1. could be high-risk, but have the potential for high reward;
  2. should include multidisciplinary leadership teams;
  3. will advance evidence-based understanding of STEM workforce development at any level (K-12 through workplace);
  4. must inform development of personalized learning systems or generalize the research results generated during the deployment of those systems;
  5. must include a research plan that will contribute new knowledge about STEM workforce preparation and development;
  6. must be submitted to one of the programs listed in this DCL; and
  7. must comply with the relevant program/solicitation-specific requirements.

CONTACTS

For questions about any of the programs listed above, please contact one of the programs officers listed in the respective solicitation. General questions about this Dear Colleague Letter may be addressed to:

  • R. Steven Turley, rturley [at] nsf [dot] gov, (703) 292-2207
  • John C. Cherniavsky, jchernia [at] nsf [dot] gov, (703) 292-5136
  • David Haury, dhaury [at] nsf [dot] gov, (703) 292-5102
  • Ann Rivet, arivet [at] nsf [dot] gov, (703) 292-4764
  • Heather Watson, hwatson [at] nsf [dot] gov, (703) 292-7091

Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation 2019

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Program Solicitation
NSF 19-502

NSF Logo  

National Science Foundation

Directorate for Engineering
     Emerging Frontiers and Multidisciplinary Activities

Directorate for Biological Sciences

Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering

 
AFOSR logo

Air Force Office of Scientific Research

Letter of Intent Due Date(s) (required) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

     November 29, 2018

Preliminary Proposal Due Date(s) (required) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

     January 07, 2019

Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

     April 25, 2019

 

Synopsis of Program

The Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) program of the NSF Directorate for Engineering (ENG) serves a critical role in helping ENG focus on important emerging areas in a timely manner. This solicitation is a funding opportunity for interdisciplinary teams of researchers to embark on rapidly advancing frontiers of fundamental engineering research. For this solicitation, we will consider proposals that aim to investigate emerging frontiers in one of the following two research areas:

  • Chromatin and Epigenetic Engineering (CEE)
  • Continuum, Compliant, and Configurable Soft Robotics Engineering (C3 SoRo)

This solicitation will be coordinated with the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) and the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE).

EFRI seeks proposals with transformative ideas that represent an opportunity for a significant shift in fundamental engineering knowledge with a strong potential for long term impact on national needs or a grand challenge. The proposals must also meet the detailed requirements delineated in this solicitation.

FURTHER INFORMATION: Further information about the EFRI program may be obtained by viewing the slides from the FY18 EFRI informational webinar. Please click here to view the FY18 slides.

 

Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

  • Letters of Intent: Submission of Letters of Intent is required. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.
  • Preliminary Proposals: Submission of Preliminary Proposals is required. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.
  • Full Proposals:

B. Budgetary Information

  • Cost Sharing Requirements:

    Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.

  • Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations:

    Not Applicable

  • Other Budgetary Limitations:

    Not Applicable

C. Due Dates

  • Letter of Intent Due Date(s) (required) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

         November 29, 2018

  • Preliminary Proposal Due Date(s) (required) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

         January 07, 2019

  • Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

         April 25, 2019

 

New NSF Solicitation: Understanding the Rules of Life, Epigenetics

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Solicitation  18-600

 

DUE DATES

Full Proposal Deadline Date

    February 1, 2019

 

SYNOPSIS

In 2016, the National Science Foundation (NSF) unveiled a set of “Big Ideas,” 10 bold, long-term research and process ideas that identify areas for future investment at the frontiers of science and engineering (see https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/big_ideas/index.jsp). The Big Ideas represent unique opportunities to position our Nation at the cutting edge of global science and engineering leadership by bringing together diverse disciplinary perspectives to support convergence research. As such, when responding to this solicitation, even though proposals must be submitted to the Division of Emerging Frontiers in the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO/EF), once received, the proposals will be managed by a cross-disciplinary team of NSF Program Directors.

The purpose of the Understanding the Rules of Life: Epigenetics (URoL:Epigenetics) program is to enable innovative research and to promote multidisciplinary education and workforce training in the broad area of epigenetics. The URoL:Epigenetics program is a wide collaboration across Directorates/Offices within the National Science Foundation with a focus on understanding the relationship between epigenetic mechanisms associated with environmental change, the resultant phenotypes of organisms, and how these mechanisms lead to robustness and adaptability of organisms and populations.

Understanding the Rules of Life (URoL): Predicting Phenotype is one of NSF’s 10 Big Ideas and is focused on predicting the set of observable characteristics (phenotype) from the genetic makeup of the individual and the nature of its environment. The development of new research tools has revolutionized our ability to manipulate and investigate the genome and to measure multiple aspects of biological, physical, and social environments. The opportunity now is to assimilate this new information into causal, mechanistic, and/or predictive relationships between the genomic and epigenetic makeup, the environmental experience, and the phenotypic characteristics of biological systems. These relationships are the basis for the Rules of Life – the theoretical constructs that explain and predict the characteristics of living systems, from molecular and sub-cellular components, to cells, whole organisms, communities and biomes.

The recognition that heritable phenotypic properties can occur without modification of an organism’s genome sequence is changing the understanding of the way heritable traits come about and manifest themselves as observable phenotypes within a particular static or changing environmental context. The impact of epigenetic inheritance occurs at the molecular, cellular, and organismal scales, and may have profound consequences for the higher-order organization of living systems, such as populations, communities, and ecosystems.

Successful projects of the URoL:Epigenetics Program are anticipated to use complementary, interdisciplinary approaches to investigate how epigenetic phenomena lead to emergent properties that explain the fundamental behavior of living systems. Ultimately, successful projects should identify general principles ("rules") that underlie a wide spectrum of biological phenomena across size, complexity (e.g., molecular, cellular, organismal, population) and temporal scales (from sub-second to geologic) in taxa from anywhere within the tree of life. URoL:Epigenetics projects must integrate perspectives and research approaches from more than one research discipline (e.g., biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, geology, mathematics, physics, social and behavioral sciences). The interdisciplinary scope of URoL:Epigenetics projects also provides unique training and outreach possibilities to train the next generation of scientists in a diversity of approaches and to engage society more generally.  

The URoL:Epigenetics Program offers two submission tracks: Track 1 - for projects with a total budget of up to $500,000 and an award duration of up to 3 years, and Track 2 - for projects with a total budget of up to $3,000,000 and award duration of up to 5 years.

 

What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)

 

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program

Podcast on Drought Features a Missouri Transect Plant Team Member

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Missouri is currently facing a drought alert and 30 counties are experiencing extreme drought this summer.  University of Missouri Chancellor, Dr. Alexander N. Cartwright, sat down for an Inside Mizzou podcast with several MU professors, including Dr. Felix Fritschi of the Missouri Transect Plant Team to discuss how drought is understood and felt by communities, how it is studied at MU and how research can help bring about innovation to combat drought and natural disasters. 
 

Pages