OSP FO# 11-228

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

PROGRAM: Advanced Technological Education (ATE)                     

OBJECTIVES: This program provides funding to promote improvement in technological education at the undergraduate and secondary school levels by supporting curriculum development; professional development of college faculty and secondary school teachers; career pathways to two-year colleges from secondary schools and from two-year colleges to four-year institutions; and other applicable activities. Proposals may focus on specialized technology courses or core science, mathematics, and technology courses that serve as prerequisites or co-requisites for specialized technology courses. All projects should demonstrably contribute to the ATE program’s central goals of producing more science and engineering technicians to meet workforce demands, and improving the technical skills and the general science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) preparation of these technicians and the educators who prepare them. Activities must have a national or regional focus and must be guided by a coherent vision of technological education.

The ATE program has three major program tracks:

    (1) ATE Projects — ATE Projects focus more narrowly on one or more of the following activities:

  • Program Development and Improvement
  • Curriculum and Educational Materials Development
  • Professional Development for Educators
  • Leadership Capacity Building for Faculty
  • Teacher Preparation
  • Business and Entrepreneurial Skills Development for Students
    Multifaceted projects that cut across these activity categories are especially encouraged and proposers should thoroughly explore possibilities for adapting and implementing proven materials and methods. The ATE Projects program also supports a small number of conferences, workshops, and special similar activities that lead to a better understanding of issues in advanced technological education. The ATE Project track will also support Small Grants for Institutions New to the ATE Program. These Small Grants are designed to allow community colleges that have not previously been affiliated with the ATE program an opportunity to undertake projects to improve science and engineering technician education.

    (2) ATE Centers — The ATE program supports three types of centers: national, regional, and resource. Proposals for centers must clearly articulate a vision of technological education and must describe a workable plan for achieving that vision during the period of NSF funding. ATE centers provide models and leadership and act as clearinghouses for educational materials and methods. They are cooperative efforts in which two-year colleges work with four-year colleges and universities, secondary schools, business, industry, and government. Proposals for ATE centers must build upon prior efforts of both project personnel and others in the field. A center proposal must clearly describe the impacts of center activities on the industry and technician education programs at the national, regional, and local levels as well as institutional impacts. Proposals for centers are expected to include a letter from the president or chief academic officer of the host institution documenting the institution’s commitment to the center.

    (3) Targeted Research on Technician Education – This track supports targeted research on technician education, the changing role of technicians in the workplace, and other topics that advance the knowledge base needed to make technician education programs more effective and more forward-looking. Project proposals should pose a research question or outline a topic of broad interest and importance to the PIs of ATE projects and centers. The project should describe how it builds upon previous research and scholarship on the issue. The theoretical model and research methodology to be used for conducting the research, gathering and analyzing data and developing conclusions should be described. Evaluation should determine that the research methodology is appropriate to the topic and the research protocols are being followed. The proposal should describe how the results can inform practices in technician education programs and how the practitioners will learn of the results. The results must be broadly disseminated to researchers and practitioners. Projects must represent a true collaboration–reflected in the activities, the leadership, and the budget–between well-qualified researchers and two-year college educators and, when appropriate, participants from four-year colleges and universities, secondary schools, business and industry, professional societies, and other non-profit organizations.

    Projects that fall outside of the program tracks may be considered for funding. Please contact the program officer to explore whether those other activities may be appropriate for funding.

    DEADLINE: October 20, 2011

    FUNDING INFORMATION: The NSF anticipates $64 million in FY2012 to fund 75-90 new awards. NSF anticipates funding 45-60 ATE Projects ranging from $25,000 and $300,000 per year for up to three years. Approximately 15-20 ATE Small Grants will be funded for up to $200,000 over three years.

    NSF will fund two new National Centers for up to $5 million over four years, 3 new Regional Centers for up to $3 million over four years, and 4 new Resource Centers for up to $1.6 million over four years. Five to eight new Targeted Research on Technician Education awards will be funded at a level of $100,000 to $300,000 per year for up to four years.

    Four planning grants for the development of well-formulated plans for future National Centers or Regional Centers will be funded up to $70,000.

    In addition, the ATE program anticipates funding a few Large Scale Materials Development (LSMD) projects that could exceed the general limitations of ATE Projects. LSMD projects may target course sequences or multiple courses that are integrated and taken concurrently, or major changes in teaching strategy. The size and duration of LSMD projects should be no more than $500,000 per year for four years.

    V. Celeste Carter
    Division of Undergraduate Education
    National Science Foundation
    4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 835N
    Arlington, Virginia 22230
    Telephone: (703) 292-4651
    Email: vccarter@nsf.gov
    Web: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2011/nsf11692/nsf11692.htm

    REMARKS: 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 India Adams (adamsi@bu.edu) or A. B. 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 web site 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 11-692 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.