Chapter 3 - EDUCATION AND HUMAN RESOURCES


The Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) is responsible for the health and continued vitality of the Nation's science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education, and for providing leadership in the effort to improve education in these areas. EHR has five major long-term goals.

  1. To help ensure that a high quality school education in science is available to every child in the United States and that it is sufficient to enable those who are interested to pursue technical careers at all levels, as well as to provide a base for understanding by all citizens.
  2. To help ensure that the educational pipelines that carry all students to careers in science, mathematics, and engineering yield numbers of adequately educated individuals who can meet the needs of the U.S. technical workplace.
  3. To help ensure that those who select a career in a science or engineering discipline have available the best professional undergraduate and graduate education, and that opportunities are available at the college level for interested nonspecialists to broaden their scientific backgrounds.
  4. To encourage the development of a cadre of professionally educated and trained teachers to ensure excellence in school education for every student and learner.
  5. To support informal science education programs and to maintain public interest in, and awareness of, scientific and technological developments.

These goals provide the focus for the various activities of the directorate's seven divisions/offices described in this chapter.

International Science Education Activities

As an integral component of its overall mission, the NSF encourages U.S. participation in international activities that promise substantial benefits to the science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (SMET) education and research enterprise of the United States. Within this framework the EHR Directorate will consider support for those activities that offer access to resources, including equipment, materials, practices, and personnel, that could inform the U.S. education system, increase the competitiveness of U.S. personnel, assess the relative achievement of U.S. students, and facilitate the identification/analysis of "best practices" in SMET education. For more specific information, contact each individual program office within EHR (see program descriptions below).

Education and Outreach Activities

In addition to research activities, the Foundation seeks to advance science and human resource capabilities. In order to promote general science literacy related to environmental and global change issues, NSF participates in the multiagency Global Learning to Benefit the Earth (GLOBE) Program. The GLOBE Program is a developing international effort that links scientists and schoolchildren through a global information network.

For More Information

For further information on GLOBE, contact Dr. Patricia Morse in the Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education (ESIE) Division at (703) 306-1614; by Internet: mpmorse@nsf.gov; or contact Dr. Peter Wilkniss in the Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) at (703) 306-0892; by Internet: pwilkniss@nsf.gov. (For further information on programs in the GEO Directorate see chapter 5.)


Educational System Reform

The Division of Educational System Reform (ESR) manages a cadre of programs that encourage and facilitate coordinated approaches to the standards-based reform of science and mathematics education.

Systemic reform relies upon partnerships to identify needs, articulate visions, and develop goals, strategies, and activities for improvement of targeted areas. While each initiative is unique in its approach, all must begin with collaboration among individuals and organizations motivated to enhance educational opportunities for students and to improve the scientific and technological infrastructure of a state, city, or region. The initiative develops a plan of action that will best utilize existing resources and provide for growth supported by expanding resources.

ESR sponsors programs that catalyze change. Activities include the Statewide Systemic Initiatives (SSI), Urban Systemic Initiatives (USI), and Rural Systemic Initiatives (RSI) Programs. These cultivate coordination within states, cities, rural areas, school systems, and other organizations involved with education, thereby resulting in a comprehensive impact on curriculum, policy, professional development, assessment, resource allocation, and student performance.

Statewide Systemic Initiatives

The Statewide Systemic Initiatives (SSI) Program is a major effort by the NSF to encourage improvements in science, mathematics, and engineering education through comprehensive systemic changes in the education systems of the States. State-level initiatives are an important way to reach the more than 15,000 school districts that make up the Nation's diverse school system, and seed them with proven, effective methods for encouraging the spread of successful change at every level. Systemic and lasting educational improvements in the United States depend on effective State policies, State adoption of high quality materials and curricula, and well-prepared teachers and administrators. Strong State education programs and policies are vital links between national education goals and classroom implementation of the practices that will help us achieve these goals.

Eligibility

No new competition was held in fiscal year 1995. Plans for fiscal year 1996 will be announced at a later date. Currently 24 States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico are active awardees.

For More Information

For a detailed description of this initiative, contact the Statewide Systemic Initiatives Program, Directorate for Education and Human Resources, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 875, Arlington, Virginia 22230, (703) 306-1682.

Urban Systemic Initiatives

The Urban Systemic Initiatives (USI) Program in science, mathematics, and technology education was established in fiscal year 1993 to challenge the Nation's commitment to bring about sustained school reform in its urban centers. Through this initiative, the Foundation targets the 25 cities with the largest number of school-age children living in poverty to launch systemic programs to foster experimentation, accelerate the rate of change, and implement system-wide improvement in mathematics, science, and technology for grades pre- K through 12. "Systemic" refers to fundamental, comprehensive, and coordinated changes in science, mathematics, and technology education through attendant changes in policy, resource allocation, governance, management, content, and conduct.

The importance of USI is made apparent by the fact that urban school systems enroll approximately half of all public school students in the United States. Recent studies point to a continued disparity between the academic performance of these students and that of their counterparts in suburban schools. The challenge is to reduce the gap between these groups while supporting an upward trajectory for all.

