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Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Teacher Preparation (STEMTP)

Program Solicitation



LETTER OF INTENT DUE DATE(S) (optional): August 15, 2002




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Program Title: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Teacher Preparation (STEMTP)

Synopsis of Program: The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Teacher Preparation (STEMTP) program responds to the critical need for qualified teachers of mathematics and science in elementary and secondary schools. The program supports efforts to develop exemplary science and mathematics preK-12 teacher education models that produce and retain effective teachers who have the skills, confidence, and commitment to enable all students to attain high standards of achievement in mathematics, science, engineering, and technology. Partnerships involving institutions of higher education and K-12 school districts will address local needs in terms of teacher shortages by developing and implementing effective strategies for recruiting prospective teachers with strong backgrounds in science and mathematics into teacher certification programs and retaining them in the teacher workforce. Projects will address such areas of local need as workforce diversity, urban or rural teacher shortages, and shortages within specific disciplines or grade levels. The STEMTP program complements the NSF Math and Science Partnership.

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s):




A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

B. Budgetary Information

C. Deadline/Target Dates

D. FastLane Requirements





    1. Proposal Preparation Instructions
    2. Budgetary Information
    3. Deadline/Target Dates
    4. FastLane Requirements
    1. NSF Proposal Review Process
    2. Review Protocol and Associated Customer Service Standard
    1. Notification of the Award
    2. Award Conditions
    3. Reporting Requirements


Based on projected enrollment increases and anticipated retirements, it is estimated that the nation's schools will need to hire 2.2 million teachers, including 240,000 middle and high school mathematics and science teachers, in the next decade (National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century, 2000). The demand for teachers is most pronounced in urban and rural areas and within specific disciplines and grade levels of mathematics and science. A survey of urban school districts conducted by the Council of the Great City Schools and Recruiting New Teachers, Inc., in 1998-99, indicated that 95% of responding urban school districts had an immediate demand for high school science and mathematics teachers. Eighty percent reported a need for middle school science and mathematics teachers (Urban Teacher Collaborative, 2000). A high percentage of science and mathematics teachers lack even a minor in their teaching field, with 56% of public secondary students receiving instruction in the physical sciences from teachers without a major or minor in the physical sciences and 27% of students receiving mathematics instruction in classes taught by teachers lacking a minor in mathematics (Ingersoll, 1999). As many as 50% of new teachers in urban school districts leave the teaching profession within their first three years, further exacerbating shortages.

The STEMTP program supports the development and testing of model approaches to meeting defined local or regional needs for science and mathematics teachers at various grade levels. The ultimate goal is to provide effective strategies for accelerating the production of teachers who are well-qualified to teach mathematics and science in K-12 schools. STEMTP teacher preparation projects must demonstrate the involvement of science, mathematics, engineering and technology (STEM) faculty in all stages of the education of future teachers and provide evidence of a preservice curriculum that features a strong foundation in STEM content knowledge that is linked to effective pedagogical strategies. STEM majors and STEM professionals seeking a career change are specific targets of the program. An essential feature of the STEMTP program is the local partnership between higher education and school districts to ensure that teacher preparation is part of the continuum of teacher education that extends through the induction years and beyond. These partnerships involve the K-16 stakeholders in a collective and integrated effort to improve science, mathematics, and technology teacher education as envisioned in the National Research Council report, Educating Teachers of Science, Mathematics, and Technology: New Practices for the New Millennium (CSMTP, 2001). The STEMTP partnerships complement the NSF Math and Science Partnership.


The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Teacher Preparation (STEMTP) program supports the development, dissemination, and institutionalization of exemplary science and mathematics preK-12 teacher education models that produce effective teachers who have the skills, confidence and commitment to enable all students to attain high standards of achievement in mathematics, science, engineering and technology. The goals of the program are:

The program supports the development of teachers with a strong foundation in STEM content knowledge and the pedagogical skills necessary to teach science and mathematics effectively. Effective teachers are equipped with a repertoire of instructional and assessment strategies and the ability to select and refine strategies to optimize learner outcomes. They must be able to:

Specifically, the STEMTP program provides support for the development of:

These programs should be coupled with induction programs designed to facilitate the transition from preparation to practice.

