The NSF’s Education and Human Resources Directorate seeks to invest in projects that can educate the STEM workforce to advance discovery in the six research Big Ideas: Harnessing the Data Revolution; The Future of Work; Navigating the New Arctic; Multi-messenger Astrophysics; The Quantum Leap; and Understanding the Rules of Life. In addition to developing and implementing novel educational and/or training programs, these projects should simultaneously generate new knowledge about effective STEM education, by studying such programs and exploring related issues.
Specifically, NSF accepts proposals to support education research and development projects focused on re- or up-skilling the existing workforce; developing the skilled technical workforce; and/or preparing those at the undergraduate, graduate, or postdoctoral fellow/early career levels. We encourage projects to partner with industry, public, and private sectors to define the needs of tomorrow’s workforce and develop educational and learning strategies to meet those needs. Proposals should address near-, mid-, and long-term challenges and opportunities facing the development of STEM professionals or anticipate new structures and functions of the STEM learning and teaching enterprise. Proposers are encouraged to include approaches that have the potential to increase and diversify participation in STEM. All proposals should contribute to one or more of the six research Big Ideas.
EHR is particularly interested in supporting innovative education research and development in two Big Ideas: The Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier (FW-HTF) and Harnessing the Data Revolution for 21st Century Science and Engineering (HDR). Projects of interest include: innovative uses of technology and big data to understand learning; educational approaches that prepare tomorrow’s innovators to use technology and big data to understand the natural world; effects of advances in intelligent agents on STEM teaching and learning; and evaluation of disruptive educational interventions on long-term student outcomes.
The STEM+C Program focuses on research and development of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches to the integration of computing within STEM teaching and learning for preK-12 students in both formal and informal settings. The STEM+C program supports research on how students learn to think computationally to solve interdisciplinary problems in science and mathematics. The program supports research and development that builds on evidence-based teacher preparation or professional development activities that enable teachers to provide excellent instruction on the integration of computation and STEM disciplines. Proposals should describe projects that are grounded in prior evidence and theory, are innovative or potentially transformative, and that will generate and build knowledge about the integration of computing and one or more STEM disciplines at the preK-12 level.
A proposal submitted to this program description should describe the integration of computing with one or more STEM disciplines. A proposal may focus on studies on the effects of integrating computational thinking with STEM disciplines or the challenges of implementing these potentially disruptive educational interventions. Proposed projects may develop models, assessments, and technological tools to support teaching and learning in this area as well as conduct research on these models, assessments, and tools.