The design and implementation of USI engages several organizational components of the Foundation, as well as private foundations, business and industry, and other Federal agencies. Principal participants in urban areas must collaborate to develop a rich array of networks and partnerships that will ensure that all children learn quality science and mathematics.

Eligibility

Eligibility for USI is limited to the 25 cities with the largest number of school-age children (ages 5 to 17) living in economic poverty, as determined by the 1990 census.

The 25 USI-eligible cities are Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, El Paso, Fresno, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, and St. Louis. Currently 16 cities have received implementation awards.

Deadline

No proposal receipt dates have been established beyond fiscal year 1995. The NSF Bulletin, a monthly publication produced by the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs, may be consulted for updates on program deadlines and target dates.

For More Information

For further information, contact the Urban Systemic Initiatives Program, Directorate for Education and Human Resources, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 875, Arlington, Virginia 22230, (703) 306-1684.

Rural Systemic Initiatives

The Rural Systemic Initiatives (RSI) Program completes the trilogy of Educational System Reform efforts. The goal of RSI is to promote systemic improvements in science, mathematics, and technology education for students in rural, economically disadvantaged regions of the Nation, particularly those that have been underserved by NSF programs, and to ensure sustainability of these improvements by encouraging community development activities in conjunction with instructional and policy reform.

Students in rural areas, particularly those characterized by high and persistent poverty, typically receive much less instruction in science and mathematics than do students in suburban or advantaged urban classrooms. Moreover, societal conditions in such areas compound the barriers to students' achievement. Taken together, these circumstances negatively impact the children's chances of pursuing postsecondary degrees or careers that can provide a better quality of life. The cycle of poverty continues for these students, condemning them to low-skill jobs and incomes that decrease in real dollars over the course of their lives.

The premise of RSI is that a variety of educational, economic, and social factors must be aligned in order to significantly impact the achievement levels of students in disadvantaged circumstances. Therefore, RSI proposals must be submitted on behalf of consortia formed to address curriculum reform, teacher preservice and in-service education, policy restructuring, assessment, and implementation of national standards as well as the economic and social well- being of the targeted regions.

RSI has two programmatic activities: development awards (typically $100,000 to $200,000) and implementation awards (up to $2 million per year for up to five years). Only planning or development awardees will be invited to submit proposals for the implementation awards.

Eligibility

Regions that are eligible under RSI are composed of rural counties that have been designated under the USDA's County Types Code as 6-9, and in which 30 percent or greater of the school-age children (ages 5 to 17) are living in economic poverty, as determined by the 1990 census. Proposing consortia must include representatives from state and local education agencies, business and industry, local school districts, community colleges, health and human service agencies, and economic development agencies. State-level agencies or Federally funded research and development organizations are not eligible.

Deadline

Proposals to the RSI Program in fiscal year 1995 were limited to those who had already received planning or development awards. Plans for fiscal year 1996 will be announced at a later date. The NSF Bulletin, a monthly publication produced by the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs, may be consulted for information on upcoming program plans and deadlines.

For More Information

For further information, contact the Rural Systemic Initiatives Program, Directorate for Education and Human Resources, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 875, Arlington, Virginia 22230, (703) 306-1684.


Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education

Quality science, mathematics, and technology (SMT) education in the elementary through secondary school levels gives children the motivation, knowledge, and skills necessary for pursuing study and careers in these disciplines; for successful entry into a workplace increasingly dependent on technology; and for understanding the importance of science and technology in everyday life. Scientific literacy in both adults and children develops citizens who are capable of better understanding the complex economic, political, ethical, and social issues that face our society. It also ensures an understanding of the need for both a robust research enterprise and support for quality SMT education.

The programs in the Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education (ESIE) Division work together to provide quality learning opportunities in science, mathematics, and technology that comprehensively address the needs of all students, from pre-K through grade 12. Central to its task of promoting quality SMT education is the effective utilization of both formal (classroom) and informal education settings; promotion of collaboration and partnerships among major stakeholders; and development of the capacity and resources to support systemic education reform. ESIE seeks to achieve these goals by supporting projects that

Proposals are accepted in response to general program announcements and to program solicitations that focus on specific high priority problems and opportunities. Preliminary interactions with program staff are encouraged.

ESIE supports projects through the following programs.

Teacher Enhancement Program

The Teacher Enhancement (TE) Program supports professional development projects that lead to new levels of teacher competence and a supportive school culture that empowers teachers to engage all students in rich and challenging programs in SMT education. These projects seek to improve, broaden, and deepen the disciplinary and pedagogical knowledge of teachers, and to involve administrators and others who play significant roles in providing quality SMT education for students in grades pre-K through 12.

Special emphasis is given to projects that implement systemic change in SMT education for grades K through 8, within an entire school district or consortia thereof, and for the professional development of teachers in the context of the whole school organization. Teachers are empowered to bring about change and are encouraged to reflect on their own teaching and learning. New beliefs, skills, and behaviors are learned through inquiry and explored within a supportive culture that itself is engaged in renewal. All such projects focus on the implementation of exemplary instructional materials that are consistent with recognized standards for the content and teaching of science, mathematics, and technology. The TE Program also supports projects to develop teacher leaders who have the skills necessary to educate other teachers and to engage in the planning and implementation of local initiatives. Leadership projects usually target teachers who need more advanced, specialized enrichment in the pedagogical knowledge and subject matter of their discipline, and/or need the leadership development and follow-up support to act as change agents.

