NSF Funding Opportunity from the IUSE/Professional Formation of Engineers:  REvolutionizing engineering and computer science Departments (RED) Program

This recently announced program supports re-designing engineering undergraduate education programs through the creation of significant sustainable changes necessary to overcome longstanding issues in their undergraduate programs and to educate inclusive communities of engineering and computer science students.

From the NSF solicitation:

Even as demographic and regional socio-economic factors affect engineering and computer science departments in unique ways, there are certain tenets of sustainable change that are common across institutions. For instance, the development and engagement of the entire faculty within a department are paramount to the process, and they must be incentivized. Departmental cultural barriers to inclusion of students and faculty from different backgrounds must be identified and addressed. Finally, coherent technical and professional threads must be developed and woven across the four years, especially (1) in the core technical courses of the middle two years, (2) in internship opportunities in the private and public sectors, and (3) in research opportunities with faculty. These and other threads aim to ensure that students develop deep knowledge in their discipline more effectively and meaningfully, while at the same time building their capacities for 21st-century and “T-shaped” professional skills, including design, leadership, communication, understanding historical and contemporary social contexts, lifelong learning, professional ethical responsibility, creativity, entrepreneurship, and multidisciplinary teamwork. It is expected that, over time, the awardees of this program will create knowledge concerning sustainable change in engineering and computer science education that can be scaled and adopted nationally across a wide variety of academic institutions. The research on departmental change that results from these projects should inform change more broadly across the STEM disciplines.

Some important revisions to last year’s solicitation:

A minimum budget requirement of $1,000,000 has been added. All proposals must now have a budget of $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 total for a duration of up to 5 years. Proposals that fall outside of these limits will be returned without review.

Institutional information may now be provided as a supplementary document.

Some important considerations regarding your team:

Your team PI must be the engineering/computer science department chair.

Your RED team needs to include an expert in engineering/computer science education research to “ground the research plan in the literature.”

Your RED team needs to also include a social scientist to monitor and assess the proposed changes and to “advise on strategies for developing the culture of change and on strategies for creating meaningful collective ownership of the effort among faculty, students, and staff.”

Please note that this is a limited submission with an institutional limit of 2.

The due date for proposals to NSF is November 10th.  Please contact our office at VPResearch@lehigh.edu by October 7th if you are interested in submitting a proposal.

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