Please submit to email@example.com, by Monday April 22, a 4-page document outlining:
1) Which type of WIDER proposal you plan to submit under the limited submission requirement (Planning grant, or Institutional Implementation grant; see further below)
2) Your approach to program elements a-f: (from the program announcement) “Although proposed projects may vary considerably in the approaches they take, the number of academic institutions involved, the number of faculty and students that participate, and in their stage of development, all promising projects share certain characteristics.
a. Use of and Contribution to Knowledge about STEM Education: Projects should reflect high quality science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. They should use methods derived from existing knowledge concerning effective undergraduate STEM education, build on existing projects where possible, and discuss the logic of the proposed approach. Implementation grant applicants are urged to describe their theory of change.
b. Participation by high ranking administrators: Because the focus of implementation grants is on transformational change, there must be significant participation by academic officers from department chairs, deans, and higher levels to improve the prospects for success and sustainability in later years.
c. Participation and Contribution to STEM Education Community-Building: Investigators should expect to interact with others in the STEM education community engaged in quality improvement, to enable sharing of knowledge and experience in developing and evaluating approaches to widening the use of evidence-based teaching and learning practices.
d. Dissemination: Applicants should have a plan for adding to knowledge about institutional transformation by disseminating key knowledge gained during their projects. This can be designed as part of participation in STEM Education community building. Bold, innovative dissemination strategies are encouraged.
e. Project Evaluation: All projects should have an evaluation plan that includes both a strategy for monitoring the project as it evolves to provide feedback to guide these efforts (formative assessment) and an evaluation scheme to measure the effectiveness of the project in achieving its goals and for identifying positive and negative findings when the project is completed (summative evaluation). The complexity of the evaluation will depend on the project, and these efforts should be led by knowledgeable individuals who look objectively at the project's progress and outcomes. Additional information about project evaluation is available from the 2010 NSF User-Friendly Handbook for Project Evaluation (J. Frechtling, et. al., Weststat Inc.). This can be obtain at the following location as a download: http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/22603.
f. Program Evaluation: The Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) expects to conduct an early on-going program evaluation to determine how effectively the WIDER Program is achieving its goals. In addition to project-specific evaluations, all funded projects will be expected to cooperate with this third party program evaluation and respond to all inquiries, including requests to participate in surveys, interviews and other approaches for collecting data needed to evaluate the WIDER Program. The special review criterion for broader impacts of implementation projects is intended to assist project and program evaluations.”
NSF program snapshot, released April 8.
Title: Widening Implementation & Demonstration of Evidence-Based Reforms (WIDER)
Sponsor: Directorate for Education and Human Resources/NSF
SYNOPSIS: The chief goal of WIDER is to transform institutions of higher education into supportive environments for STEM faculty members to substantially increase their use of evidence-based teaching and learning practices to increase persistence in STEM and contribute to the goal of producing 1 million additional STEM graduates.
Proposal Deadline to NSF: 07/03/2013
Contact: Myles Boylan
Division of Undergraduate Education
Program URL: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2013/nsf13552/nsf13552.htm
Duration: 4 YEAR(s)
Cost Sharing: No
OBJECTIVES: WIDER seeks to substantially increase the scale of application of highly effective methods of STEM teaching and learning in institutions of higher education, by employing instructional materials and methods that have a convincing evidentiary basis of effectiveness. In particular WIDER seeks this transformation for high enrollment, lower division courses required for many STEM majors and taken by many other students to fulfill general education distribution requirements.
Included in the broad definition of effective STEM teaching and learning are not only instructional practices in traditional learning environments, but also modern laboratory methods and field research, proven distance education methods (or hybrid designs incorporating both face-to-face and distance methods), and improved approaches to motivating student interest in STEM.
In all cases, the primary goal of WIDER is to increase substantially the scale of these improvements within and across the higher education sector in order to achieve:
· Improved student learning; Increased numbers of students choosing STEM majors, particularly from demographic groups underrepresented in STEM; and
· Improved retention in the first two years of undergraduate study and to graduation of all STEM majors.
Applicants may apply for WIDER grants to begin institutional planning efforts, to support implementation efforts for evidence-based teaching and learning practices, and for research on how to increase the importance placed on evidence-based practices in institutional strategic planning and faculty rewards.
Because the goal of WIDER is institutional transformation, an organization may submit only one Planning or one Institutional Implementation proposal for a given deadline. There are no restrictions on the number of Community Implementation or Research proposals that an individual or organization may submit.
The program invites four kinds of proposals, pending the availability of funds:
Planning grants are designed to facilitate institutional planning for transition to a much higher commitment to evidence-based teaching and learning practices. WIDER recognizes that its goal will often require significant planning to carry out at the institutional level. Planning grant proposals may request up to $250,000 over 2 years. Up to 20 will be supported.
Institutional Implementation grants will be awarded to institutions that have made a commitment and are ready to implement substantive changes to support evidence-based teaching and learning practices. Proposals may request up to $2,000,000 over 3 years; however, it is expected that the amount requested will scale with the number of STEM disciplines, faculty members and/or students impacted.
Up to 12 Institutional Implementation grants will be made.
Limited submission does not apply to these Community Implementation grants up to $750,000 over three years will be awarded to consortia and/or professional organizations that propose to marshall their combined resources towards the goals of WIDER. Consortia would have the advantage of providing specialized resources, perspectives, and influences from its members that would not be available in a single institution of higher education.
Potential also exists for scientific societies, other professional societies, college and university associations, and accrediting organizations to contribute to the goal of WIDER, and proposals are welcomed from these organizations as well. Up to 12 Community Implementation grants will be made.
Limited submission does not apply to these Research projects that contribute to our broader understanding of how single institutions or types of institutions can successfully encourage greater use of evidence-based teaching and learning practices in STEM disciplines may request up to $500,000 over 4 years. Up to 10 Research grants will be made.
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