June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
New Engineering Educators
14.429.1 - 14.429.17
Designing Effective Educational Initiatives for Grant Proposals
The National Science Foundation requires that grantees make an effort to extend the reach of academic research to communities beyond the laboratory and address the work’s possible “Broader Impacts” to society. NSF CAREER awards and many of the NSF Research Center grant solicitations are even more explicit, requiring that grantees craft educational initiatives that are based in best practices, bring the academic research to the broader community, and positively impact the pipeline of students pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and careers. For new faculty, and even veteran faculty, these requirements for creative educational initiatives that significantly affect a community outside the confines of the laboratory can be very daunting. This paper addresses how to design an effective educational plan that incorporates undergraduate and graduate education or K-12 educational outreach and that will have a real impact on the target audience. It also gives advice, from the point of view of a former college president and NSF officer, about issues of the reward system in general, promotion and tenure at different types of higher education institutions in particular, and how these differing standards should be taken into account as one decides how much and what type of educational initiative should prudently be undertaken.
In 1990 Earnest Boyer published a seminal work1 that enlarged the perspective of “research” by calling it “scholarship”, and describing it in terms of four overlapping descriptors: the scholarship of discovery (research), the scholarship of teaching, the scholarship of integration (putting ideas together through the use of multiple lenses, viewing specialties in larger contexts, or connecting across ideas and disciplines), and the scholarship of application. The Scholarship of Teaching was later changed to be the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL), and the last category was later broadened by Boyer to include the scholarship of engagement and service (originally outreach) 2. By the mid 1990’s, the National Science Foundation had implemented a “broader impacts” criterion to research grant proposals, requiring that scientists and engineers applying for research funds think carefully about, and describe, the ways in which their work might impact society, and that they design education and outreach plans to enhance this impact. Essentially, NSF promoted the ideas of scholarships of teaching and learning, engagement and service by tying research (discovery) grant support directly to these criteria.
Though the broader impacts criterion is still controversial in some arenas3, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, which categorizes higher education institutions, now has an elective category designating “Institutions of Engagement and Service”, and has selected 195 colleges and universities for its Community Engagement Classification4, including such research intensive universities as Duke, Purdue, and the University of Michigan. Educational and outreach initiatives developed through NSF grants also promote the type of engagement by science and engineering professionals called for by the National Academies of Engineering and Science5 to improve our educational pipeline of students into science,
Llewellyn, D., & Usselman, M., & Millman, R. (2009, June), Designing Effective Educational Initiatives For Grant Proposals Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/4830
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