NSF Solicits Proposals for New “FIRE” Funding in Education Research

The solicitation states that FIRE “seeks to facilitate the process by which scholars can cross disciplinary boundaries to acquire the skills and knowledge that would improve their abilities to conduct rigorous research on STEM learning and education."

NSF is seeking proposals on a new initiative called FIRE and GRO wanted to alert SPIN readers to this solicitation as it represents an NSF effort that is wholly consistent with one of the goals of APA’s new Strategic Plan which seeks to “enhance psychology’s prominence as a core STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) discipline”.

The NSF program solicitation describes Fostering Interdisciplinary Research on Education (FIRE) as “a new strand of the Research and Evaluation on Education in Science and Engineering (REESE) program (NSF 09-601)” and anticipates that FIRE will be incorporated into the REESE solicitation after this first year of funding.  The solicitation states that FIRE “seeks to facilitate the process by which scholars can cross disciplinary boundaries to acquire the skills and knowledge that would improve their abilities to conduct rigorous research on STEM learning and education. The primary goal of the strand is to facilitate the development of innovative theoretical, methodological, and analytic approaches to understanding complex STEM education issues of national importance and, by so doing, make progress toward solving them. A secondary goal of the strand is to broaden and deepen the pool of investigators engaged in STEM educational research. In order to address this goal, investigators must pair with a mentoring scientist in a to-be-learned field of interest. Proposals therefore have both a research and a professional development component. Investigators may apply at any point in their post-graduate careers.”