This document has been archived. For current NSF funding opportunities, see
Division of Engineering Education and Centers
The Division of Engineering Education
and Centers (EEC) supports centers that collaborate with industry to integrate
research, education, and projects to promote innovations in engineering
education and engage a diverse body of students in engineering research.
These efforts integrate new knowledge across disciplines, accelerate technology
development, and improve the capabilities and diversity of engineering graduates
entering the technical workforce.
EEC's centers promote partnerships among researchers in different disciplines
and between industry and universities. They focus on integrated engineered
systems and produce technological innovations that strengthen the competitive
position of industry. Their graduates are well-rounded, professionally oriented
engineers with a global outlook, experience in technological innovation,
and the ability to assume leadership roles in industry, academe, and government.
The educational innovation projects of EEC range from small-scale efforts
that integrate research into curricula at the course level to the development
and implementation of large-scale models for engineering curriculum reform.
These efforts have infused knowledge of emerging technology into curriculums
across the country and have provided models for systemic reform of engineering
curriculum that have included freshman-year experience with design and product
development. All efforts promote the diversity of the engineering workforce.
1. Engineering Research Centers (ERCs)
Provide an integrated environment for academe and industry to focus on
next-generation advances in complex engineered systems, with synergy among
engineering, science, and industrial practices. ERCs integrate research
and education at both the graduate and undergraduate levels and produce
curriculum innovations derived from the engineering systems research focus
of the ERC. ERCs build partnerships with industry, develop shared infrastructure,
and increase the capacity of engineering and science graduates to contribute
to U.S. competitiveness. They are supported for up to 10 years to promote
the long-term perspective in engineering research and education that is
required to produce new technologies and innovative products and services.
2. Industry/University Cooperative Research
Develop long-term partnerships among industry, academe, and government.
The centers are university-based and catalyzed by a small investment from
NSF but are primarily supported by industry members. I/UCRCs are led by
faculty who have a strong desire to work with industry and who want to pursue
fundamental research agendas recommended by industrial advisory boards.
Center research projects are conducted primarily by graduate students; the
program thus develops students who know how to conduct industrially relevant
research and communicate their findings effectively.
3. Engineering Education Programs
Stimulates innovation and reform in engineering education to produce graduates
who are better able to serve the evolving needs of the new century. A high
priority is developing high-quality engineering curriculums that will attract
and retain increased numbers of engineering students, especially women,
underrepresented minorities, and people with disabilities. The Engineering
Education Programs support the implementation of new approaches to educate
engineers and encourage outstanding students—particularly from underrepresented
groups—to enter the field. The programs build on successful innovations
from the NSF Engineering Education Coalitions and other new concepts for
the reform and improvement of engineering education, and seek to involve
research-active scholars more actively in education innovation.
EEC supports programs through which
new faculty can learn from successful scholars and practitioners in such
areas as learning theories, course and curriculum design, test construction
and evaluation, multimedia technologies, student mentoring, diversity, and
4. Grants for Department-Level Reform of Undergraduate
departmental and larger units to reformulate, streamline, and update engineering
and engineering technology degree programs; develop new curriculums for
emerging engineering disciplines; and meet the emerging workforce and educational
needs of U.S. industry. These efforts should increase the relevance of undergraduate
engineering curriculum to modern engineering practice and induce an increased
proportion of students who enroll to complete engineering degree programs.
These goals can be accomplished by introducing modern learning strategies,
expanding both the disciplinary breadth and the range of problems and problem-solving
techniques to which engineering students are exposed; incorporating new
laboratories and research experiences; and effectively integrating the powerful
software tools used in engineering practice.
5. Supplemental Funding for Support of Women, Minorities,
and Physically Disabled Engineering Research Assistants
Provides supplemental funding
to include women, underrepresented minorities, and physically disabled undergraduate
or high school students as research assistants on NSF-funded projects. Supplemental
funding of up to $5,000, including indirect costs, may be requested for
each student added to the project. Funds provided by this program are limited
to two students per grant. Up to 10 percent of this amount may be used for
supplies and services. The support may be used for a summer, a quarter,
or an academic year.
If necessary, funds in excess of $5,000 may be requested to provide special
equipment or modify existing equipment, or to provide other services specifically
for the purpose of enabling a physically disabled person (or persons) to
participate. The equipment must be directly related to the research work,
such as a prosthetic device to manipulate a specific piece of equipment,
not for general assistance such as wheelchairs or ramps.