For BU Wheelock’s Eli Tucker-Raymond and his colleagues Christopher Wright (Drexel University) and Carrie Tzou (University of Washington Bothel), the experience of sitting on grant review panels opened their eyes to the need for a change in how equity and broadening participation in STEM were being framed in proposals.
“Many applicants think that if they just include learners from historically underrepresented groups then they are working toward equity and broadening participation,” says Tucker-Raymond. “But if we simply include more people in the same kinds of damaging experiences that have not broadened participation to date, then we are not working toward meaningful change.”
Tucker-Raymond, a research associate professor of language and literacy, worked with Wright and Tzou to develop a grant writing workshop for early career scholars focused on racial equity in learning science or STEM education. The workshop recently received funding from the National Science Foundation.
“There are few formal opportunities for early career scholars to learn how to prepare grant applications,” explains Tucker-Raymond. “For newer scholars who may be more critically oriented, this workshop will help them learn to frame their proposals to improve how they will be received.”
The workshop is designed for scholars who are less than five years out from their degrees. Ten scholars will be paired with mentors for a year of instruction on everything from reading calls for proposals to grant management once they receive an award. The first cohort is expected to begin in November 2021, with the program running through the end of June 2022.
“Scholars who are already focused on racial equity can be truly transformative in their work,” says Tucker-Raymond. “It’s our hope that this workshop will position them for greater success.”