Email Print Share

Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences

SBE Science of Broadening Participation  (SBE SBP)

Name Email Phone Room
Kristin  E. Kuyuk (703) 292-4904   


The Science of Broadening Participation (SBP) uses the theories, methods, and analytic techniques of the social, behavioral, economic, and learning sciences to better understand the factors that enhance as well as the barriers that hinder our ability to expand participation in education, the workforce and society generally, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and other sectors. The results of these efforts can help to increase the access and involvement of underrepresented groups in education, the workforce and society and to strengthen our national STEM capabilities and competitive advantage. The SBP research provides scientific evidence that educators, employers, and policy makers need to make informed decisions, design effective interventions and create programs that successfully engage diverse groups.

SBP research proposals may focus on factors such as the following:

Institutional, organizational and group factors (e.g., studies of organizational, structural, cultural or climate factors that impact participation in education, the workforce and society)

Affective, behavioral, cultural and social factors (e.g., studies of psychological or behavioral factors that affect participation and achievement rates within STEM and other areas)

Economic and policy-related factors (e.g., studies of economic factors that impact participation in education and the workforce and the association between broader participation and social innovation).

Many of the fields represented within SBE can contribute to the Science of Broadening Participation. Some examples of potential research questions related to the SBP include but are not limited to:

  • What are the underlying psychological and social issues affecting the different participation and graduation rates of women, men, persons with disabilities, and racial and ethnic minorities within STEM and other fields?
  • What social, behavioral, or economic processes and mechanisms contribute to positive outcomes within education, the workforce and society? Do those processes and mechanisms differ for women, men, persons with disabilities, and racial and ethnic minorities?        
  • What factors help promote and maintain underrepresented youths' interest in education, including STEM fields?
  • What are the impacts of a diverse workforce on scientific productivity and innovation and the national economy?

Scholars conducting research that contributes to the Science of Broadening Participation should submit proposals to the most relevant program(s) of the SBE Directorate and designate the proposal as SBP by including "SBP:" at the beginning of the proposal title.  A listing of the SBE programs that may be relevant for Science of Broadening Participation (SBP) proposals is listed below under Related URLs.  All proposals submitted with the "SBP:" designation are assessed alongside other proposals submitted to the core program(s), according to the program(s) standard merit review criteria.