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Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Directorate for STEM Education (IUSE: EDU)

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NSF 23-510

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.

Supports projects to improve STEM teaching and learning for undergraduate students, including studying what works and for whom and how to transform institutions to adopt successful practices in STEM education.

Supports projects to improve STEM teaching and learning for undergraduate students, including studying what works and for whom and how to transform institutions to adopt successful practices in STEM education.


Synopsis of Program:

The fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) hold much promise as sectors of the economy where we can expect to see continuous vigorous growth in the coming decades. STEM job creation is expected to outpace non-STEM job creation significantly, according to the Commerce Department, reflecting the importance of STEM knowledge to the US economy.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) plays a leadership role in developing and implementing efforts to enhance and improve STEM education in the United States. Through the NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) initiative, the agency continues to make a substantial commitment to the highest caliber undergraduate STEM education through a Foundation-wide framework of investments. The IUSE: EDU is a core NSF STEM education program that seeks to promote novel, creative, and transformative approaches to generating and using new knowledge about STEM teaching and learning to improve STEM education for undergraduate students. The program is open to application from all institutions of higher education and associated organizations. NSF places high value on educating students to be leaders and innovators in emerging and rapidly changing STEM fields as well as educating a scientifically literate public. In pursuit of this goal, IUSE: EDU supports projects that seek to bring recent advances in STEM knowledge into undergraduate education, that adapt, improve, and incorporate evidence-based practices into STEM teaching and learning, and that lay the groundwork for institutional improvement in STEM education. In addition to innovative work at the frontier of STEM education, this program also encourages replication of research studies at different types of institutions and with different student bodies to produce deeper knowledge about the effectiveness and transferability of findings.

IUSE: EDU also seeks to support projects that have high potential for broader societal impacts, including improved diversity of students and instructors participating in STEM education, professional development for instructors to ensure adoption of new and effective pedagogical techniques that meet the changing needs of students, and projects that promote institutional partnerships for collaborative research and development. IUSE: EDU especially welcomes proposals that will pair well with the efforts of NSF INCLUDES (https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/nsfincludes/index.jsp) to develop STEM talent from all sectors and groups in our society.

For all the above objectives, the National Science Foundation invests primarily in evidence-based and knowledge-generating approaches to understand and improve STEM learning and learning environments, improve the diversity of STEM students and majors, and prepare STEM majors for the workforce. In addition to contributing to STEM education in the host institution(s), proposals should have the promise of adding more broadly to our understanding of effective teaching and learning practices.

The IUSE: EDU program features two tracks: (1) Engaged Student Learning and (2) Institutional and Community Transformation. 

Updates and announcements

Program contacts

For general inquiries, please contact IUSE@nsf.gov

  • Lead - Ellen M. Carpenter, telephone: (703) 292-5104, email: elcarpen@nsf.gov
  • Co-Lead - Jennifer Lewis, telephone: (703) 292-7340, email: jenlewis@nsf.gov
  • Co-Lead - Eleanor Sayre, telephone: (703) 292-2997, email: esayre@nsf.gov
  • Co-Lead - Keith A. Sverdrup, telephone: (703) 292-4671, email: ksverdru@nsf.gov

For specific disciplinary questions, proposers are encouraged to contact a Program Officer in their discipline.

Biological Sciences

BIO: Division of Biological Infrastructure (RCN: UBE)

  • Joel Abraham, telephone: (703) 292-4694
  • Olivia Long, email: olong@nsg.gov
  • Amanda Simcox, telephone: (703) 292-8165, email: asimcox@nsf.gov


Computer Science

Data Science

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


ENG: Division of Engineering Education & Centers (EEC)

Geological Sciences

GEO: Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE)

  • Elizabeth L. Rom, telephone: (703) 292-7709, email: elrom@nsf.gov       

Institutional and Community Transformation



Physics / Astronomy

  • Corby Hovis, telephone: (703) 292-4625, email chovis@nsf.gov
  • Eleanor Sayre, email: esayre@nsf.gov

Pre-service STEM Education


Social Sciences and Behavioral Sciences


Ellen M. Carpenter
elcarpen@nsf.gov (703) 292-5104 EDU/DUE
Jennifer E. Lewis
jenlewis@nsf.gov (703) 292-7340 EDU/DUE
Eleanor Sayre
esayre@nsf.gov (703) 292-2997 EDU/DUE
Keith A. Sverdrup
ksverdru@nsf.gov (703) 292-4671 EDU/DUE

Awards made through this program

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Map of recent awards made through this program