Wednesday, May 18, 2022

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Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE): Revolutionizing Engineering

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    47.041; 47.076

    Funder Type

    Federal Government

    IT Classification

    B - Readily funds technology as part of an award


    National Science Foundation (NSF)


    The goal of the Revolutionizing Engineering Departments (RED) program is to catalyze revolutionary, not incrementally reformist, changes to the education of the next generation of engineers. Revolutionary means radically, suddenly, or completely new; producing fundamental, structural change; or going outside of or beyond existing norms and principles. The RED program is intended to address the holistic formation of engineers. Engineering has many unique aspects that differ from other STEM disciplines. Engineering undergraduate programs prepare students for professional practice; in engineering, the BS degree provides eligibility to qualify for the Professional Engineer license. Specific activities supported by the RED solicitation may include, but are not limited to:

    • Establishing convergent technical and professional threads that must be woven across the four years, especially in core technical courses of the middle two years, in internship opportunities in the private and public sectors, and in research opportunities with faculty;
    • Exploring strategies for institutional, systemic, and cultural change, including new approaches to faculty governance or department structures and to restructuring faculty incentive or reward systems;
    • Exploring collaborative arrangements with industry and other stakeholders who are mutually interested in developing the best possible professional formation environment and opportunities for students;
    • Exploring strategies to bridge the engineering education research-to-practice gap, primarily through faculty development and adoption of best practices in the professional formation of engineers; and
    • Exploring revolutionary means of recruiting and retaining students and faculty reflective of the modern and swiftly changing demographics of the United States.
    • Exploring new modes of delivering content (or facilitating learning) that respond to the learning needs of a diverse student body, making engineering more accessible.

    History of Funding

    Previously awarded projects can be viewed at

    Additional Information

    RED Innovation track: The RED Innovation track supports projects that involve radically, suddenly, or completely new approaches and action; producing fundamental, structural change; and that go outside of or beyond existing norms and principles. This track has two goals:

    • Generate new knowledge on best practices for meaningfully and thoughtfully incorporating into the middle two years at four-year institutions and technical core of the engineering curriculum oft-neglected professional skills” (i.e. 21st Century skills, design, communication, teamwork, historical and contemporary social context, lifelong learning, and ethics). Changes in the middle two years need to be integrated with freshman and senior experiences in order to form an unbroken sequenced thread through the curriculum so that the process of professional formation deepens and strengthens as students move through engineering programs.
    • Generate new knowledge on how to transform the departmental cultures to be environments that are inclusive, innovative, equitable and supportive of faculty, faculty development to support cultural change, and build new department structures and cultures through innovative practices and policies that support significant holistic professional formation.

    RED A&I Track: The RED A&I track support projects that use evidence-based and evidence-generating change strategy approaches and actions that are adapted to the local context. The goal of this track is to:

    • Generate new knowledge related to the adaptation of proven change strategies and actions in a new context.
    • This track encourages proposals from two-year or four-year institutions that are interested in adopting change strategies at a single institution.

    RED Two-Year Track: The RED Two-Year track supports projects that involve radically new approaches among multiple two-year institutions that result in structural changes beyond existing norms and principles. The goal of this track is to:

    • Generate new knowledge on best practices for preparing engineers and technologists for future professions and integrating professional skills into the curriculum at two-year institutions through supporting partnerships. The focus is expected to be on students who would transfer to accredited four-year engineering or engineering-technology institutions.

    Both tracks should be developed with impact on the student as the focus. Proposed efforts must be grounded in sound educational theory and work to enable a continuous progression of professional formation through the four-year experience. Efforts should address 21st Century T-shaped skills (i.e., cross-disciplinary breadth), and they should be aligned with stakeholder expectations.



  • Eligibility Details

    Proposals may only be submitted by the following:

    • Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) - Two- and four-year IHEs (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the US, acting on behalf of their faculty members. Special Instructions for International Branch Campuses of US IHEs: If the proposal includes funding to be provided to an international branch campus of a US institution of higher education (including through use of subawards and consultant arrangements), the proposer must explain the benefit(s) to the project of performance at the international branch campus, and justify why the project activities cannot be performed at the US campus.
    • Note: Institutions that have previously received a RED award are not eligible to receive an award under the RED Innovation track of this solicitation.

    Deadline Details

    Applications are to be submitted by July 18, 2022. A similar deadline date is anticipated biennially.

    Award Details

    Approximately $4,000,000 - $12,000,000 is available in total funding. Award amounts vary by program:

    • RED Innovation: 2-3 awards are anticipated; the budget for RED Innovation proposals is between $1,000,00-$2,000,000 for a duration of up to 5 years  for a single institution or between $1,500,000-$3,000,000 for up to 5 years for department-level collaborations across multiple institutions.
    • RED-A&I: 2-3 awards are anticipated; the budget for RED A&I proposals has a maximum of $1,000,000 for a duration of up to 5 years.
    • RED Two-Year: 2-3 awards are anticipated;  the budget for RED Two-Year proposals is between $1,000,00-$2,000,000 for a duration of up to 5 years for collaborations across multiple two-year institutions.

    Cost sharing/matching is not required.

    Related Webcasts Use the links below to view the recorded playback of these webcasts

    • Funding Classroom Technology to Empower Students and Teachers - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available
    • Maximizing Technology-friendly Workforce Development Grants - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available
    • Funding Data-driven Workforce Development Projects - Sponsored by NetApp - Playback Available


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