The STEMTP program supports the design and testing of experimental models and strategies that lead to the production and retention of effective teachers of science and mathematics. Innovative approaches to accelerate the production of qualified teachers are encouraged, particularly teachers with strong STEM backgrounds. Projects must address critical local area needs and may focus on a specific discipline or teaching level (for example, middle school mathematics teachers). Areas of need might include, for example, diversifying the teaching workforce or producing individuals who are skilled in teaching science, mathematics, and technology to special populations (students with disabilities, students for whom English is a second language, etc.). Projects are expected to identify and quantify the area of need and provide a quantitative goal in terms of teacher production. Projects may also respond to staffing needs resulting from state or local education policy reforms such as implementation of student learning standards in science, mathematics, and technology, reduction in class size, increasing graduation requirements in mathematics and science, extension of school day or year, or increased access to Advanced Placement classes. Institutions with high teacher production in low need areas may form alliances with school districts and institutions in high need areas to provide preservice students with student teaching opportunities in areas with hiring needs.

Projects may address elementary, middle school or high school levels, but individual projects need not encompass the full preK-12 range. The program seeks to expand the pool of potential teachers by targeting non-traditional sources of teachers including institutions not typically characterized as producers of teachers but with potential for developing and implementing replicable strategies for attracting people with strong STEM background into the field of teaching.

A defining feature of the program design is the development and implementation of partnerships among the major players and stakeholders including science, mathematics, engineering, technology, and education faculty at two- and four-year institutions of higher education, school districts, and other local partners such as informal science education institutions and local businesses. Partnerships with school districts must be designed to ensure coordination between preservice curriculum and ongoing inservice professional development, to enable appropriate student teaching and early field experiences, and to facilitate the transition from preservice to induction. Expanded cross-institutional learning communities comprised of preservice students, inservice teachers and higher education faculty will provide a coordinated focus on improving student learning in STEM. Projects are expected to inform and complement activities of the NSF Mathematics and Science Partnership, serving as test beds for strategies with potential for statewide, or broader, adoption. In this regard, the feasibility of scaling up or replicating specific approaches and strategies should be explicitly addressed.

STEMTP offers two major areas of focus:

Baccalaureate and Five-Year Programs

Baccalaureate programs, including five-year programs, continue to provide the most common pathway to teaching. Projects focussing on baccalaureate and five-year programs should include strategies for ensuring preservice students acquire: deep content knowledge as well as the pedagogical content knowledge necessary for effective teaching in today's classrooms; knowledge of preK-12 mathematics, science, and technology standards; knowledge of a variety of student assessment techniques and the use of assessment to guide teaching and learning; awareness of equity issues and the needs of diverse learners; and knowledge of the research basis for effective teaching. Recruitment of prospective teachers from groups underrepresented in the teacher workforce (including males at the elementary level) and recruitment of STEM majors are key target areas of the STEMTP program. Projects are expected to include two-year college partners as appropriate, recognizing that many future teachers take most of their science and mathematics courses at two-year colleges. Courses must model national teaching standards and incorporate inquiry-based teaching and learning to ensure future teachers are prepared to teach in accordance with the STEM content and teaching standards.

Alternative Pathways to Teaching

For individuals seeking to become teachers at various postbaccalaureate stages, a traditional course of study leading to certification may not be desirable or feasible. Projects may design and implement alternative credentialing programs for STEM professionals and recent graduates who were STEM majors to facilitate their entry into the teaching profession. Proposed alternative pathways to teaching should address the competencies necessary to teach preK-12 mathematics and science effectively and confidently. Programs should include intensive course work relevant to the teaching of science and mathematics and specifically geared to the adult learner, providing the content specialist (STEM major or STEM professional) with the pedagogical content knowledge, awareness of preK-12 standards and student assessment techniques, and knowledge of research basis necessary for effective teaching and learning. The program should provide multiple entry points and individualized development plans to accommodate individuals seeking to enter the teaching profession from a variety of stages in their educational and professional lives.

