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42 U.S. Code § 1862n–2 - Establishment of centers for research on mathematics and science learning and education improvement

(a) Establishment
(1) In general
The Director shall award grants to institutions of higher education or eligible nonprofit organizations (or consortia thereof) to establish multidisciplinary Centers for Research on Learning and Education Improvement.
Grants shall be awarded under this paragraph on a competitive, merit-reviewed basis.
(2) Purpose

The purpose of the Centers shall be to conduct and evaluate research in cognitive science, education, and related fields and to develop ways in which the results of such research can be applied in elementary school and secondary school classrooms to improve the teaching of mathematics and science.

(3) Focus
Each Center shall be focused on a different challenge faced by elementary school or secondary school teachers of mathematics and science. In determining the research focus of the Centers, the Director shall consult with the National Academy of Sciences and the Secretary of Education and take into account the extent to which other Federal programs support research on similar questions.
The proposal solicitation issued by the Director shall state the focus of each Center and applicants shall apply for designation as a specific Center.
At least one Center shall focus on developing ways in which the results of research described in paragraph (2) can be applied, duplicated, and scaled up for use in low-performing elementary schools and secondary schools to improve the teaching and student achievement levels in mathematics and science.
To the extent practicable and relevant to its focus, every Center shall include, as part of its research, work designed to quantitatively assess and improve the ways that information technology is used in the teaching of mathematics and science.
(b) Selection process
(1) ApplicationAn institution of higher education or an eligible nonprofit organization (or a consortium thereof) seeking funding 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 description of—
the initial research projects that will be undertaken by the Center and the process by which new projects will be identified;
how the Center will work with other research institutions and schools to broaden the national research agenda on learning and teaching;
how the Center will promote active collaboration among physical, biological, and social science researchers;
how the Center will promote active participation by elementary and secondary mathematics and science teachers and administrators; and
how the results of the Center’s research can be incorporated into educational practices, and how the Center will assess the success of those practices.
(2) Review of applicationsIn evaluating the applications submitted under paragraph (1), the Director shall consider, at a minimum—
the ability of the applicant to effectively carry out the research program, including the activities described in paragraph (1)(E);
the experience of the applicant in conducting research on the science of teaching and learning and the capacity of the applicant to foster new multidisciplinary collaborations;
the capacity of the applicant to attract elementary school and secondary school teachers from a diverse array of schools, and with diverse professional experiences, for participation in Center activities; and
the capacity of the applicant to attract and provide adequate support for graduate students to pursue research at the intersection of educational practice and basic research on human cognition and learning.
(3) Awards

The Director shall ensure, to the extent practicable, that the Centers funded under this section conduct research and develop educational practices designed to improve the educational performance of a broad range of students, including individuals identified in section 1885a or 1885b of this title.

(c) Annual conference

The Director shall convene an annual meeting of the Centers to foster collaboration among the Centers and to further disseminate the results of the Centers’ activities.

(d) CoordinationThe Director shall coordinate with the Secretary of Education in—
disseminating the results of the research conducted pursuant to grants awarded under this section to elementary school teachers and secondary school teachers; and
(2) providing programming, guidance, and support to ensure that such teachers—
understand the implications of the research disseminated under paragraph (1) for classroom practice; and
can use the research to improve such teachers’ performance in the classroom.
Editorial Notes

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.


2007—Subsec. (a)(1)(A). Pub. L. 110–69, § 7006(b)(1), inserted “or eligible nonprofit organizations” after “institutions of higher education”.

Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 110–69, § 7006(b)(2), (3), in introductory provisions, inserted “or an eligible nonprofit organization” after “institution of higher education” and substituted “thereof” for “of such institutions”.

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Funding for Centers

Pub. L. 110–69, title VII, § 7006(a), Aug. 9, 2007, 121 Stat. 679, provided that:

“The Director [of the National Science Foundation] shall continue to carry out the program of Centers for Research on Learning and Education Improvement as established in section 11 of the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 1862n–2).”

For definitions of terms used in this section, see section 4 of Pub. L. 107–368, set out as a note under section 1862n of this title.