Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Pathways into the Earth, Ocean, Polar and Atmospheric & Geospace Sciences (IUSE:GEOPAths)

Brief Synopsis from Sponsor: The National Science Foundation's (NSF's) Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) Initiative is a Foundation-wide effort to accelerate improvements in the quality and effectiveness of undergraduate education in all STEM fields including the learning, social, behavioral, and economic sciences. Undergraduate STEM education is critical for preparing both a diverse STEM workforce and a STEM-literate public that is ready to support and benefit from the progress of science [Reference 1]. The IUSE initiative provides a Foundation-wide framework of investments to support the agency's commitment to the highest caliber undergraduate STEM education. By improving the quality and effectiveness of undergraduate education in all STEM fields, IUSE investments enable NSF to lead national progress toward a diverse and innovative workforce and a STEM-literate public.

While maintaining elements from the legacy tracks of GEOPATHS, this solicitation features three new funding tracks that focus on Geoscience Learning Ecosystems (GLEs):

1. GEOPAths: Informal Networks (IN). Collaborative projects in this track will support geoscience learning and experiences in informal settings for teachers, pre-college (e.g., upper level high school) students, and early undergraduates in the geosciences.

2. GEOPAths: Undergraduate Preparation (UP)Projects in this track will engage pre-college and undergraduate students in extra-curricular experiences and training in the geosciences with a focus on service learning [Reference 3 in the Program Description section] and workplace skill building.

3. GEOPAths: Graduate Opportunities (GO). Projects in this track will improve research and career-related pathways into the geosciences for undergraduate and graduate students through institutional collaborations with a focus on service learning and workplace skill building.

Please read full opportunity linked above before submitting your application.

Sponsor’s Anticipated Funding Amount: Regardless of which track is selected, the program expects to offer approximately 18 awards, with the average total award size expected to be in the $300,000 to $350,000 range. The duration of awards for all tracks will be up to 36 months. Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds.

Be aware: An organization may serve as sole submitting organization or as lead organization of a collaborative project on only one submission per competition , regardless of track, but may serve as the non-lead organization of a collaborative project more than once per competition.  UofL will decide which to submit via an internal application process determined by peer review.

Anyone interested in submitting for this program must first submit an internal application to , with copy to the applicable research dean, by 5 p.m. on the date listed above, including the following materials:

  • A summary of the proposal (maximum two pages);
  • A paragraph describing why your project would be the most competitive candidate for this program;
  • Your current curriculum vitae;
  • A cover page that contains:
    • The name of this funding opportunity and title of your proposal;
    • Your name, position, and UofL office contact information;
    • Collaborator names, positions, and institutions (if applicable).

Reviewers will judge proposals as they would in any peer review process, so PIs are urged to put forward competitive internal proposals. Along with typical criteria, reviewers will evaluate internal proposals based on their fit with the sponsor’s articulated goals and criteria as well as the UofL strategic goals.

The above internal application materials should be submitted via email as a single .PDF file to by the internal deadline listed above.

If you have any questions, please
Email:
Research Development & Strategic Initiatives
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