Innovative approaches and strategies may, for example, address the following:

All projects are expected to include an evaluation design that provides formative feedback and summative measures of outcomes in terms of the effectiveness of the selected strategies in improving the preparation and production of teachers. The evaluation plan should include a timeline for tracking progress toward attaining objectives and goals. Measurable and reasonable benchmarks should be defined for project impact data. Outcomes pertaining to teachers produced by the project should be measured in terms of teacher practices, demonstration of content and pedagogical knowledge, and their effectiveness as teachers as reflected in the mathematics and science performance of their students. The qualifications of the individuals conducting the evaluation should ensure that the evaluation studies provide a credible and objective measure of the project's outcomes. Evaluation may include a research component conducted through partnerships between cognitive scientists, teacher educators, and practicing teachers. In addition to the project-specific evaluation, all projects will be expected to cooperate with an NSF third party evaluation of program impact that will require data collection.

The proposal should include plans to communicate the results of the project to other professionals in the STEM and education communities.


Committee on Science and Mathematics Teacher Preparation (CSMTP) (2001). Educating Teachers of Science, Mathematics and Technology: New Practices for the New Millennium. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Ingersoll, R.M. (1999). The Problem of Underqualified Teachers in American Secondary Schools. Educational Researcher, 28(2): 26-37.

National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century (2000). Before It's Too Late. Jessup, MD: Education Publications Center.

Urban Teacher Collaborative (2000). The Urban Teacher Challenge: Teacher Demand in the Great City Schools. Washington, D.C.: Council of the Great City Schools.


It is anticipated that proposers will primarily be universities, colleges, or nonprofit organizations. However, the categories of proposers identified in the Grant Proposal Guide are eligible to submit proposals under this program solicitation.


Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds.

Approximately $6.5 million is anticipated to be available for this program in FY 2003. Depending on the quality of submissions and the availability of funds, NSF expects to fund approximately 10 awards, ranging from a total award size of $300,000 to $1 million. The budget size must be justified in terms of the overall project objectives, including the proposed program improvements and the number of students impacted. Duration of awards will be three to four years.

Anticipated date of awards: March 2003. Although there is no limit on the number of proposals that an institution may submit, no more than one award will be made to a single institution in this fiscal year's competition.


A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

Letters of Intent: A letter of intent is optional, but encouraged, before submitting a full proposal. The letter of intent is not a preliminary proposal. It is intended to enhance the efficiency of the review process. It should be a brief statement that indicates an intent to submit a proposal to the STEMTP program. The letter of intent should also (1) include a list of the partnering institutions that will collaborate in the proposed project and (2) indicate whether the proposal will focus on "Baccalaureate and Five-Year Programs," "Alternative Pathways to Teaching," or both (see Section II ["Program Description"] for a description of these two major areas of focus). Letters of intent should be sent by electronic mail to by August 15, 2002.

Full Proposal:

Proposals submitted in response to this program announcement/solicitation should 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 electronically on the NSF Web Site at: Paper copies of the GPG may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (301) 947-2722 or by e-mail from

In addition to describing the proposed activities, the proposal Project Description should include the following:

Additional Requirements

The PI and Co-PI leadership must include at least one faculty member or other higher education representative from STEM disciplines, education faculty member or other representative from School/College of Education, and representative(s) of the school district(s) served. Letters of support are required from the Dean of Arts & Sciences and Dean of Education (or comparable administrators), and School District Superintendent(s). Upload these letters as files into Supplementary Docs in FastLane.

A Project Data Form (NSF Form 1295) must be submitted (via FastLane) as part of all proposals. The information on this form is used to direct proposals to appropriate reviewers and to determine the characteristics of projects supported by the Division of Undergraduate Education. In FastLane, this form will show up in the list of forms for your proposal only after you have (1) selected the "STEMTP" program solicitation number on the Cover Sheet and (2) saved the Cover Sheet.

A budget justification of up to three pages must accompany the budget forms and provide details about budget line items.

Proposers are reminded to identify the program solicitation number (NSF-02-130) in the program announcement/solicitation block on the proposal Cover Sheet. Compliance with this requirement is critical to determining the relevant proposal processing guidelines. Failure to submit this information may delay processing.

B. Budgetary Information

Cost sharing is not required in proposals submitted under this Program Solicitation.

Other Budgetary Limitations: Award amounts up to $1 million for total award. Duration of awards is 3 to 4 years.

C. Deadline/Target Dates

Proposals must be submitted by the following date(s):

Letters of Intent (optional): August 15, 2002
Full Proposals by 5:00 PM local time: October 9, 2002

D. FastLane Requirements

Proposers are required to prepare and submit all proposals for this Program Solicitation through the FastLane system. Detailed instructions for proposal preparation and submission via FastLane are available at: For FastLane user support, call the FastLane Help Desk at 1-800-673-6188 or e-mail The FastLane Help Desk answers general technical questions related to the use of the FastLane system. Specific questions related to this Program Solicitation should be referred to the NSF program staff contact(s) listed in Section VIII of this announcement/solicitation.

Submission of Electronically Signed Cover Sheets. The Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) must electronically sign the proposal Cover Sheet to submit the required proposal certifications (see Chapter II, Section C of the Grant Proposal Guide for a listing of the certifications). The AOR must provide the required electronic certifications within five working days following the electronic submission of the proposal. Proposers are no longer required to provide a paper copy of the signed Proposal Cover Sheet to NSF. Further instructions regarding this process are available on the FastLane website at:


A. NSF Proposal Review Process

Reviews of proposals submitted to NSF are solicited from peers with expertise in the substantive area of the proposed research or education project. These reviewers are selected by Program Officers charged with the oversight of the review process. NSF invites the proposer to suggest, at the time of submission, the names of appropriate or inappropriate reviewers. Care is taken to ensure that reviewers have no conflicts with the proposer. Special efforts are made to recruit reviewers from non-academic institutions, minority-serving institutions, or adjacent disciplines to that principally addressed in the proposal.

The two National Science Board approved merit review criteria are listed below (see the Grant Proposal Guide Chapter III.A for further information). The criteria include considerations that help define them. These considerations are suggestions and not all will apply to any given proposal. While proposers must address both merit review criteria, reviewers will be asked to address only those considerations that are relevant to the proposal being considered and for which he/she is qualified to make judgements.

NSF staff will give careful consideration to the following in making funding decisions:

B. Review Protocol and Associated Customer Service Standard

All proposals are carefully reviewed by at least three other persons outside NSF who are experts in the particular field represented by the proposal. Proposals submitted in response to this announcement/solicitation will be reviewed by Mail and/or Panel Review.

Reviewers will be asked to formulate a recommendation to either support or decline each proposal. The Program Officer assigned to manage the proposal's review will consider the advice of reviewers and will formulate a recommendation.

A summary rating and accompanying narrative will be completed and submitted by each reviewer. In all cases, reviews are treated as confidential documents. Verbatim copies of reviews, excluding the identities of reviewers, are sent to the Principal Investigator/Project Director by the Program Director. In addition, the proposer will receive an explanation of the decision to award or decline funding.

NSF is striving to be able to tell applicants whether their proposals have been declined or recommended for funding within six months. The time interval begins on the closing date of an announcement/solicitation or the date of proposal receipt (whichever is later). The interval ends when the Division Director accepts the Program Officer's recommendation.

In all cases, after programmatic approval has been obtained, the proposals recommended for funding will be forwarded to the Division of Grants and Agreements for review of business, financial, and policy implications and the processing and issuance of a grant or other agreement. Proposers are cautioned that only a Grants and Agreements Officer may make commitments, obligations or awards on behalf of NSF or authorize the expenditure of funds. No commitment on the part of NSF should be inferred from technical or budgetary discussions with a NSF Program Officer. A Principal Investigator or organization that makes financial or personnel commitments in the absence of a grant or cooperative agreement signed by the NSF Grants and Agreements Officer does so at one's own risk.


A. Notification of the Award

Notification of the award is made to the submitting organization by a Grants Officer in the Division of Grants and Agreements. Organizations whose proposals are declined will be advised as promptly as possible by the cognizant NSF Program Division administering the program. Verbatim copies of reviews, not including the identity of the reviewer, will be provided automatically to the Principal Investigator. (See section VI.A. for additional information on the review process.)