Eligibility

Any organization with a scientific or educational mission may submit a proposal. These include colleges and universities, state and local education agencies, professional societies, museums, research laboratories, print or electronic media producers, private foundations and industries, and other public and private organizations, whether profit-making or nonprofit. The TE Program especially welcomes proposals that involve the collaboration of individuals or organizations from more than one of these areas.

Deadlines

The target date for receipt of proposals is September 1. Required preliminary proposals may be submitted to the TE Program at any time through April 1. If the full proposal to be submitted is a revision of a proposal declined by a preceding TE review panel, a preliminary proposal is not required. Planning and conference grants may be submitted at any time. In all cases, the starting date for a project cannot be earlier than six months after the proposal submission date.

For More Information

For further information, contact the Teacher Enhancement Program, Division of Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 885, Arlington, Virginia 22230, (703) 306-1613.

Instructional Materials Development

Instructional materials in science, mathematics, and technology guide both the course and content of classroom instruction in these areas. The release of quality standards in mathematics and science creates a need for instructional materials for the classroom that enable all students to acquire sophisticated content knowledge, higher order thinking abilities, and problem-solving skills.

All projects supported by the Instructional Materials Development (IMD) Program are expected to be designed for the success of all students, regardless of background or ability. They should promote students' positive attitudes toward science, mathematics, and technology and positive perceptions of themselves as learners. By incorporating investigative, hands-on science and mathematics, they should facilitate changes in the basic delivery of classroom instruction. Although some support is given to demonstration projects, the majority of funded projects are expected to contain comprehensive plans for dissemination to promote their utilization by teachers and students across the Nation.

Eligibility

Any organization with a scientific or educational mission may submit a proposal. These include colleges and universities, state and local education agencies, professional societies, museums, research laboratories, print or electronic media producers, private foundations and industries, publishers, and other public and private organizations, whether profit-making or nonprofit. The IMD Program especially welcomes proposals that involve the collaboration of individuals or organizations from more than one of these areas.

Deadlines

The target date for receipt of proposals is August 15. Required preliminary proposals may be submitted to the IMD Program at any time through May 1. If the full proposal to be submitted is a revision of a proposal declined by a preceding IMD review panel, a preliminary proposal is not required. Planning and conference grants may be submitted at any time. In all cases, the starting date for a project cannot be earlier than six months after the proposal submission date.

For More Information

For further information, contact the Instructional Materials Development Program, Division of Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 885, Arlington, Virginia 22230, (703) 306-1614.

Informal Science Education

Projects supported by the Informal Science Education (ISE) Program are designed to provide rich and stimulating environments outside of school where individuals of all ages, interests, and backgrounds can increase their appreciation and understanding of science, mathematics, and technology. All aspects of the program are intended to stimulate and maintain lifelong interest in these disciplines. Projects involve, but are not limited to, broadcast, film, and print media; science and natural history museums; science and technology centers; aquaria; nature centers; botanical gardens; arboreta; zoological parks; science clubs; and other community-centered activities. Projects are generally designed to reach large audiences and to have the potential for significant regional or national impact.

The program is particularly interested in increasing the number of underrepresented youth-- minorities, females, and the physically disabled--pursuing SMT activities both in and out of school; establishing linkages between informal and formal education that result in creative and improved learning environments; stimulating parents' support of their children's SMT education and their role as effective advocates for quality SMT education; and bringing informal science opportunities to underserved rural and inner-city areas.

Eligibility

Any organizations with expertise in providing informal science education opportunities may submit proposals. Examples of these organizations are print or electronic media producers, museums, science and technology centers, zoological parks, arboreta, national community and youth organizations, state and local education agencies, professional societies, private foundations and industries, publishers, and other public and private organizations, whether profit-making or nonprofit. The ISE Program especially welcomes proposals that involve the collaboration of individuals or organizations from more than one of these areas.

Deadlines

Target dates for receipt of proposals are June 1 and November 15. Required preliminary proposals may be submitted to the program at any time through March 1 and August 15, respectively. If the full proposal to be submitted is a revision of a proposal declined by a preceding ISE review panel, a preliminary proposal is not required. Planning and conference grants may be submitted at any time. In all cases, the starting date for a project cannot be earlier than six months after the proposal submission date.

For More Information

For further information, contact the Informal Science Education Program, Division of Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 885, Arlington, Virginia 22230, (703) 306-1616.

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching

This program enhances the status and visibility of the teaching profession by providing national recognition to outstanding elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers. Each year, two mathematics teachers (one from an elementary school and one from an middle/senior high school) and two science teachers (one from a elementary school and one from a middle/senior high school) from each State and each of the four jurisdictions listed below are selected for the honor.

