The National Science Foundation's (NSF's) Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) Initiative is a Foundation-wide effort to accelerate improvements in the quality and effectiveness of undergraduate education in all STEM fields. By improving the quality and effectiveness of undergraduate education in all STEM fields, IUSE investments enable NSF to lead national progress toward a diverse and innovative workforce and a STEM-literate public.
The IUSE: Education and Human Resources (IUSE: EHR) 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: EHR program seek to contribute to the educational and capacity-building goals of the NSF Directorate for Education and Human Resources and to the strategic goals and objectives of the NSF.
The IUSE: EHR program supports projects designed to contribute to a future in which all undergraduate students are fully engaged in their STEM learning. The IUSE: EHR 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: EHR must:
To accomplish these goals, IUSE: EHR projects may focus their activities at any level, including the student, faculty, institutional or community 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: EHR program include, but are not limited to, the following:
IUSE: EHR 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: EHR 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 outcomes. 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.
Estimated Total Program Funding: