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FUNDING > Widening Implementation...

Division of Undergraduate Education

Myles Boylan
mboylan@nsf.gov, (703) 292-4617
Room 835 N

Solicitation 13-552

Important Notice to Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), NSF 13-1, was issued on October 4, 2012 and is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 14, 2013. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 13-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.

Please be aware that significant changes have been made to the PAPPG to implement revised merit review criteria based on the National Science Board (NSB) report, National Science Foundation's Merit Review Criteria: Review and Revisions. While the two merit review criteria remain unchanged (Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts), guidance has been provided to clarify and improve the function of the criteria. Changes will affect the project summary and project description sections of proposals. Annual and final reports also will be affected.

A by-chapter summary of this and other significant changes is provided at the beginning of both the Grant Proposal Guide and the Award & Administration Guide.

Current but no Longer Receiving Proposals

The chief goal of WIDER is to transform institutions of higher education into supportive environments for STEM faculty members to substantially increase their use of evidence-based teaching and learning practices. The first recommendation in the Report of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), "Engage to Excel," is to increase widespread implementation of evidence-based practices in order to increase persistence in STEM and contribute to the goal of producing 1 million additional STEM graduates. 

Through this process, WIDER seeks to substantially increase the scale of application of highly effective methods of STEM teaching and learning in institutions of higher education, by employing instructional materials and methods that have a convincing evidentiary basis of effectiveness.  In particular WIDER seeks this transformation for high enrollment, lower division courses required for many STEM majors and taken by many other students to fulfill general education distribution requirements.

Included in our broad definition of effective STEM teaching and learning are not only instructional practices in traditional learning environments, but also modern laboratory methods and field research, proven distance education methods (or hybrid designs incorporating both face-to-face and distance methods), and improved approaches to motivating student interest in STEM.  In all cases, the primary goal of WIDER is to increase substantially the scale of these improvements within and across the higher education sector in order to achieve:

(1) Improved student learning;

(2) Increased numbers of students choosing STEM majors, particularly from demographic groups underrepresented in STEM;

(3) Improved retention in the first two years of undergraduate study and to graduation of all STEM majors. 

Applicants may apply for WIDER grants to begin institutional planning efforts, to support implementation efforts for evidence-based teaching and learning practices, and for research on how to increase the importance placed on evidence-based practices in institutional strategic planning and faculty rewards.

Display additional information

Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program Centers
Advanced Technological Education
Historically Black Colleges and Universities - Undergraduate Program
Tribal Colleges and Universities Program
Research in Engineering Education (REE)
Cyberlearning: Transforming Education
ADVANCE: Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers

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

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