Awardees attend a week of activities and professional interactions in Washington, D.C. Continued professional interaction is encouraged and opportunities for individual and collective leadership are facilitated through the Council of Presidential Awardees in Mathematics and the Association of Presidential Awardees in Science Teaching. Each award is accompanied by an NSF grant for $7,500, to be used at the teacher's discretion for the purpose of improving science and/or mathematics education at the awardee's home institution.

Eligibility

Eligible teachers include those whose primary responsibility is classroom teaching of science or mathematics in a public or private elementary, middle/junior, or senior high school in any of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Dependent Schools, or the U.S. Territories (Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas, and the Virgin Islands). A minimum of five years of teaching experience is required. Teachers can be nominated by colleagues, administrators, students, or parents of students.

Deadline

The deadline for nomination within each state is usually mid-March. Twelve state/jurisdiction finalists are forwarded to a national selection committee that selects the four Presidential Awardees.

For More Information

For further information, contact the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching Program, Division of Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 885, Arlington, Virginia 22230, (703) 306-1613.

Young Scholars

The Young Scholars Program is designed to stimulate the interests of students in grades 7 through 12 in science, mathematics, and technology, and to encourage them to investigate and pursue careers in these fields. The program strongly emphasizes student participation in the process of scientific discovery through interaction with practicing scientists in the laboratory and in the field. The projects focus on a variety of disciplines such as mathematics, computer science, engineering, chemistry, life science, physics, and earth science, at a variety of venues including university and college campuses, research vessels, archaeological digs, museums, zoological gardens, and national parks. Projects offer a combination of instruction and problem-solving activities along with discussions of career preparation and science ethics. The projects, which take place in summer, have follow-up activities during the academic year, many involving parents, other students, and teachers in the home schools.

Eligibility

Proposals may be submitted by colleges and universities; their associations or consortia; scientific or professional societies whose members are primarily university faculty or researchers; and companies, firms, or other organizations that are engaged in significant advanced research or technology efforts and have experience interacting with students.

Deadlines

The application deadline for receipt of proposals is January 15. Preliminary proposals are required from all new applicants, and may be submitted at any time but must be received by the program no later than October 15. In all cases, the starting date for a project cannot be earlier than six months after the proposal submission date. It is assumed that all awards will be for projects commencing student summer activities during the next calendar year.

For More Information

For further information, contact the Young Scholars Program, Division of Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 885, Arlington, Virginia 22230, (703) 306-1616.

Advanced Technological Education

The ESIE Division, along with the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE), supports projects that strengthen the science and mathematics preparation of technicians who are being educated for the high performance workplace of advanced technologies. ESIE supports exemplary projects in advanced technological education that have a strong secondary school focus. The Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Program supports the following types of activities involving secondary education: (1) National/Regional Centers of Excellence for Advanced Technological Education; (2) curriculum and instructional materials development, teacher enhancement, and student projects; and (3) workshops/conferences, seminars, studies, and other special projects.

Eligibility

A more detailed description of the ATE Program--including information on proposal submission--can be found in the section "Undergraduate Education."

Deadlines

The deadline for receipt of proposals is February 1, 1996. Contact the ATE Program office for information on required fiscal year 1996 preliminary proposals.

For More Information

Direct inquiries to the ATE Program in ESIE (703-306-1614) for projects in grades K through 12, and to the ATE Program in DUE (703-306-1668) for postsecondary-level projects; National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 885, Arlington, Virginia 22230.


Undergraduate Education

The Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) serves as the focal point for NSF's agency- wide effort in undergraduate education. DUE's Programs and leadership efforts aim to strengthen and ensure the vitality of undergraduate education in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology for all students, including

Programs within the division enhance the quality of instruction in the diverse institutions of higher education, specifically two- and four-year colleges and universities. Particular emphasis is placed on improving access for all segments of U.S. society, including populations underrepresented in science, mathematics, and engineering studies and in technical and teaching careers.

DUE supports both curriculum and faculty development through projects and leadership activities. Curriculum development programs involve faculty in the creative and continuing renewal of undergraduate courses, curricula, and laboratories. The term "curriculum" is defined broadly to include the modes and context of teaching and learning and the use of technologies as well as the content of instruction. Faculty development programs address the preparation of future faculty, especially future teachers and other mathematics, science, and technology specialists and educators at all levels, and the revitalization of current faculty who teach undergraduates. Faculty members who vigorously combine teaching with scholarship are essential to quality education in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology at any level and in any institution.

The programs described below are expected to encompass most of the activities supported by the division; however, additional ideas and mechanisms will be considered by DUE staff at any time. Areas currently receiving special attention are technological education, teacher preparation, and systemic curriculum initiatives in chemistry and mathematics.

Undergraduate Course and Curriculum Development

The goal of this program is major improvement in undergraduate education through new or improved courses, curricula, and delivery systems and nationally disseminated products. NSF's role is to encourage and support the intellectual effort necessary to restructure courses and curricula in light of current needs, new technologies, improved teaching methods, and new knowledge within and across disciplines. Activities within this program comprise the following.

Instrumentation and Laboratory Improvement

The Instrumentation and Laboratory Improvement (ILI) Program supports projects designed to generate new and improved approaches to laboratory and field-based instruction. It consists of two components: the Instrumentation component, which, by providing matching funds, makes it possible to purchase equipment needed to make improvements in undergraduate laboratories at any level; and the Leadership in Laboratory Development component, which provides necessary resources, including time, technical support, and travel, for projects that have the promise of being national models for laboratory instruction.

Eligibility

Faculty from all science, mathematics, and engineering departments at any college or university in the United States or its territories are eligible to compete for these grants.

Deadline

The closing date for submission of proposals in 1995 is November 14. The closing date for submission of proposals in 1996 will be mid-November. Consult the NSF Bulletin, a monthly publication produced by the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs (OLPA), or the ILI Program office for information on fiscal year 1996 activities.

For More Information

The publication Undergraduate Education (NSF 94-160) contains guidelines for proposal preparation. For further information, contact the Instrumentation and Laboratory Improvement Program, Division of Undergraduate Education, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 835, Arlington, Virginia 22230, (703) 306-1667.

Advanced Technological Education

The Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE), along with the Division of Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education (ESIE), supports projects that strengthen science and mathematics preparation of technicians who are being educated for the high performance workplace of advanced technologies. The Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Program supports projects that focus on one or more aspects of curriculum development, faculty/teacher preparation and enhancement, instructional materials development, technical experiences for students, and instrumentation and laboratory improvement. The ATE Program also supports a few Centers of Excellence in Advanced Technological Education to provide systemic approaches to technological education; and conferences, workshops, symposia, design and planning projects, studies, and other projects that lead to a better understanding of issues in advanced technological education.

The deadline for receipt of proposals is February 1, 1996. Contact the ATE Program office for information on fiscal year 1996 preliminary proposals.

Eligibility

Proposals may be submitted from two-year colleges; two-year college systems; consortia of two-year colleges; other associate degree-granting institutions; and consortia of other appropriate organizations and institutions such as school districts, four-year colleges and universities, professional societies, and nonprofit educational research and development groups that include two-year colleges in leadership roles. Proposals from a formal consortium should be submitted by the consortium; proposals from an informal consortium should be submitted by one member of the consortium.

For More Information

Direct inquiries to the ATE Program in DUE (703-306-1668) for postsecondary-level projects, and to the ATE Program in ESIE (703-306-1614) for projects in grades K through 12; National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 885, Arlington, Virginia 22230.

NSF Collaboratives for Excellence in Teacher Preparation

This program promotes comprehensive change in the undergraduate education of future teachers by supporting cooperative multiyear efforts to increase substantially the quality and number of teachers who are well prepared in science and mathematics, especially members of underrepresented groups. Collaboratives feature creative design of courses and curricula in mathematics and science for both content and method of teaching, incorporating innovative approaches such as the integration of mathematics, the sciences, and engineering; the use of advanced technologies; applications to engineering and technology; and new methods of student assessment appropriate to the teaching methodologies. Collaboratives must include the leadership and participation of faculty members in science, mathematics, and engineering departments in collaboration with colleagues in education departments, and in the pre-K through grade 12 community.

Proposals for teacher preparation that are smaller in scale than a collaborative are welcome in the other programs within DUE.

Eligibility

A collaborative will typically involve a consortium of partners that may include comprehensive and research universities, two- and four-year colleges, schools and/or school districts, community organizations, and the private sector. Partnerships should reflect existing or desirable, natural, and regional relationships.

Deadlines

Preproposals for a collaborative must be received by March 1, 1996; formal proposals by June 24, 1996.

For More Information

The publication Undergraduate Education (NSF 94-160) contains guidelines for preproposal and proposal preparation. For further information, contact the NSF Collaboratives for Excellence in Teacher Preparation Program, Division of Undergraduate Education, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 885, Arlington, Virginia 22230, (703) 306-1669.

Undergraduate Faculty Enhancement

This program supports activities that help faculty members who are primarily engaged in the instruction of undergraduates to gain experience with recent advances in their fields, new experimental techniques, effective teaching methods, and ways of incorporating these into undergraduate instruction. The program also serves as a vehicle for dissemination and adaptation of model courses and materials developed under DUE's programs in curriculum and laboratory improvement. Projects are regional or national in scope, typically consist of hands-on short courses or workshops, and include follow-up activities that encourage sustained interaction among participants. A major component of the program is regional coalitions between two- and four-year institutions.

Eligibility

Proposals will be accepted from any organization with the scientific expertise and facilities to conduct the described activities. The subject matter of the faculty enhancement activity may be drawn from any field of science, engineering, mathematics, and technology normally supported by NSF.

Deadline

The closing date for submission of proposals is June 10, 1996.

For More Information

The publication Undergraduate Education (NSF 94-160) contains guidelines for proposal preparation. For further information, contact the Undergraduate Faculty Enhancement Program, Division of Undergraduate Education, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 885, Arlington, Virginia 22230, (703) 306-1669.


Graduate Education and Research Development

The programs in the Division of Graduate Education and Research Development (GERD) promote the early career development of scientists and engineers by providing fellowships and traineeships, thus helping to ensure a steady flow of diverse, high-ability students through the educational and research training systems.

