Archives for January 7, 2016

NSF: Design of Engineering Material Systems (DEMS)

see notice

The DEMS program supports fundamental research intended to lead to new paradigms of design, development, and insertion of advanced engineeringmaterial systems. Fundamental research that develops and creativelyintegrates theory, processing/manufacturing, data/informatics, experimental, and/or computational approaches with rigorous engineering design principles, approaches, and tools to enable the accelerated design and development of materials is welcome.

Research proposals are sought that strive to develop systematic scientific methodologies to tailor the behavior of material systems in ways that are driven by performance metrics and incorporate processing/manufacturing. While an emphasis on a specific material system may be appropriate to provide the necessary project focus, techniques developed should transcend materials systems. Ultimately it is expected that research outcomes will be methodologies to enable the discovery of materials systems with new properties and behavior, and enable their rapid insertion into engineeringsystems.

Proposals that focus on modeling, simulation, and prediction of material performance (even when research is coupled with experiments for validation or guidance) without an intellectual emphasis on design are not appropriate for this program and should be submitted to other disciplinary programs.

NSF: Professional Formation of Engineers (PFE: RIEF) – Research Initiation in Engineering Formation

see notice

The NSF Engineering (ENG) Directorate has launched a multi-year initiative, the Professional Formation of Engineers, to create and support an innovative and inclusive engineering profession for the 21st Century.Professional Formation of Engineers (PFE) refers to the formal and informal processes and value systems by which people become engineers. It also includes the ethical responsibility of practicing engineers to sustain and grow the profession. The engineering profession must be responsive to national priorities, grand challenges, and dynamic workforce needs; it must be equally open and accessible to all.

Engineering faculty possess both deep technical expertise in their engineeringdiscipline and the primary responsibility for the process of professional formation of future engineers. As such, engineering faculty are in a unique position to help address critical challenges in engineering formation. The Professional Formation of Engineers: Research Initiation in EngineeringFormation (PFE: RIEF) program enables engineering faculty who are renowned for teaching, mentoring, or leading educational reform efforts on their campus to initiate collaborations with colleagues in the social and/or learning sciences to address difficult, boundary-spanning problems in the professional formation of engineers.

A wide range of research topics related to the Professional Formation of Engineers can be addressed in PFE: RIEF proposals; the emphasis of PFE: RIEF is on initiating research projects in professional formation of engineers rather than supporting research on any specific topic. Proposals are encouraged on any topic that explores engineering formation from an inter-disciplinary perspective. PFE: RIEF projects should combine engineeringapproaches with those from learning and cognitive sciences, engineeringeducation, social sciences, and related fields in synergistic ways and enableengineering faculty to develop expertise in engineering education research.

PFE: RIEF awards are intended to expand the community of engineeringfaculty conducting research related to professional formation of engineers. Possible outcomes commensurate with the goals of this program are:
– Enable engineering faculty to develop collaborative, first-stage, inter-disciplinary efforts to address boundary-spanning challenges in the professional formation of engineers.
– Support engineering faculty in developing expertise in professional formation of engineers.
– Increase the number of faculty and universities who will initiate projects and programs in research on professional formation of engineers.

The intent of the PRE: RIEF program is to expand the community ofengineering faculty conducting research related to engineering formation rather than create an additional funding channel for established researchers in this area.

NSF: GEO Opportunities for Leadership in Diversity

see notice

The geosciences continue to lag other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines in the engagement, recruitment and retention of traditionally underrepresented and underserved minorities,requiring more focused and strategic efforts to address this problem. Diversity is a vital priority for the geosciences community because it promotes innovation, strengthens the community’s ability to tackle complex geoscience research problems, and engenders widespread public Earth and environmental science literacy. Prior investments made by the National Science Foundation (NSF) related to broadening participation in STEM have identified many effective strategies and model programs for engaging, recruiting, and retaining underrepresented students in the geosciences. These investments also have documented clearly the importance of committed, knowledgeable, and persistent leadership for making local progress in broadening participation in STEM and the geosciences. Achieving diversity at larger and systemic scales requires a network of diversity “champions” who can catalyze widespread adoption of these evidence-based best practices and resources. Although many members of the geoscience community are committed to the ideals of broadening participation, the skills and competencies that empower people who wish to have an impact, and make them effective as leaders in that capacity for sustained periods of time, must be cultivated through professional development. But, it is not sufficient to educate prospective leaders on the issues and resources related to broadening participation in STEM. Research on leadership development has documented the complex interplay of personal traits, motivating factors, and environmental contexts that must also be considered in making such professional development efforts successful.

This solicitation describes an Ideas Lab on “GEO Opportunities for Leadership in Diversity.” Ideas Labs are intensive workshops focused on finding innovative solutions to grand challenge problems. The ultimate aim of this Ideas Lab, organized by the NSF Directorate for Geosciences (GEO), is to facilitate the design, pilot implementation, and evaluation of innovative professional development curricula that can unleash the potential of geoscientists with interests in broadening participation to become impactful leaders within the community. The expectation is that mixing geoscientists with experts in broadening participation research, behavioral change, social psychology, institutional change management, leadership development research, and pedagogies for professional development will not only engender fresh thinking and innovative approaches for preparing and empowering geoscientists as change agents for increasing diversity, but will also produce experiments that contribute to the research base regarding leader and leadership development. U.S. scientists and educators may submit preliminary proposals only via FastLane as an application to participate in the Ideas Lab, through which a set of multidisciplinary ideas will be developed. Promising approaches developed through the Ideas Lab process will be submitted as full proposals from invited participants.

Digital Humanities Implementation Grants

National Foundation for the Arts and the Humanities
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
This program is designed to fund the implementation of innovative digital-humanities projects that have successfully completed a start-up phase and demonstrated their value to the field. Such projects might enhance ourunderstanding of central problems in the humanities, raise new questions in the humanities, or develop new digital applications and approaches for use in the humanities. The program can support innovative digital-humanities projects that address multiple audiences, including scholars, teachers, librarians, and the public. Applications from recipients of NEH’s Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants are welcome.

Unlike NEH’s start-up grant program, which emphasizes basic research, prototyping, experimentation, and potential impact, the Digital Humanities Implementation Grants program seeks to identify projects that have successfully completed their start-up phase and are well positioned to have a major impact.

Proposals are welcome for digital initiatives in any area of the humanities. Digital Humanities Implementation Grants may involve
– research that brings new approaches or documents best practices in the study of the digital humanities;
– implementation of computationally-based methods or techniques for humanities research;
– implementation of new digital tools for use in humanities research, public programming, or educational settings;
– efforts to ensure the completion and long-term sustainability of existing digital resources (typically in conjunction with a library or archive);
– scholarship that examines the history, criticism, and philosophy of digital culture and its impact on society;
– scholarship or studies that examine the philosophical or practical implications of the use of emerging technologies in specific fields or disciplines of the humanities, or in interdisciplinary collaborations involving several fields or disciplines; or
– implementation of new digital modes of scholarly communication that facilitate peer review, collaboration, or the dissemination of humanities scholarship for various audiences.

Successful projects must make digital innovations and be significant to the humanities. All projects must already have completed a start-up phase prior to application.

NEH invites projects related to its new initiative, The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square. This initiative seeks to connect the study of the humanities to the current conditions of national life. Many of today’s challenges require more than ever the forms of understanding and knowledge represented by the humanities. They require the broadest possible engagement of scholars and the public with the resources of the humanities, including but not limited to the study of language, literature, history, philosophy, comparative religion, and ethics. The study of the humanities can help illuminate the complexity of many contemporary challenges while enriching our understanding of the common good.