Centers for Learning and Teaching: Accumulating What We've Learned
Dear Colleague Letter —
The Centers for Learning and Teaching (CLT) program seeks to fund
supplements to awards made under the Centers for Teaching and Learning
(CTL) and Centers for Learning and Teaching solicitations that:
rigorous qualitative and quantitative methods to synthesize
what has been learned through the collective work of the centers;
that knowledge to key audiences (e.g., policymakers, researchers,
identify directions for further
research and development.
The Accumulating What We've Learned initiative is intended
to document CLT program contributions to a growing knowledge
base supporting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics
(STEM) education. The results of this initiative are intended
to complement findings of the CLT program evaluation (See Final
Report on the Evaluation of the National Science Foundation’s
Centers for Learning and Teaching Program. Volume I: Technical
Report. Cambridge, MA: Abt Associates and SRI International,
March 2005). The CLT program intends to evaluate the overall
impact of what is produced by the activities funded by these
supplements. Additionally, the program intends to provide support
within the next year for a longitudinal study of the impact of
the program on CLT doctoral graduates.
OVERVIEW OF WORK TO BE ACCOMPLISHED. It is expected that the
syntheses and reports of findings will focus on issues addressed
by more than one center; therefore, proposals for supplemental
funding must involve collaboration of two or more centers. The
proposed work may also incorporate findings from other large-scale
NSF projects (e.g., Math and Science Partnership-Research, Evaluation,
and Technical Assistance projects and Curriculum Dissemination
and Implementation projects supported under the Instructional
Materials Development program) whose efforts contribute to the
particular domains of research and/or practice being addressed.
Proposals for supplements should have a well-defined area of
focus. Examples include:
- performance studies of effective strategies for increasing
and diversifying the pool of graduate students and faculty
participating in STEM education;
- synthesis of studies and/or
practices on mathematics or science teaching and learning for
students of traditionally underserved populations;
and interpretive analyses of critical teacher knowledge;
of studies related to mathematics and science curricula;
evaluation of forming and operating large, complex centers that
support STEM education;
- descriptive review of the nexus of formal
and informal learning; or
- best practice studies of the design
and implementation of multi-institution STEM education doctoral
Among the activities eligible for support under the provisions
of this initiative are:
- conducting studies and/or synthesizing existing work;
and dissemination of publications related to studies or findings;
- conferences, forums, workshops that bring together personnel
critical to the proposed work and/or to dissemination
of findings to key audiences.
It is expected that key center personnel will lead the proposed
efforts and, along with doctoral and postdoctoral students, will
be engaged in supported activities.
A PI or COPI contemplating the development of a proposal for supplemental
funding in response to this Dear Colleague
Letter should discuss
with their cognizant program officer the planned work well before
submitting a proposal.
Organization Limit: Only currently funded CTL and CLT centers are
eligible to submit proposals for supplemental funding under this
initiative. A center may receive only one supplement under this
DCL as the lead organization.
A center may be the lead organization on no more than one proposal
per deadline, but may be included in other proposals in which
it is not the lead. However, see the "Limit on Number of Proposals" below.
A center that receives a supplement as the lead organization
under a proposal to the December 12, 2005 deadline is not eligible
to submit a proposal as the lead organization to the August
21, 2006 deadline.
PI Eligibility Limit: The Principal Investigator of such a proposal
must be the PI or a COPI of the center.
Limit on Number of Proposals:
- A center may submit only one proposal as the lead organization
to the deadline of December 12, 2005.
- Those centers that
do not submit to the deadline of December 12, 2005 -- and those
centers that do submit to that deadline but have their proposal
declined -- may submit only one proposal as the lead organization
to the deadline of August 21, 2006.
- For each of those deadlines,
a center may be included in more than one proposal in which
it is not the lead.
Awards will be made as supplements to existing
CTL or CLT grants.
PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
Proposal Preparation Instructions. Proposals submitted in response
to this Dear Colleague Letter must be prepared and submitted in
accordance with the general guidelines contained in the NSF Grant
Proposal Guide (GPG). The complete text of the GPG is available
at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/gpg/nsf04_23/. Information on supplemental
funding can be found in Section V.B.4.
The Project Description is limited to 15 pages, single spaced, and must include
the following components:
Clear identification of the issue(s) or theme(s) that will
be pursued and a rationale for their selection. Issue(s) or theme(s)
should build on the work of the collaborating CLTs, but products
might also extend beyond these projects to draw on other related
efforts in the field.
A review of the research and/or the
body of practice in the area to be pursued, particularly research
generated by the participating CLTs, CTLs, and other collaborators.
of all the associated projects that will be involved, including
their role in the synthesis effort.
Identification of key
personnel who will be the intellectual leaders of the effort.
Their roles in the synthesis and dissemination efforts must
be clearly articulated.
A description of the work plan,
including any conferences or workshops that will convene key
leaders and constituents, and highlight the current state
of the knowledge through sessions and commissioned papers.
description of the dissemination strategy that ties research
products to critical target audiences. The strategy might
include, for example,
- A monograph or other appropriate publication
(e.g., special issue of a refereed journal) that summarizes/synthesizes
knowledge around the issue/theme and draws on supported
papers, meeting proceedings, and syntheses. A part of the
supported effort must connect research to practice, providing
implications for practitioner audiences. The latter may
require incorporation of specialized dissemination efforts.
final publication (e.g., a book) that summarizes and
incorporates all themes selected for investigation, as
well as the contributions made to the body of research
supporting STEM education.
Budgetary Information. Budgets for Accumulating What We've Learned
proposals are expected to range from $200,000 to $400,000 total,
for a total duration of no more than two years. It is expected
that $1,000,000 per year will be available for this initiative, pending
availability of funds. Cost sharing is not required.
Deadline Dates. Deadlines for submission of proposals for supplemental
funding under this initiative are:
- December 12, 2005 and August 21, 2006.
PROPOSAL REVIEW INFORMATION
Proposals for supplemental funding submitted in
response to this Dear
Colleague Letter will be
reviewed by panel.
Questions about this letter should be
directed to Janice Earle (703-292-5097, firstname.lastname@example.org)
or Michael Haney 703-2925102, email@example.com) Division of Elementary,
Secondary, and Informal Education, Directorate
for Education and Human Resources.
Division of Elementary, Secondary, and