In addition to the programs listed below, the division also manages the Presidential Faculty Fellows (PFF). The PFF award provides support to some of the Nation's most promising and outstanding young science and engineering faculty members and is described in chapter 9.

The division supports projects through the following programs.

Graduate and Minority Graduate Fellowships

Graduate and Minority Graduate Fellowships promote the future strength of the Nation's scientific and technological base and reinforce the diversity of that base. NSF Graduate Fellowships offer recognition and three years of support for advanced study to approximately 1,000 outstanding graduate students in all fields of science, mathematics, and engineering. Of these, approximately 150 awards will be made in the Minority Graduate competition and approximately 850 in the Graduate competition. Approximately 90 awards will be in the Women in Engineering and Computer and Information Science components. For fiscal year 1996 awards, the stipend for each fellow is $14,400 for a 12-month tenure; an annual cost- of-education allowance of $8,600 is made available to the awardee's institution for each year of tenure in lieu of tuition and fees.

Eligibility

To be eligible for these nationwide merit competitions, candidates must be citizens, nationals, or permanent residents of the United States and at or near the beginning of their graduate study. Competition in the Minority Graduate component is open only to those individuals who are otherwise eligible and who are Native American (American Indian or Alaskan Native), Black (African American), Native Pacific Islander (Micronesian or Polynesian), or Hispanic.

Deadline

The deadline for applying is November 6, 1995. NSF will notify all applicants as to the outcome of their applications in mid-March 1996.

For More Information

The publication Graduate and Minority Graduate Research Fellowships (NSF 94-112) contains a detailed program description and guidelines for application. For fiscal year 1996 applications, contact the Oak Ridge Associated Universities, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, P.O. Box 3010, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-3010; (615) 241-4300; by Internet: nsfgrfp@orau.gov.

Graduate Research Traineeships

The Graduate Research Traineeships Program is designed to increase the number of talented American undergraduates enrolling in doctoral programs in critical and emerging areas of science and engineering. Graduate student support is provided to high quality doctorate- granting departments in the form of traineeship positions. The colleges and universities receiving awards are responsible for the selection and retention of trainees and for traineeship administration.

For More Information

No new awards are anticipated in fiscal year 1996.

NATO Postdoctoral Fellowships in Science

At the request of the Department of State, NSF administers a program of NATO Postdoctoral Fellowships to promote a closer collaboration among the scientists of member and cooperating nations. Approximately 35 awards are made each year to outstanding young scientists or engineers to enable them to study and conduct research in other NATO or NATO-defined cooperation countries. Eligible NATO cooperation countries are Albania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and the 15 republics of the former Soviet Union.

Eligibility

U.S. citizens who have received their doctorates within the past five years or who will have done so by the start of their tenure may apply for NSF-NATO Postdoctoral Fellowships. The program provides a monthly stipend of $2,750 plus dependency and travel allowances, for tenures of 6 to 12 months.

Deadlines

The application deadline for fiscal year 1996 awards is December 1, 1995. The guidelines for 1996 applications should be available in the fall of 1995.

For More Information

For further information regarding NSF-NATO Postdoctoral Fellowships, contact the NSF-NATO Postdoctoral Fellowships Program, Directorate for Education and Human Resources, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 907, Arlington, Virginia 22230, (703) 306-1696.

Travel Grants for NATO Institutes

The Foundation awards travel grants of $1,000 each to enable young U.S. scientists to attend select NATO Advanced Study Institutes (ASI) held predominantly in the NATO member countries of Europe. These two- to three-week instructional courses conducted by notable scientists and engineers are scheduled throughout the year the majority of them are held during the summer.

Eligibility

The director of a NATO Advanced Study Institute may nominate U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents who are graduate students or who have received a Ph.D. within the past three years and have been accepted at a NATO institute. Lists of institutes appear in the final January editions of Nature, New Scientist, Science, and La Recherche.

For More Information

For further information, contact the ASI Travel Awards Program, Directorate for Education and Human Resources, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 907, Arlington, Virginia 22230, (703) 306-1694.


Human Resource Development

The programs in the Division of Human Resource Development (HRD) reflect the Foundation's commitment to developing the resources of the scientific and technical community as a whole. This division has primary responsibility for broadening participation of underrepresented groups in science, engineering, and mathematics (SEM). The division operates and coordinates a range of programs that focus on increasing the presence of minorities, women and girls, and persons with disabilities in science and engineering (S&E). The approach includes

These activities can be implemented in all NSF-funded disciplines and, except where noted, in all academic institutions and nonprofit organizations.

The division supports these goals through the following programs.

Underrepresented Minorities

The Foundation considers the improved preparation and advancement of underrepresented minorities in SEM at all educational levels to be of prime importance to the Nation. Consequently, the Foundation has redesigned and enhanced its initiatives aimed at developing minority student talent and at strengthening the capabilities of institutions that serve large numbers of these students at all educational levels. Underrepresented minority groups in S&E are Native Americans (American Indians and Alaskan Natives), Blacks (African Americans), Native Pacific Islanders (Micronesians and Polynesians), and Hispanics.

