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1 NSF Undergraduate Programs Five Colleges April 2012 Duncan McBride Division of Undergraduate Education National Science Foundation

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Presentation on theme: "1 NSF Undergraduate Programs Five Colleges April 2012 Duncan McBride Division of Undergraduate Education National Science Foundation"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 NSF Undergraduate Programs Five Colleges April 2012 Duncan McBride Division of Undergraduate Education National Science Foundation

2 2 Outline of Talk  National Science Foundation  Division of Undergraduate Education  Transforming Undergrad STEM Ed (TUES)  S-STEM, STEP  RUI, ROA, REU  What Happens to Your Proposal?  What to Do After a Decline?  Discussion and Questions

3 What is NSF  A federal agency that funds grants for research and education in all sciences  Provides 21% of federal research support  Provides majority of support in Computer Sci, Math, Social. Sci, Environmental Sci, Physical Sci. Also basic Bio (excluding NIH)  Director, National Science Board, 7 Assistant Directors, ~52 Divisions 4/9/2012 3

4 What is NSF (continued)  Annual budget of $7.0 billion  Staff of 1400 career, 200 rotator, 450 contractor  55,600 proposals a year, 13,000 new grants  46,000 reviewers  Web site includes both organization and staff telephone directories. 4

5 Division of Undergraduate Education  Responsible for programs that support excellence at the undergraduate level in all sciences  Multi-disciplinary staff, all with strong disciplinary connections  Programs:  Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science*  Advanced Technological Education  Scholarships in STEM*  Federal Cyber-Service Scholarships  Noyce Teacher Scholarships  STEM Talent Expansion*  Math-Science Partnerships 5

6 . Other undergraduate programs and activities in many NSF Divisions. Include here three activities across NSF: Research in Undergraduate Institutions* Research Opportunity Awards* Research Experiences for Undergraduates* 6

7 Who’s Who in DUE  Biology  Celeste Carter  Jose Herrera  Mary Lee Ledbetter  Terry Woodin  Chemistry  Pam Brown  Joe Grabowski  Hal Richtol  Computer Science  Guy-Alain Amoussou  Sue Fitzgerald  Victor Piotrowski  Suzanne Westbrook  Geosciences  Peter Lea  Engineering  Maura Borrego  Louis Everett  Susan Finger  Don Millard  Math  Richard Alo  Ron Buckmire  Lee Zia  Physics/Astronomy  Duncan McBride  Dick Peterson  Social Sciences/Assessment  Connie Della-Piana  Myles Boylan  [Vacancies in Eng, Chem, Geo] 4/9/2012 7

8 8 Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (TUES Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (TUES) DUE’s broadest, most flexible program  Purpose of the Program  To improve the quality of STEM education for all students by targeting activities affecting learning environments, course content, curricula, and educational practices  Supports projects at all levels of undergraduate education.  Supports activities in the classroom, laboratory, and field settings CCLI became TUES two years ago

9 9 TUES: Three Scales of Projects Type 1 Projects (small grants) Up to $200,000 ($250,000 when 4-year & 2-year schools collaborate); 2 to 3 years (can occur at a single institution with primarily local impact) Type 2 Projects (medium grants) Up to $600,000; 2 to 4 years; build on smaller- scale proven ideas. Diverse users at several institutions Type 3 Projects (large grants) Up to $5,000,000; negotiable; 3 to 5 years; combine proven results and mature products. Involve several diverse institutions

10 10 TUES: Additional opportunity Central Resource Projects:  Leadership activities in TUES  Research or evaluation on the TUES program  Meetings for TUES PIs or a large subset to encourage cooperation among PIs  Budget depends on scope and scale of the project  Need close consultation with the program

11 11 Implementing Educational Innovations Creating New Learning Materials and Teaching Strategies Assessing Learning and Evaluating Innovations Developing Faculty Expertise Project Components Research on Undergraduate STEM Teaching and Learning TUES “Cycle of Innovation”

12 12 TUES - Creating New Learning Materials and Teaching Strategies  Type 1 projects can focus on piloting new educational materials and instructional methods; Type 2 projects on larger-scale development, broad testing, and assessment.  Type 1 projects can focus on outcomes at a single site, but must include evaluation and some way of engaging the scientific community outside the local site.  Can be combined with other components, especially faculty development in Type 2.

