National Science Foundation Education Related Programs

Ginger Holmes Rowell

Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
Volume 13, Number 2 (Fall 2008)


If you are interested in a project in statistics education, there may be grant opportunities to support this work through the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF website, http://www.nsf.gov, provides a rich resource for funding opportunities in the educational arena. However, sometimes it can be hard to know exactly where to start. Knowing a little about the structure of the organization can be helpful. NSF is made up of Directorates, which could be thought of like colleges in a university system. One of the Directorates at NSF is the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) (http://www.nsf.gov/dir/index.jsp?org=EHR). The mission of EHR is to enable excellence in US Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) at all levels and in all settings by supporting the development of a diverse and well-prepared workforce in the STEM disciplines as well as in education. There are four divisions in EHR: the Division of Graduate Education (DGE), the Division of Human Resource Development (HRD), the Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL), and the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE).

On the homepage for any Division at NSF, links for "Programs and Funding Opportunities" are shown. Those links lead to a brief description of the program, associated program officers, and a link to the program solicitation. If you already know that your project idea fits in a given program, then starting with the program solicitation is pretty straight forward. However, when you have an idea but don't know what program it fits in, it can be a little overwhelming for first time proposal writers to find the match for their ideas. Below is a list of types of activities that might interest statistics educators, followed by the NSF programs which support those activities. Included are the title, acronym, and the acronym for the corresponding NSF Division. Programs may be listed more than once. Cross-cutting agency wide programs are indicated by a * after their acronym designation. Primarily K-12 programs are indicated by **.

New Materials Development
Course, Curriculum & Laboratory Improvement (CCLI, DUE)
Advanced Technological Education Projects (ATE, DUE)
National STEM Digital Library (NSDL, DUE)
Research in Disabilities Education (RDE, HRD)
Discovery Research K-12 (DR-K12)**

Program and Curriculum Development (Includes Developing Assessment Tools)
Course, Curriculum & Laboratory Improvement (CCLI, DUE)
Advanced Technological Education (ATE, DUE)
STEM Talent Expansion Program (STEP, DUE)
Integrative Graduate Education & Research Training (IGERT, DGE)
Interdisciplinary Training for Undergraduates in Biological & Mathematical Sciences (UBM, BIO/DUE)
Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP, HRD)
Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP, HRD)
Ethics Education in Science and Education (EESE)* serves mainly graduate education
Alliances for Broadening Participation (ABP, HRD) see LSAMP and AGEP listing
Math and Science Partnerships (MSP, DUE)**
Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST, DRL)**
Discovery Research K-12 (DR-K12)**

Research on Stem Educational Issues
Research on Gender in Science and Engineering (GSE, HRD)
Research in Disabilities Education (RDE, HRD)
Discovery Research K-12 (DR-K12, DRL)**
Research and Evaluation on Education in Science and Engineering (REESE, DRL)
Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE, OISE)
Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP)
Alliances for Broadening Participation (ABP, HRD) see LSAMP listing
Math and Science Partnerships (MSP, DUE)**

If you are still unsure where your statistics education project idea might fit with NSF's funding opportunities, then you could contact an NSF program officer and they could help you identify programs which might match with your idea. DUE Program officer contact information can be found at http://www.nsf.gov/staff/staff_list.jsp?org=DUE&from_org=DUE.

As you begin to think about writing a proposal, it can be helpful to know what has already been funded by NSF so that you are not re-inventing the wheel. Two recently published articles in the Journal of Statistics Education, Volume 16, Number 2 (2008) describe a decade of NSF funded projects in statistics education. Megan Hall and I wrote the articles "Introductory Statistics Education and the National Science Foundation" ( http://www.amstat.org/publications/jse/v16n2/rowell1.html) and "Undergraduate Statistics Education and the National Science Foundation" (http://www.amstat.org/publications/jse/v16n2/rowell2.html) to help others learn about previously funded projects so that individuals interested in statistics education would not have to reinvent the wheel, but could build on existing work. You can find out more information about the 150 statistics education projects listed in the appendices of these articles as well as other NSF funded projects by searching the "NSF Awards Search" webpage (http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/).

(This information was submitted by Ginger Holmes Rowell. Ginger is on a leave of absence from Middle Tennessee State University where she is a Professor of Mathematics to work at the National Science Foundation in the Division of Undergraduate Education. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the National Science Foundation. The primary information for this document was provided by Dr. Terry Woodin, NSF DUE Program Officer.)


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