Current HRD efforts for minority students are focused on two major objectives--student development and strengthening the capabilities of minority institutions. These efforts are described below.

Student Development

These programs represent a coherent effort to stimulate organizational and institutional change in order to markedly improve the quality of educational opportunities available to minority students and to increase the quality and quantity of these students pursuing degrees in S&E. Overall NSF goals for the decade are

  1. to double the current number of minority high school graduates with both interest in and adequate preparation for further studies in S&E;
  2. to increase the B.S. degree attainment of minority students in S&E threefold to an annual rate of 50,000; and
  3. to increase minority student attainment of Ph.D.s in S&E sixfold to an annual rate of 2,000.

These programs are grouped under three areas of focus: precollege, undergraduate, and graduate.

Precollege Focus Program

The precollege program enhances career access by stimulating and supporting elementary and secondary students' interests in mathematics and science.

Undergraduate Focus Program

This is an endeavor to

  1. increase the number of minority students who successfully complete baccalaureates in SEM, and
  2. increase the number of students continuing on for related graduate degrees through scholarships and outreach assistance.

Graduate Focus Programs

The Foundation recognizes that academic institutions with significant minority student enrollments play a vital role in conducting research that contributes to our knowledge base in all disciplines and in educating minority students who go on to careers in S&E. The HRD Division operates two programs designed to strengthen the research and training base at these institutions.

Program for Women and Girls

Projects addressing the participation of women and girls in science and engineering are particularly encouraged in all programs within the EHR Directorate. Because women are underrepresented in most disciplines, the Division of Human Resource Development supports targeted interventions that are specifically directed at increasing the number of women as full participants in the mainstream of the Nation's scientific and technological enterprise.

Programs for Women Scientists

Programs for Persons with Disabilities

The Activities for Persons with Disabilities Program is committed to bringing about needed change in academic and professional climates. The programs goals are to develop new methods of teaching science and mathematics, to increase the awareness and recognition of the needs and capabilities of students with disabilities, to promote the accessibility and appropriateness of instructional materials and educational technologies, and to increase the availability of mentoring resources. In short, efforts are dedicated to changing the factors wherein neglect, paucity, and indirection historically have stifled the early interest in science and mathematics shown by students with disabilities, and that have impeded the advancement of these individuals as they prepared themselves for careers in SEM fields.

Though the Foundation encourages persons with disabilities to participate fully in NSF- supported programs, the HRD Division has initiated efforts focused on

  1. eliminating barriers in science, engineering, and mathematics studies that prevent the participation of students with disabilities;
  2. changing the attitudes of the education community and the public in general about the potential of persons with disabilities; and
  3. offering aid for adaptive technologies and assistance to allow students, scientists, engineers, and mathematicians to participate in NSF-supported research projects.

Regionally Focused Activities

Research-Focused Activities

Public Awareness Activities

Individually Focused Activities


Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research

Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) fosters systemic and sustainable changes through universities in a designated set of States in order to support Nationally competitive academic research and high-quality SEM education.

EPSCoR's basic premise is that academic research activity underpins a State's overall research and development (R&D) competitiveness. Its goal, therefore, is to bring participating States' S&E research endeavors at academic institutions to nationally competitive levels. This improvement is designed to increase these States' S&E research capabilities and hence their overall R&D competitiveness.

By adopting a proactive role, NSF has cooperated with State leaders in government, higher education, and business to establish productive long-term partnerships. In each State NSF's role is catalytic in nature and is designed to stimulate local action that will result in lasting improvements to the State's research infrastructure and increased national R&D competitiveness. Significant local investment in graduate research and training is a characteristic of the NSF/State partnership. During the history of the EPSCoR Program, NSF has invested over $120 million while the States have provided over $275 million in support of increased R&D competitiveness.

Eligibility

EPSCoR is restricted to those States that historically have been less competitive than most others in obtaining Federal R&D funding. The program is currently operating in 18 States-- Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming--and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Deadline

Proposal submission deadline is determined by the EPSCoR solicitation among the eligible participants.

For More Information

For further information, contact EPSCoR, Directorate for Education and Human Resources, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 875, Arlington, Virginia 22230, (703) 306-1683.


Research, Evaluation, and Communication

The Division of Research, Evaluation, and Communication (REC) provides conceptual and technical assistance to various EHR programs and education communities outside NSF that enable the process of systemic education reform to evolve. REC programs help bridge research to classroom practice, foster systemic thinking about the coordination and delivery of educational services, and measure change in educational programs by evaluating how EHR programs work. REC supports policy-oriented research through the Studies and Indicators Program; basic and applied research through the Research in Teaching and Learning, the Applications of Advanced Technologies, and the Networking Infrastructure for Education Programs; and outcomes in the Evaluation Program. Through national conferences and special publications, REC coordinates communications activities that advance public awareness of NSF's education reform programs to research, education, policy, and other audiences.

