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NSF 23-043

Dear Colleague Letter: New to IUSE

January 9, 2023

Dear Colleagues:

With this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) in the Directorate for STEM Education (EDU) encourages the submission of proposals to the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE: EDU) Program from institutions that have not had prior funding from the IUSE: EDU Program. Proposers are encouraged to consider submission to Level 1 of the Engaged Student Learning track or to the Institutional and Community Transformation Capacity-Building track of the IUSE: EDU Program. Information about the objectives and expectations for Engaged Student Learning and Institutional and Community Transformation projects can be found in the IUSE: EDU program solicitation, NSF 23-510.

Proposals in the Engaged Student Learning track of the IUSE: EDU Program focus directly on students or serve students through faculty professional development and related activities. Engaged Student Learning projects can contribute to developing the STEM and STEM-related workforce, advancing a disciplinary STEM field, broadening participation in STEM, educating a STEM-literate public, improving K-12 STEM education through undergraduate preservice STEM teacher preparation, encouraging life-long learning, and/or building STEM capacity in higher education. Institutional and Community Transformation proposals focus on systemic change that may be measured at the departmental, institutional, or multi-institutional level or across communities of STEM educators and/or educational researchers. All IUSE: EDU projects are expected to increase knowledge about effective STEM education. This may be achieved by proposing one or more knowledge-generating questions and investigating them with thorough project evaluation or more formal research methods. Prospective investigators are encouraged to contact an NSF Program Officer to discuss their ideas.

Proposers are encouraged to reference the Common Guidelines for Education Research and Development (NSF 13-126), a publication designed to help with developing and framing education-related projects. This publication was developed jointly by the NSF and the Institute of Education Sciences in the U.S. Department of Education. It describes several types of studies that can increase knowledge about student learning. The Common Guidelines may be accessed at NSF 13-126. A set of supporting FAQs is also available at NSF 13-127.

Proposals responding to this DCL should be submitted by published due dates for the IUSE: EDU Program. When responding to the DCL, please begin your proposal title with "New to IUSE: EDU DCL:". Submissions should follow the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) and the guidelines in the IUSE: EDU program solicitation.

Principal investigators with questions pertaining to this DCL may contact:

Ellen Carpenter, Program Director,
Jill Nelson, Program Director,


James L. Moore, III
Assistant Director
Directorate for STEM Education (EDU)