Asee peer logo

The Five I’s: A Framework for Supporting Early Career Faculty

Download Paper |


2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Faculty Development Medley!

Tagged Division

Faculty Development Division

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Jennifer Karlin Minnesota State University, Mankato

visit author page

Jennifer Karlin spent the first half of her career at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, where she was a professor of industrial engineering and held the Pietz professorship for entrepreneurship and economic development. She is now a professor of integrated engineering at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where she is helping to build the Bell Engineering program, and the managing partner of Kaizen Academic.

visit author page


Allison Godwin Purdue University at West Lafayette (COE) Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Allison Godwin, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. Her research focuses what factors influence diverse students to choose engineering and stay in engineering through their careers and how different experiences within the practice and culture of engineering foster or hinder belongingness and identity development. Dr. Godwin graduated from Clemson University with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Ph.D. in Engineering and Science Education. Her research earned her a National Science Foundation CAREER Award focused on characterizing latent diversity, which includes diverse attitudes, mindsets, and approaches to learning, to understand engineering students’ identity development. She has won several awards for her research including the 2016 American Society of Engineering Education Educational Research and Methods Division Best Paper Award and the 2018 Benjamin J. Dasher Best Paper Award for the IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference. She has also been recognized for the synergy of research and teaching as an invited participant of the 2016 National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium and the Purdue University 2018 recipient of School of Engineering Education Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the 2018 College of Engineering Exceptional Early Career Teaching Award.

visit author page

Download Paper |


The Five I’s: A Framework for Supporting Early Career Faculty

This theory paper describes the development and use of a framework for supporting early career faculty development, especially in competitive National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER proposals. Engineering Education Research (EER) has developed into a field of expertise and a career pathway over the past three decades. In response to numerous reports in the 1990s and early 2000s, multiple EER graduate programs were established in the mid-2000s and a growing number continue to emerge to educate and train the next generation of EER faculty and policy makers. Historically, many came to EER as individuals trained in other disciplines, but with an interest in improving teaching and learning. This approach created an interdisciplinary space where many could learn the norms, practices, and language of EER, as they became scholars. This history combined with the emergence of EER as a discipline with academic recognition; specific knowledge, frameworks, methodologies, and ways of conducting research; and particular emphasis and goals, creates a tension for building capacity to continue to develop EER and also include engineering education researchers who have not completed PhDs in an engineering education program. If EER is to continue to develop and emerge as a strong and robust discipline with high quality engineering education research, support mechanisms must be developed to both recognize outstanding EER scholars and develop the next generation of researchers in the field.

The Five I’s framework comes from a larger project on supporting early career EER faculty in developing NSF CAREER proposals. Arguably, a NSF CAREER award is significant external recognition of EER that signals central membership in the community. The Five I’s were developed using collaborative inquiry, a tool and process to inform practice, with 19 EER CAREER awardees during a retreat in March 2019.

The Five I’s include: Ideas, Integration, Impact, Identity, and Infrastructure. Ideas is researchers’ innovative and potentially transformative ideas that can make a significant contribution to EER. All NSF proposals are evaluated using the criteria of intellectual merit and broader impacts, and ideas aligned with these goals are essential for funding success. The integration of research and education is a specific additional consideration of CAREER proposals. Both education and research must inform one another in the proposal process. Demonstrating the impact of research is essential to convey why research should be funded. This impact is essential to address as it directly relates to the NSF criteria of broader impacts as well as why an individual is positioned to carry out that impact. This positioning is tied to identity or the particular research expertise from which a faculty member will be a leader in the field. Finally, infrastructure includes the people and physical resources from which a faculty member must draw to be successful. This framework has proven useful in helping early career faculty evaluate their readiness to apply for an NSF CAREER award or highlight the particular areas of their development that could be improved for future success.

The preferred method of presentation for this work is a round table discussion.

Karlin, J., & Godwin, A. (2020, June), The Five I’s: A Framework for Supporting Early Career Faculty Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35321

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2020 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015