Project Profile

Workshop for Writing Grants for Early Career Scholars in STEM and Learning Sciences Focused on Racial Equity


Persistent racial injustices and inequities in the United States and in STEM fields underscore the need for creative, research-based approaches to address these concerns. In particular, creative approaches are needed for studying and addressing racial injustices and inequities in STEM education, where racial equity and STEM learning are both given careful and thoughtful consideration. This project focuses on supporting emerging scholars who have new ideas and approaches for approaching racial equity in their scholarship and work. This workshop, implemented as a series of sessions over the course of a year, will support early career scholars in STEM education and the learning sciences in preparing proposals to submit to the National Science Foundation. The workshop is designed to serve scholars who are within five years of obtaining their PhD and who have never before been principal investigator or co-principal investigator of a federally-funded grant. Participants will include early career scholars who focus their work on racial equity. Too often, such scholars have indicated that they have received little to no training on writing grant proposals.

Ten participants will be supported by the project through a year-long series of workshops that include different aspects of the grant writing process including reading through a solicitation, writing a narrative, and creating a budget. In addition to these workshop sessions, the project approach also considers the importance of a professional network and of mentoring, informed by a Communities of Practice theoretical framework and existing research on mentoring practices. As such, each early career scholar will be paired with a senior mentor in the field whose work is aligned with the mentee's. The outcomes of the workshop for early career scholars will include a complete or nearly complete proposal that is aligned with one of the programs within the NSF's Division of Research on Learning. The workshop will highlight strategies for developing CAREER proposals along with considerations for preparing proposals for other programs. More generally, the workshop will create a model for supporting and mentoring early career scholars in proposing STEM education projects centered in racial equity work and will be able to identify areas of need for successful grant proposal writing. All workshop materials will be made freely available to the general public.

The Discovery Research preK-12 program (DRK-12) seeks to significantly enhance the learning and teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by preK-12 students and teachers, through research and development of innovative resources, models and tools. Projects in the DRK-12 program build on fundamental research in STEM education and prior research and development efforts that provide theoretical and empirical justification for proposed projects. This project is also funded through the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL), CS for All: Research and RPPs, and Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) programs.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.



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Project Duration
2021 - 2022
Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
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