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STEM Ed PRF: Research on Educational Equity and Diversity in STEM (REEDS)

Sponsored by National Science Foundation

$1.3M Funding
5 People

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This award is funded in whole or in part under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (Public Law 117-2). This project will provide opportunities for postdoctoral fellows to engage with STEM educational practices within the context of a research-intensive Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI). The project team will create research opportunities for a diverse cohort of fellows, foster research on diversity and equity in STEM undergraduate education, support inclusive and equitable research environments for the fellows, and develop the postdoctoral researchers? capacity to utilize and advance equitable practices as early-career STEM educators. The project will advance the scholarship about broadening participation in STEM and contribute to the professional development of a community of scholars and practitioners who are committed to improving educational practices in STEM. The cohort of postdoctoral fellows will develop a research agenda exploring the relationship between culturally responsive practices and several critical outcomes, including i) the impact of culturally responsive practices on early STEM interest, success, and persistence; ii) STEM transfer rates; iii) STEM identity; and iv) sense of belonging in STEM. Rich data from already established research projects will afford fellows the opportunity for project leadership experiences with mentor support, enabling analysis and dissemination of results through presentations and publications. Under the leadership of each mentor, four research projects will ground the fellows? work and serve to frame their independent research agendas. Attention to the professional development of the fellows will be woven throughout their experience such that learning and development will be a spiraling process of growth through reflection and enhancement. In particular, each fellow will create an individual development plan that will serve as a framework to assess their skills, interests, and abilities, to communicate with mentors, and to implement activities to achieve academic and professional goals. This project was submitted in response to the STEM Education Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (STEM Ed PRF) competition. The STEM Ed PRF program is designed to enhance the research knowledge, skills, and practices of recent doctorates in STEM, STEM Education, and related disciplines to enhance their preparation to engage in fundamental and applied research in STEM education. This project is being supported with co-funding by the HSI Program which aims to enhance undergraduate STEM education, broaden participation in STEM, and build capacity at HSIs. Achieving these aims, given the diverse nature and context of the HSIs, requires innovative approaches that incentivize institutional and community transformation and promote fundamental research (i) on engaged student learning, (ii) about what it takes to diversify and increase participation in STEM effectively, and (iii) that improves our understanding of how to build institutional capacity at HSIs. 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.