NSF IUSE / Professional Formation of Engineers: Revolutionizing Engineering Departments (IUSE / PFE: RED) Solicitation

Please see the full solicitation for complete information about the funding opportunity. Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO).

Program Summary 

Revolutionizing Engineering Departments (hereinafter referred to as RED) is designed to build upon previous efforts in engineering education research. Specifically, previous and ongoing evaluations of the NSF Engineering Education and Centers Division program and its predecessors, as well as those related programs in the Directorate of Education and Human Resources, have shown that prior investments have significantly improved the first year of engineering students' experiences, incorporating engineering material, active learning approaches, design instruction, and a broad introduction to professional skills and a sense of professional practice – giving students an idea of what it means to become an engineer. Similarly, the senior year has seen notable change through capstone design experiences, which ask students to synthesize the technical knowledge, skills, and abilities they have gained with professional capacities, using reflective judgment to make decisions and communicate these effectively. However, this ideal of the senior year has not yet been fully realized, because many of the competencies required in capstone design, or required of professional engineers, are only partially introduced in the first year and not carried forward with significant emphasis through the sophomore and junior years.

From FY 2014 to 2016 the Directorates for Engineering (ENG), Education and Human Resources (EHR), and Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) funded 19 projects as part of the RED program, in alignment with the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) framework and Professional Formation of Engineers (PFE) initiative. These 19 projects are designing revolutionary new approaches to engineering and computer science education, ranging from changing the canon of engineering to fundamentally altering the way courses are structured to creating new departmental structures and educational collaborations with industry. A common thread across these projects is a focus on organizational and cultural change within the departments, involving students, faculty, staff, and industry in rethinking what it means to provide an engineering program.

In order to continue to catalyze revolutionary approaches, while expanding the reach of those that have proved efficacious in particular contexts, the RED program will support two tracks in FY19: RED Innovation and RED Adaptation and Implementation (RED-A&I). RED Innovation projects will develop new, revolutionary approaches and change strategies that enable the transformation of undergraduate engineering education. RED Adaptation and Implementation projects will adapt and implement evidence-based organizational change strategies and actions to the local context, which helps propagate this transformation of undergraduate engineering education. Projects in both tracks will include consideration of the cultural, organizational, structural, and pedagogical changes needed to transform the department to one in which students are engaged, develop their technical and professional skills, and establish identities as professional engineers. The focus of projects in both tracks should be on the department's disciplinary courses and program.

Deadlines

CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST November 21, 2018

Sponsor Application Deadline: 5:00pm MST January 24, 2019

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Project Plan (2-3 pages): Include goals and objectives, specific actions, barriers, research plan, and evaluation plan. For RED Innovation proposals, include plans for scaling and adaptation. For RED-A&I proposals, include rationale and context and dissemination plans.
  • Project Team Description (up to 1 page): Describe the project team and external advisory board.
  • Budget Overview (up to 1 page): A basic budget outlining project costs is sufficient; detailed OCG budgets are not required.

To access the online application, visit: https://colorado.secure-platform.com/a/solicitations/home/6285

Eligibility

Prospective PIs are not allowed to submit identical or substantively similar proposals to RED and IUSE:EHR. A Principal Investigator is allowed only one submission per competition.

For both tracks, the PI must be a department chair/head (or equivalent) to provide leadership for the change process. Additionally, there must be a RED team that includes (at a minimum) an expert in engineering education research who can provide guidance on evidence-based practices, and an organizational change expert who can advise on strategies for developing a culture of change and on strategies for creating meaningful collective ownership of the effort among faculty, students, and staff. The engineering education and organizational change experts may be at different institutions from the proposing institution. Funding for these experts at other institutions may be supported as consultants, through a sub-award, or through a separately submitted collaborative proposal.

Limited Submission Guidelines

An organization is allowed up to two submissions per competition.

Award Information

Award Amount:

  • RED Innovation: $1,000,000-$2,000,000
  • RED-A&I: $1,000,000

Award Duration: Up to 5 years.

Estimated Number of Awards: 4 to 6 (2-3 RED Innovation and 2-3 RED-A&I)