Internal Competition: NSF IUSE

NSF IUSE Pre-proposal: Institutional and Community Transformation and Engaged Student Learning Projects

This internal competition invites responses to the NSF IUSE:EDU program. The IUSE: Directorate for STEM Education (IUSE: EDU) program seeks to promote novel, creative, and transformative approaches to generating and using new knowledge about STEM teaching and learning to improve STEM education for all undergraduates. Through its investments, the program seeks to support development, and implementation, and research efforts that (1) bring recent advances in STEM disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge into undergraduate education, (2) adapt, improve, and incorporate evidence-based practices into STEM teaching and learning, and (3) lay the groundwork for institutional improvement. Investments made by the IUSE: EDU program seek to contribute to the educational and capacity-building goals of the NSF Directorate for STEM Education and to the strategic goals and objectives of the NSF

Concept Paper Deadline: May 26th, 2023

Sponsor Proposal Deadline: July 19th, 2023

Full Synopsis:

The IUSE: EDU program supports projects designed to contribute to a future in which all undergraduate students are fully engaged in their STEM learning. The IUSE: EDU program promotes (1) Engaged Student Learning: the development, testing, and use of teaching practices and curricular innovations that will engage students and improve learning, persistence, and retention in STEM, and (2) Institutional and Community Transformation: the transformation of colleges and universities to implement and sustain highly effective STEM teaching and learning.

All projects supported by IUSE: EDU must:

  • Demonstrate a strong rationale for project objectives or incorporate and build on educational practices that are demonstrably effective

  • Contribute to the development of exemplary undergraduate STEM education

  • Add to the body of knowledge about what works in undergraduate STEM education and the conditions that lead to improved STEM teaching and learning

  • Measure project progress and achievement of project goals

To accomplish these goals, IUSE: EDU projects may focus their activities at any level, including the student, faculty, institutional or community5 levels. Development, propagation, adaptation, and transferability of evidence-based practices are also important considerations. Projects should consider designing materials and practices for use in a wide variety of institutions or institutional types. Topics of interest to the IUSE: EDU program include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Development and study of the efficacy of innovative teaching and learning practices and resources

  • Development, testing, and dissemination of instruments for measuring student outcomes

  • Efforts to increase the diversity of the STEM workforce including K-12 teachers and/or the faculty and institutions engaged in work to improve undergraduate STEM education

  • Faculty professional development to increase the use of evidence-based teaching practices

  • Implementation of and research on sustained change processes involved in adopting evidence-based and effective instruction within or across departments, disciplines, or institutions

  • Efforts to achieve STEM educational goals through innovative partnerships, for example with community organizations, local, regional, or national industries, centers for teaching and learning, professional societies, or libraries,

  • Propagating and sustaining transformative and effective STEM teaching and learning through institutional practices or involvement of professional societies

IUSE: EDU also welcomes proposals to conduct workshops and conferences aimed at improving undergraduate STEM education, developing implementation practices, and/or assembling research partnerships and agendas.

All IUSE: EDU projects are expected to increase knowledge about effective STEM education. This may be achieved through posing one or more research questions that will be answered through the course of the study or through evaluation of project activities, impacts, or outcomes6. Projects should include a well-designed plan to gather data and should specify methods of analysis that will be employed to answer the questions posed and mechanisms to evaluate success of the project. Projects should also specify strategies for generating and using formative and summative assessment of project processes, outputs, and/or outcomes.

The IUSE: EDU program strongly encourages collaboration among disciplinary instructors, departmental and institutional administrators, and educational researchers in the design and implementation of a project. Transferability and propagation are important aspects for IUSE: EDU-supported efforts and should be addressed throughout a project’s lifetime. Dissemination plans should ensure that resources and findings from the project are accessible for multiple audiences, such as researchers and educators. Ultimately, results and findings from IUSE: EDU projects are expected to contribute to EDU’s larger themes focusing on STEM learning and learning environments, broadening participation and institutional capacity in STEM, and/or STEM professional workforce development.

To compete for the 2023 deadline, please prepare and submit a 2-3 page concept paper outlining either an Engaged Student Learning Level 2/3 or an Institutional and Community Transformation Level 2 project. Please see the full solicitation, here for details about these two tracks. Concept papers should be submitted via UMaine’s InfoReady portal.

Please contact Saul Allen ( with any questions concerning this opportunity.