Studies and Indicators

The Studies Program sponsors research on significant factors, trends, and practices that will assist the Foundation and other agencies or organizations in developing initiatives to strengthen science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education. Proposals funded under this program are intended to

  1. provide information of national relevance on significant problems and opportunities in education that would be useful for policy deliberations regarding the strengthening of such education in the United States; and

  2. provide information that will assist in setting priorities and plans for the Foundation's science education programs. Proposals are invited for the identification of key issues; new data collection; and synthesis, analysis, or reanalysis of existing information.

Current priorities are in five broad policy areas:

  1. participation in science,
  2. teacher supply and qualification,
  3. instructional and school practices,
  4. educational reform, and
  5. the role of science and mathematics skills in the workforce.

The Indicators Program develops statistical information about the status of mathematics and science learning in the United States to provide the Nation with an assessment of education in these areas. These studies include developing conceptual frameworks for measuring student knowledge in the United States and comparing it with that in other nations; measuring differences in mathematics and science curricula; explaining student achievement in relation to family, student, school, and sociocultural factors; and providing new methods of assessing the status of mathematics and science education.

The Indicators Program cooperates with other statistical agencies by using existing national surveys to develop statistical measures and to encourage further development of education indicators. Information on student achievement, classroom coverage of mathematics and science, teacher training, and student background are collected in sample surveys of elementary and secondary students. The studies conducted in the program are used in writing reports about undergraduate and graduate mathematics and science education and assist in program planning at NSF.

Research in Teaching and Learning

This program supports basic and applied research designed to expand the knowledge base that will advance the national effort to reform science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education at all levels, pre-K through college. The program encourages proposals on a wide assortment of questions that use a variety of research methods and strategies. Among the research areas of concern to the program are the development of children's scientific and mathematical thinking; how students develop complex concepts, especially using new technologies; how technology changes the way students think, learn, and interact in formal and informal educational settings; cognitive, affective, and social factors that affect the science and mathematics achievement of underrepresented groups; the development of teachers' understanding of children's scientific and mathematical thought processes; teachers' beliefs and attitudes about science, mathematics, and technology and their associated pedagogies; the development and validation of instructional strategies that promote scientific and mathematical thinking; and research on teacher change, including the adoption and implementation of innovative teaching and learning practices and teachers as researchers.

Applications of Advanced Technologies

This program is a research and development program concerned with issues at the forefront of technology and seeks to support proposals that focus on new high-risk and high-gain innovative applications of technologies that advance the learning and teaching of science, mathematics, and engineering at all levels of education. The program has three major goals:

  1. to lay research and conceptual foundations that will advance knowledge about the use of technology to support teaching, learning, cognition, and problem-solving in science and mathematics education for all students. This goal includes exploring new scientific and pedagogical paradigms and methods, improving our understanding of learning needs at all ages, prototyping new technology-based science and mathematics programs, and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of innovative education applications of advanced technologies and measuring their effectiveness on performance;

  2. to provide a foundation of knowledge that will enable planners and policy and educational decisionmakers to design or encourage new, more effective systems of teaching and learning that serve the needs of all students. This involves establishing the necessary policy and organizational conditions for the integration and use of revolutionary new computer and telecommunications systems and related technologies for teaching and learning science and mathematics in classrooms, homes, and other significant places of learning; and

  3. through the use of appropriate technology and technology-based methodologies, to support experimentation with educational and scientific innovations that can significantly improve methods of teaching and learning increasingly complex content. Such experimentation could also significantly alter what is taught because of the power of technology to represent and manipulate concepts and knowledge.

CISE-EHR Program on Networking Infrastructure for Education (NIE)

In fiscal year 1994, the Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) and Education and Human Resources (EHR) Directorates established the NIE Program. NIE represents an expanding effort to encourage innovation and leverage the power of computer and networking technology in support of science and mathematics education. The program's two major goals are as follows:

  1. to build synergy among technology and education researchers, developers, and implementers so they can explore networking costs and benefits and test self-sustaining strategies. The aim is to develop flexible educational networking infrastructures that will be instrumental in the dissemination, integration, and application of technologies in order to accelerate the pace of educational innovation and reform; and

  2. to increase capabilities in the field and encourage innovation and experimentation by educational groups who are new NSF performers, and who may be new to the integration of technology with education reform.

Evaluation

The Evaluation Program has a five-year plan to evaluate the science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education initiatives of NSF. Evaluation findings may be used by the Foundation to improve science education programs by principal investigators as they direct their own education projects, and by policymakers, administrators, and members of the instructional workforce who implement and adapt the various products of NSF programs, including materials, computer software, teaching strategies, or research findings. Evaluations and impact studies are performed under competitively awarded contracts by outside organizations. The Evaluation Program also may grant funds for the development of appropriate models and methodology for the general improvement of the field.

Eligibility

Public and private colleges and universities and other organizations and associations with an educational mission may submit proposals.

Deadlines

Preliminary proposals are required and may be submitted at any time. The target dates for submitting formal proposals are as follows:

Proposals may be submitted at any time for other programs, but semiannual target dates of April 1 and October 1 have been established.

For More Information

Detailed program descriptions and guidelines for applicants are available from the Division of Research, Evaluation, and Communication, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 855, Arlington, Virginia 22230, (703) 306-1650.