B. Award Conditions

An NSF award consists of: (1) the award letter, which includes any special provisions applicable to the award and any numbered amendments thereto; (2) the budget, which indicates the amounts, by categories of expense, on which NSF has based its support (or otherwise communicates any specific approvals or disapprovals of proposed expenditures); (3) the proposal referenced in the award letter; (4) the applicable award conditions, such as Grant General Conditions (NSF-GC-1)* or Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) Terms and Conditions;* and (5) any announcement or other NSF issuance that may be incorporated by reference in the award letter. Cooperative agreement awards also are administered in accordance with NSF Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions (CA-1). Electronic mail notification is the preferred way to transmit NSF awards to organizations that have electronic mail capabilities and have requested such notification from the Division of Grants and Agreements.

*These documents may be accessed electronically on NSF's Web site at Paper copies may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (301) 947-2722 or by e-mail from

More comprehensive information on NSF Award Conditions is contained in the NSF Grant Policy Manual (GPM) Chapter II, available electronically on the NSF Web site at The GPM is also for sale through the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402. The telephone number at GPO for subscription information is (202) 512-1800. The GPM may be ordered through the GPO Web site at

C. Reporting Requirements

For all multi-year grants (including both standard and continuing grants), the PI must submit an annual project report to the cognizant Program Officer at least 90 days before the end of the current budget period.

Within 90 days after the expiration of an award, the PI also is required to submit a final project report. Approximately 30 days before expiration, NSF will send a notice to remind the PI of the requirement to file the final project report. Failure to provide final technical reports delays NSF review and processing of pending proposals for that PI. PIs should examine the formats of the required reports in advance to assure availability of required data.

NSF has implemented an electronic project reporting system, available through FastLane. This system permits electronic submission and updating of project reports, including information on project participants (individual and organizational), activities and findings, publications, and other specific products and contributions. PIs will not be required to re-enter information previously provided, either with a proposal or in earlier updates using the electronic system.


General inquiries regarding  Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Teacher Preparation  should be made to:For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:


The NSF Guide to Programs is a compilation of funding for research and education in science, mathematics, and engineering. The NSF Guide to Programs is available electronically at General descriptions of NSF programs, research areas, and eligibility information for proposal submission are provided in each chapter.

Many NSF programs offer announcements or solicitations concerning specific proposal requirements. To obtain additional information about these requirements, contact the appropriate NSF program offices. Any changes in NSF's fiscal year programs occurring after press time for the Guide to Programs will be announced in the NSF E-Bulletin, which is updated daily on the NSF web site at, and in individual program announcements/solicitations. Subscribers can also sign up for NSF's Custom News Service ( to be notified of new funding opportunities that become available.

In addition, the Division of Undergraduate Education maintains a web site at that lists other funding opportunities specifically for undergraduate STEM education. Information about the Math and Science Partnership can be found at


The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. Awardees are wholly responsible for conducting their project activities and preparing the results for publication. Thus, the Foundation does not assume responsibility for such findings or their interpretation.

NSF welcomes proposals from all qualified scientists, engineers and educators. The Foundation strongly encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities to compete fully in its programs. In accordance with Federal statutes, regulations and NSF policies, no person on grounds of race, color, age, sex, national origin or disability shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from NSF (unless otherwise specified in the eligibility requirements for a particular program).

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The information requested on proposal forms and project reports is solicited under the authority of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended. The information on proposal forms will be used in connection with the selection of qualified proposals; project reports submitted by awardees will be used for program evaluation and reporting within the Executive Branch and to Congress. The information requested may be disclosed to qualified reviewers and staff assistants as part of the proposal review process; to applicant institutions/grantees to provide or obtain data regarding the proposal review process, award decisions, or the administration of awards; to government contractors, experts, volunteers and researchers and educators as necessary to complete assigned work; to other government agencies needing information as part of the review process or in order to coordinate programs; and to another Federal agency, court or party in a court or Federal administrative proceeding if the government is a party. Information about Principal Investigators may be added to the Reviewer file and used to select potential candidates to serve as peer reviewers or advisory committee members. See Systems of Records, NSF-50, "Principal Investigator/Proposal File and Associated Records," 63 Federal Register 267 (January 5, 1998), and NSF-51, "Reviewer/Proposal File and Associated Records," 63 Federal Register 268 (January 5, 1998). Submission of the information is voluntary. Failure to provide full and complete information, however, may reduce the possibility of receiving an award.

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