13 13 TUES - Developing Faculty Expertise  Activities that enable faculty to gain expertise  May range from short-term workshops to sustained activities  Foster new communities of scientists in undergraduate education  Cost-effective professional development  Diverse group of faculty  Leading to implementation  May be combined with other components, especially materials development and assessment  Excellent opportunities exist for you to participate in regional and national workshops

14 14 TUES - Implementing Educational Innovations  Phase 1 projects generally  Projects must result in improved STEM education at local institution via implementing exemplary materials, laboratory experiences, or educational practices developed and tested at other institutions.  TUES-Implementation projects must stand as models for broader adaptation in the scientific community.  Proposals may request funds in any budget category supported by NSF, including instrumentation

15 15 TUES - Assessing Learning and Evaluating Innovations  Design and test new assessment and evaluation tools and processes.  Apply new and existing tools to conduct broad-based assessments  Must span multiple projects and be of general interest

16 16 TUES - Conducting Research on STEM Teaching and Learning  Develop new research on teaching and learning  Synthesize previous results and theories  Practical focus  Testable new ideas  Impact on STEM educational practices.  May be combined with other components

17 17 Examples of Phase (Type) 1 TUES Projects  David Marsh, Washington and Lee University “Toads, Roads, and Nodes: Collaborative Course-Based Research on the Landscape Ecology of Amphibian Populations” NSF award  Jamie Schneider, University of Wisconsin-River Falls “Collaborative Research: Immediate Feedback Assessment in Chemistry Courses” NSF award  David Kinner, Western Carolina University “Testing the Benefits of Undergraduate Research-Based Learning … in … Hydrogeomorphology” NSF award  Stephen Hagen, University of Florida “An Advanced Laboratory in Biological Physics”, NSF award

18 18 Human Subjects and the IRB (Institutional Review Board)  Projects collecting data from or on students or faculty members are considered to involve human subjects and require IRB review  Proposal should indicate IRB status on the cover  Exempt, Approved, Pending  NSF Grants Office will require an official statement from the IRB declaring the research exempt or approved.  See “Human Subjects” section in GPG  NOTE: For TUES, IRB approval usually is obtained during award negotiations, not with the proposal.

19 19 Important Features of Successful TUES Projects  Quality, Relevance, and Impact: Transform  Student Focus  Use of and Contribution to the STEM Education Knowledge Base  STEM Education Community-Building  Expected Measurable Outcomes  Project Evaluation

20 20 Expected Measurable Outcomes  Goals and objectives translated into expected measurable outcomes  Project specific  Some expected measurable outcomes on  Student learning  Contributions to the knowledge base  Community building  Used to monitor progress, guide the project, and evaluate its ultimate impact

21 21 Project Evaluation  Include strategies for  Monitoring the project as it evolves  Evaluating the project’s effectiveness when completed  Based on the project-specific expected measurable outcomes  Appropriate for scope of the project

22 22 Lessons From Prior Rounds of the Program  Type 1 is an open competition – many new players;  Type 2 requires substantial demonstrated preliminary work;  Type 3 is for projects from an experienced team with a national scale.  Program web page on the NSF-DUE-TUES site includes link to recent awards (abstracts and contact information)

23 23 Funding and Deadlines  Expect to fund, all disciplines  130 Type 1 projects  45 Type 2 projects  4-6 Type 3 projects  1-3 Central Resource projects  TUES spends about $56 million per year  Proposal Deadlines  Type 1: May 28-29, 2012  Type 2 and 3, and CRP : January 14, 2013  [Focused CRP workshops by agreement.]

24 24 What is new since CCLI  TYPES have replaced PHASES  Raised limit on proposal size ($200K, $600K, $5M, $3M)  Explicit encouragement of projects with the potential to be transformative  New Central Resource Project opportunity  Increased emphasis on building on knowledge of how students learn, building on prior work, and encouraging widespread adoption of excellent teaching methods.

25 25 What is new for 2012  Increased emphasis on projects that have the potential to transform undergraduate education  Special interest in widespread adoption of exemplary materials  Larger projects should promote adaptation elsewhere  Increased emphasis on institutionalization of project  While some added emphases, no significant change in direction  Remains DUE’s core program that funds the best ideas in the disciplines (and interdisciplinary projects)

26 Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI)  An activity in all NSF research programs; not a separate program. Research program deadlines apply  Proposals evaluated in regular research programs  No separate program budget; funded from research programs  Proposals require a RUI Impact Statement and receive special review instructions  Lots of RUI experience at the four colleges  Contacts: Program Directors in the appropriate research program  Spending: 2011 $58.6 million across NSF 26

