Abstract collage of science-related imagery

EDU Core Research (ECR:Core)

View guidelines


Important information for proposers

All proposals must be submitted in accordance with the requirements specified in this funding opportunity and in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) that is in effect for the relevant due date to which the proposal is being submitted. It is the responsibility of the proposer to ensure that the proposal meets these requirements. Submitting a proposal prior to a specified deadline does not negate this requirement.


The EHR Core Research (ECR) program offers this ECR:Core solicitation and invites proposals for fundamental research (curiosity-driven basic research and use-inspired basic research) that contributes to the general, explanatory knowledge that underlies STEM education in one or more of the three broadly conceived Research Areas: Research on STEM Learning and Learning Environments, Research on Broadening Participation in STEM fields, and Research on STEM Workforce Development. Within this framework, the ECR program supports a wide range of fundamental STEM education research activities, aimed at learners of all groups and ages in formal and informal settings.

Fundamental research generates knowledge and understanding with the potential for broad relevance. The potential implications of ECR fundamental research for improving STEM education practice may be indirect and long-term rather than direct and immediate. Moreover, whether they include basic or use-inspired basic research, all successful ECR:Core proposals focus on the advancement or refinement of foundational knowledge for STEM education.

The amount of funding and duration requested in proposals submitted to the ECR:Core solicitation should align with the maturity of the proposed work and the size and scope of the empirical effort. The solicitation has three levels of funding with a range of budget sizes, and proposals may request a duration of 3 to 5 years for any level: (1) Level I proposals may request up to $500,000; (2) Level II proposals may request up to $1,500,000; (3) Level III proposals may request up to $2,500,000. All proposals should justify the level of funding and duration in the project description.

Updates and announcements

Program contacts

Address questions to the program
ECR@nsf.gov (703)292-2333

Awards made through this program

Browse projects funded by this program
Map of recent awards made through this program