A well-prepared, innovative science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce is crucial to the Nation's prosperity and security. Future generations of STEM professionals are a key sector of this workforce, especially in the critical scientific areas described in the Big Ideas for Future NSF Investments. To accelerate progress in these areas, the next generation of STEM professionals will need to master new knowledge and skills, collaborate across disciplines, and shape the future of the human-technology interface in the workplace. As a result, NSF recognizes the need to support development of and research on effective educational approaches that can position the future STEM workforce to make bold advances in these Big Ideas.
In response to this need, the NSF’s Education and Human Resources Directorate seeks to invest in projects that can educate the STEM workforce to advance discovery in the six research Big Ideas: Harnessing the Data Revolution; The Future of Work; Navigating the New Arctic; Multi-messenger Astrophysics; The Quantum Leap; and Understanding the Rules of Life. In addition to developing and implementing novel educational and/or training programs, these projects should simultaneously generate new knowledge about effective STEM education, by studying such programs and exploring related issues.
Specifically, NSF accepts proposals to support education research and development projects focused on re- or up-skilling the existing workforce; developing the skilled technical workforce; and/or preparing those at the undergraduate, graduate, or postdoctoral fellow/early career levels. We encourage projects to partner with industry, public, and private sectors to define the needs of tomorrow’s workforce and develop educational and learning strategies to meet those needs. Proposals should address near-, mid-, and long-term challenges and opportunities facing the development of STEM professionals or anticipate new structures and functions of the STEM learning and teaching enterprise. Proposers are encouraged to include approaches that have the potential to increase and diversify participation in STEM. All proposals should contribute to one or more of the six research Big Ideas.
EHR is particularly interested in supporting innovative education research and development in two Big Ideas: The Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier (FW-HTF) and Harnessing the Data Revolution for 21st Century Science and Engineering (HDR). Projects of interest include: innovative uses of technology and big data to understand learning; educational approaches that prepare tomorrow’s innovators to use technology and big data to understand the natural world; effects of advances in intelligent agents on STEM teaching and learning; and evaluation of disruptive educational interventions on long-term student outcomes.
Outcomes of these projects can enable the Nation to: better prepare its scientific and technical workforce for the future; use technological innovations effectively for education; and advance the frontiers of science. Proposals should describe projects that build on available evidence and theory, and that will generate evidence and build knowledge, while contributing to the education of the future STEM professionals.
Updates and Announcements
The program officers listed above are the primary liaisons from the divisions (DUE, DGE, and HRD) currently participating in the Accelerating Discovery: Educating the Future STEM Workforce program. A longer list of contacts will appear in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document associated with the AD program. Inquiries may also be sent directly to this address: firstname.lastname@example.org.