27 Research Opportunity Awards (ROA)  Supplements to existing NSF research grants  Support a faculty member from a predominately undergraduate institution to participate in research at another institution  Advantages: supplement is quick and informal; provides a chance to start research  Disadvantage: Not a grant to the PUI faculty  Spending: small; a part of RUI  Under-used 27

28 Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)  Research for undergraduate students  Sites (independent grants) or supplements to existing NSF research grants  A significant number of students from outside the host institution  Students must be citizens or permanent residents  Managed by NSF research Division or Directorate  Budget: Stipends for students; supplies; small amount for PI; limited admin allowance  Spending: 2011: $78.6 million  Deadline: First Friday in June 28

29 29 Writing a Proposal: Getting Started Formatting, Fastlane, and Grants.gov  NSF proposal format requirements  15 single-spaced pages  Check type fonts required  Intellectual Merit & Broader Impact explicit in Project Summary  Other required format instructions in Grant Proposal Guide  Fastlane submission  Web-based software – access from any browser  Mature, well-supported system for NSF  Accepts many file types, converts to.pdf  Grants.gov  Government-wide system, less friendly than Fastlane, does not support all NSF forms. Allow extra time.

30 30 What Happens to your Proposal?  Submission of proposal via FastLane  Proposals are reviewed individually or by panels of faculty within the discipline(s) [Note: DUE primarily uses panels]  A minimum of three persons outside NSF review each proposal  For proposals reviewed by a panel, individual reviews and a panel summary are prepared for each proposal  NSF program staff member attends the panel discussion  The Program Officer assigned to manage the proposal’s review considers the advice of reviewers and formulates a recommendation  Negotiations may be necessary to address reviewers’ comments, budget issues, and other concerns

31 31 What Happens to Your Proposal (cont)  NSF is has the goal of telling 70% applicants whether their proposals have been declined or recommended for funding within six months.  Verbatim copies of reviews, not including the identity of the reviewer, are provided to the PI.  Proposals recommended for funding are forwarded to the Division of Grants and Agreements for review.  Only Grants and Agreements Officers may make awards.  Notification of the award is made to the submitting organization by a DGA Officer.

32 What to do after a decline 32  Get your emotions out….  Read your proposal reviews and prepare specific questions.  Contact the program officer to discuss your proposal constructively.  Start rewriting your proposal right away.  Polish your proposal by requesting that faculty from your disciple and out your of discipline review it for you.

33 33 How to Really Learn about Programs and Process  Become a reviewer for the proposals submitted to the program  Send to the lead or disciplinary program officer, and attach a short curriculum vitae  Your name will be added to the database of potential reviewers  TUES uses many new reviewers each year, especially for Type 1  Each NSF program maintains its own reviewer files, and practices vary.

34 34 Scholarships in STEM (S-STEM)  Makes grants to colleges and universities to operate a scholarship project for their students  Covers all natural sciences, CS, Engineering, Math, Technology  Proposal describes student services, academic support, administration of project—more than $  Goal is to attract and retain students in STEM majors

35 Scholarships in STEM (S-STEM) (continued)  Close interaction with faculty and other students is an important part of the project; faculty PI and other faculty involvement  NSF grants up to $600,000 for up to 5 years  Program makes about 90 grants per year  Scholarships are need-based, for able students, up to $10,000 per year  Deadline: August 14,

36 36 STEM Talent Expansion Program (STEP)  Increase the number of students receiving associate or baccalaureate degrees in established or emerging fields within STEM.  Many ways to do this: for example, recruiting; retention to degree; program quality; program capacity; increased diversity; undergraduate research. Emphasis on numbers  Type 1 projects are considered to be institutional efforts Type 1A proposals from an institution that has not previously been the lead institution on a STEP Type 1. Type 1B proposals from an institution that has previously been the lead institution on a STEP Type 1.  Type 2 projects are educational research on factors affecting associate or baccalaureate degree attainment in STEM.

37 STEM Talent Expansion Program (STEP) (continued)  STEP budget is $26M.  Type 1 projects: For five years, depends on # of undergraduate students - 5,000 or fewer, up to $500,000; 5000 to 15,000 up to $1.0 M; more than 15,000, up to $2.0 M  Type 2 projects : $1.5 million for projects of up to four years  Deadline: September 25,  Leadership change: Susan Hixson has retired, now Lee Zia and Connie Della-Piana. 37

38 Comments … Questions 38


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