OSP FO# 11-026

AGENCY: National Science Foundation (NSF)/Directorate for Education & Human Resources (EHR)/Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL)

PROGRAM: Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST)

OBJECTIVES: This program provides funding to: (a) develop, implement, study, and evaluate strategies that encourage K–12 students to develop interest in and to be prepared for careers in the STEM and ICT (information and communication technologies) workforce of the future; (b) produce research findings that build knowledge about approaches, models, and interventions with K–12-aged children and teachers that are most likely to increase the nation’s capacity and innovation in the STEM and ICT workforce of the future; and (c) equip teachers with the resources to ensure that their students consider choosing and are prepared to enter the STEM and ICT workforce of the future. ITEST invests in three types of projects:

(1) ITEST Scale-up Projects—The goal of ITEST Scale-up projects is to apply proven strategies to enhance student or teacher knowledge of and disposition toward STEM and ICT careers to a broader audience for the purpose of learning effective steps in expanding the adoption of successful innovations in school and out-of-school settings. Scale-up projects can include expanding existing designs, implementations, and tests of research and theory-based models or models based in best practice and professional expertise, to interest and prepare students to be participants in the STEM workforce of the future. Any scale-up proposal must directly impact K–12-aged students or K–12 teachers and must involve a partnership among different types of institutions.

(2) ITEST Strategies projects—The goal of ITEST Strategies projects is to develop, implement, and study strategies that encourage K–12 students to be prepared for and to consider careers in the STEM and ICT fields, and/or that equip teachers with the resources to ensure that their students consider and are prepared for choosing to enter the STEM workforce. Every strategies project is regarded as a learning laboratory in the sense that other STEM educators should be able to gain knowledge provided by the project in other, future activities. Strategies projects should describe the anticipated contribution the project will make to the knowledge base about STEM education, in addition to short-term impacts on participants. ITEST is particularly interested in new and innovative ideas, so projects seeking funding in this strand are strongly encouraged to connect with the ITEST Learning Resource Center (http://itestlrc.edc.org/) for information about current and previously funded strategies projects so as to develop and implement strategies that will advance the field.

(3) ITEST Research projects—The goal of ITEST Research projects is to produce empirical findings and research tools that contribute to knowledge about which approaches, models, and interventions with K–12 students and teachers are most likely to increase capacity in the STEM and ICT-intensive workforce of the future. Research projects are expected to identify critical questions that relate to student STEM learning and engagement in STEM careers, teacher knowledge about STEM career issues and workplace demands, and the characteristics of effective STEM education that foster sustained interest and entry into STEM career paths.

ELIGIBILITY RESTRICTIONS: An individual may serve as the Principal Investigator (PI) for no more than one Research, Strategies, or Scale-up proposal under this program.

Letter of Intent (required): March 11, 2011
Full Proposal: May 13, 2011

FUNDING INFORMATION: Depending on the availability of funds for FY 2011, NSF anticipates providing $20 million to fund 20–30 awards. Scale-up projects will range from three to five years in duration, with award sizes up to $2 million. Strategies projects will be for up to three years in duration, with award sizes up to $1.2 million. Research projects will be for up to three years in duration, with award sizes up to $900,000. The requests should be appropriate to the duration and scope of the Scale-up, Strategies, or Research project. Projects that include design, implementation, and study of robotics competitions may increase their total Strategies budget by an amount up to $150,000.

National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22230
Telephone: (703) 292-8628
Email: DRLITEST@nsf.gov
Web: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2011/nsf11525/nsf11525.htm

REMARKS: Letters of Intent must be submitted via the NSF FastLane system, using the Letter of Intent module in FastLane.

Applications must be submitted electronically using either the NSF FastLane system or Grants.gov. Collaborative proposals must be submitted via FastLane. For more information about FastLane, or to register as a FastLane user, please contact A. Brink Effgen (abeffgen@bu.edu) in the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) at x3-4365. Information about Grants.gov for BU Investigators can be obtained on the OSP website at: http://www.bu.edu/osp/proposal-preparation/electronic-submission/. In addition, for investigators interested in submitting proposals via Grants.gov, NSF has published the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide which may be found online at: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/docs/grantsgovguide.pdf. Investigators should contact the OSP Assistant Director assigned to their school or department as soon as possible to coordinate submission through either FastLane or Grants.gov.

Complete program guidelines and application material (NSF 11-525 and NSF GPG 11-1) may be obtained from the web site listed above or from the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP). Please distribute this notice to any faculty or staff members who might be interested in the information. For more information, please contact the OSP at X3-4365 or ospinfo@bu.edu, or visit the OSP web site at http://www.bu.edu/osp.