Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Education and Human Resources (IUSE: EHR)

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Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after October 4, 2021. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 22-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.

Supports projects to improve STEM teaching and learning for undergraduate students, including studying what works and for whom and how to transform institutions to adopt successful practices in STEM education.


The fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) hold much promise as sectors of the economy where we can expect to see continuous vigorous growth in the coming decades. STEM job creation is expected to outpace non-STEM job creation significantly, according to the Commerce Department, reflecting the importance of STEM knowledge to the US economy.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) plays a leadership role in developing and implementing efforts to enhance and improve STEM education in the United States.  Through the NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) initiative, the agency continues to make a substantial commitment to the highest caliber undergraduate STEM education through a Foundation-wide framework of investments. The IUSE: EHR is a core NSF STEM education program that seeks to promote novel, creative, and transformative approaches to generating and using new knowledge about STEM teaching and learning to improve STEM education for undergraduate students.  The program is open to application from all institutions of higher education and associated organizations. NSF places high value on educating students to be leaders and innovators in emerging and rapidly changing STEM fields as well as educating a scientifically literate public. In pursuit of this goal, IUSE: EHR supports projects that seek to bring recent advances in STEM knowledge into undergraduate education, that adapt, improve, and incorporate evidence-based practices into STEM teaching and learning, and that lay the groundwork for institutional improvement in STEM education.  In addition to innovative work at the frontier of STEM education, this program also encourages replication of research studies at different types of institutions and with different student bodies to produce deeper knowledge about the effectiveness and transferability of findings.

IUSE: EHR also seeks to support projects that have high potential for broader societal impacts, including improved diversity of students and instructors participating in STEM education, professional development for instructors to ensure adoption of new and effective pedagogical techniques that meet the changing needs of students, and projects that promote institutional partnerships for collaborative research and development. IUSE: EHR especially welcomes proposals that will pair well with the efforts of NSF INCLUDES ( to develop STEM talent from all sectors and groups in our society. 

For all the above objectives, the National Science Foundation invests primarily in evidence-based and knowledge-generating approaches to understand and improve STEM learning and learning environments, improve the diversity of STEM students and majors, and prepare STEM majors for the workforce.  In addition to contributing to STEM education in the host institution(s), proposals should have the promise of adding more broadly to our understanding of effective teaching and learning practices.

The IUSE: EHR program features two tracks: (1) Engaged Student Learning and (2) Institutional and Community Transformation. Several levels of scope, scale, and funding are available within each track, as summarized in Table 1.


Table 1: Overview of Engaged Student Learning and Institutional and Community Transformation tracks, levels, and deadlines




Engaged Student Learning

Level 1: up to $300,000 for up to three years

July 21, 2021

January 19, 2022

3rd Wednesday in January and July thereafter

Level 2: $300,001 - $600,000 for up to three years

July 21, 2021 

 3rd Wednesday in July thereafter

Level 3: $600,001 - $2 million for up to five years

July 21, 2021   

3rd Wednesday in July thereafter

Institutional and Community Transformation

Capacity-Building: $150K (single institution) or $300K (multiple institutions) for up to two years

July 21, 2021

January 19, 2022

3rd Wednesday in January and July thereafter


Level 1: up to $300,000 for up to three years


July 21, 2021

January 19, 2022

3rd Wednesday in January and July thereafter

Level 2: $300,001 - $2 million (single institution) or $3 million (multiple institutions and research centers) for up to five years

July 21, 2021 

 3rd Wednesday in July thereafter






Updates and announcements

Program contacts

For general inquiries, please contact

  • Lead - John Jackman, telephone: (703) 292-4816, email:
  • Co-Lead - Keith A. Sverdrup, telephone: (703) 292-4671, email:
  • Co-Lead - Jill K. Nelson, telephone: (703) 292-4359, email:

For specific disciplinary questions, proposers are encouraged to contact a Program Officer in their discipline.

Biological Sciences

BIO: Division of Biological Infrastructure (RCN: UBE)


Computer Science

Data Science

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


ENG: Division of Engineering Education & Centers (EEC)

Geological Sciences

GEO: Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE)

  • Elizabeth L. Rom, telephone: (703) 292-7709, email:       

Institutional and Community Transformation



Physics / Astronomy

Pre-service STEM Education


Social Sciences and Behavioral Sciences


John Jackman
Lead (703) 292-4816 EHR/DUE
Keith A. Sverdrup
Co-Lead (703) 292-4671 EHR/DUE
Jill K. Nelson
Co-Lead (703) 292-4359 EHR/DUE

Awards made through this program

Browse projects funded by this program
Map of recent awards made through this program