Research in the Formation of Engineers (RFE)
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Grant amount: Unspecified amount
Next deadline: Sep 26, 2018
Later deadlines: Jan 23, 2019, Sep 25, 2019, Jan 22, 2020, Sep 23, 2020, Jan 27, 2021
Applicant type: Indigenous Group For-Profit Business Government Entity College / University
Funding uses: Research
Location of project: Anywhere in the world
Location of residency: United StatesView website Save Need help writing this grant?
The NSF Engineering (ENG) Directorate has launched a multi-year initiative, the Professional Formation of Engineers, to create and support an innovative and inclusive engineering profession for the 21st Century. Professional Formation of Engineers (PFE) refers to the formal and informal processes and value systems by which people become engineers. It also includes the ethical responsibility of practicing engineers to sustain and grow the profession in order to improve quality of life for all peoples. The engineering profession must be responsive to national priorities, grand challenges, and dynamic workforce needs; and it must be equally open and accessible to all.
Professional Formation includes, but is not limited, to:
- Introductions to the profession at any age;
- Development of deep technical and professional skills, knowledge, and abilities in both formal and informal settings/domains;
- Development of outlooks, perspectives, ways of thinking, knowing, and doing;
- Development of identity as an engineer and its intersection with other identities; and
- Acculturation to the profession, its standards, and norms.
- Lifelong learning by the engineering workforce
- Research on the impact of engineering education research. Proposals addressing this topic could investigate questions such as: How can we measure the impacts of engineering education research? What are effective strategies for scaling reforms? How can we translate knowledge from research to practice? What are the roles of networks and communities in achieving impact? RFE does not support efficacy, effectiveness, or scale-up studies for specific interventions.
- Research that addresses engineering formation at the two year college and graduate education levels in both formal and informal settings. Included in this topic are investigations of identity formation, normative cultures of engineering and how these cultures may disadvantage certain groups, development of professional and technical skills, etc.
- Research that investigates engineering in K12 settings. Research in this area could include understanding of approaches to engineering in K12, how to develop engineering ways of thinking, or the relationship between practices within the sciences or mathematics and engineering thinking.
- Research on the transitions between education levels, e.g. high school to two year college, high school to 4 year college/university, two year college to 4 year college/university, undergraduate to graduate school, education settings to the workforce or professoriate, etc.
- The relationship between engineering and the public. Proposals addressing this topic could consider the social impact of engineering solutions, citizen engineering, education of an informed public, etc.
- Graduate education
- Transitions between education levels, e.g. high school to two year college, high school to 4 year college/university, two year college to 4 year college/university, undergraduate to graduate school, education settings to the workforce or professoriate, etc.
- K12, especially approaches to develop engineering thinking, or providing links between engineering, science, and mathematics
- The title must begin with either “Research:” or “Design and Development:” depending on which category the proposal is intended for.
- All proposals must have an evaluation plan. Evaluation refers to monitoring of the research process to ensure that the project stays on track. The evaluation plan should include both formative and summative evaluation. An evaluator external to the PIs’ organization is not required, but the evaluator should not be an individual who is involved in the research activities. Potential evaluators include faculty with evaluation expertise at the PIs’ institution, an institutional evaluation office, or an advisory board of experts.
- All proposals must have a dissemination plan that goes beyond publishing research papers and presenting at research conferences. PIs should think creatively about who needs to hear about the research for it to have an impact, and develop a strategy to reach that audience.
- The Project Summary must contain a list of 3-5 keywords taken from the Engineering Education Taxonomy. At least one of the keywords must be from Section 12, Research Approaches. Keywords may be selected from any level of the taxonomy as appropriate to your project. Place the keywords on a separate line at the end of the Overview section of the Project Summary.
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