The Director shall award grants, on a competitive, merit-reviewed basis, to institutions of higher education to expand previously implemented reforms of undergraduate science, mathematics, engineering, or technology education that have been demonstrated to have been successful in increasing the number and quality of students studying toward and completing associate’s or baccalaureate degrees in science, mathematics, engineering, or technology.
(b) Uses of funds
Activities supported by grants under this section may include—
(1)expansion of successful reform efforts beyond a single course or group of courses to achieve reform within an entire academic unit;
(2)expansion of successful reform efforts beyond a single academic unit to other science, mathematics, engineering, or technology academic units within an institution;
(3)creation of multidisciplinary courses or programs that formalize collaborations for the purpose of improved student instruction and research in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology;
(4)expansion of undergraduate research opportunities beyond a particular laboratory, course, or academic unit to engage multiple academic units in providing multidisciplinary research opportunities for undergraduate students;
(5)expansion of innovative tutoring or mentoring programs proven to enhance student recruitment or persistence to degree completion in science, mathematics, engineering, or technology;
(6)improvement of undergraduate science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education for nonmajors, including education majors; and
(7)implementation of technology-driven reform efforts, including the installation of technology to facilitate such reform, that directly impact undergraduate science, mathematics, engineering, or technology instruction or research experiences.
(c) Selection process
An institution of higher education seeking a grant under this section shall submit an application to the Director at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Director may require. The application shall include, at a minimum—
(A)a description of the proposed reform effort;
(B)a description of the previously implemented reform effort that will serve as the basis for the proposed reform effort and evidence of success of that previous effort, including data on student recruitment, persistence to degree completion, and academic achievement;
(C)evidence of active participation in the proposed project by individuals who were central to the success of the previously implemented reform effort; and
(D)evidence of institutional support for, and commitment to, the proposed reform effort, including a description of existing or planned institutional policies and practices regarding faculty hiring, promotion, tenure, and teaching assignment that reward faculty contributions to undergraduate education equal to, or greater than, scholarly scientific research.
(2) Review of applications
In evaluating applications submitted under paragraph (1), the Director shall consider at a minimum—
(A)the evidence of past success in implementing undergraduate education reform and the likelihood of success in undertaking the proposed expanded effort;
(B)the extent to which the faculty, staff, and administrators of the institution are committed to making the proposed institutional reform a priority of the participating academic unit;
(C)the degree to which the proposed reform will contribute to change in institutional culture and policy such that a greater value is placed on faculty engagement in undergraduate education, as evidenced through promotion and tenure policies; and
(D)the likelihood that the institution will sustain or expand the reform beyond the period of the grant.
(3) Grant distribution
The Director shall ensure, to the extent practicable, that grants awarded under this section are made to a variety of types of institutions of higher education.
Section was enacted as part of the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2002, and not as part of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 which comprises this chapter.
For definitions of terms used in this section, see section 4 ofPub. L. 107–368, set out as a note under section
1862n of this title.
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