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SIUE STEM CENTER

The SIUE STEM Center announces its FY18 faculty research fellowship program. This is a competitive fellowship, open to tenure-track or tenured faculty members, to engage in undergraduate education research aligned with the mission of the STEM Center to innovate ways to engage students in STEM. The successful applicant will be a faculty fellow with the STEM Center beginning in summer or fall of 2017, during which time the applicant will conduct a faculty-initiated research project. To support the faculty member’s research, the STEM Center will pay for one course release during the academic year and upon completion of the project, the fellow will be supported for travel to one conference to present the findings of the study. 

The STEM Center seeks to fund projects that have the potential for contributing to improvements in undergraduate science (including health science), technology, engineering, and mathematics teaching and learning at SIUE. Projects that will develop, test, and study innovative instructional practices with the potential for replication across departments are especially encouraged. Several studies have shown the value of active learning in large introductory courses, course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs), project-based learning (PBL), and similar student-centered teaching approaches for improving course completion rates and retention in STEM majors (Graham, 2013; Bangura & Brownell, 2013; Freeman et al., 2014). Projects focusing on these and other potentially transformative approaches to learning are encouraged.

STEM Center support for the research fellow includes:

  • Funding for one course buy out for one semester during the fellowship.
  • Travel funding, upon completion of the research report, to present research finding at a state, regional or national conference up to $1,500 – reimbursement in accordance with State of Illinois rules and requirements.
  • Staff expertise and support for data collection and analysis.
  • Other supports as negotiated.

Required Deliverables:

  • Research report on findings. The research report should be completed by June 30, 2018. 
  • Research presentation at an SIUE event or by arrangement with the STEM Center for the benefit of the university community.
  • Research presentation at a state, regional, or national conference (funded by the fellowship).
  • Collaborative external grant application with the STEM Center if applicable for further funding.

Desirable Deliverable:

  • Peer-reviewed journal article.

Application:

  • Application form with Chair/Director’s and Dean’s signature.
  • 3-5 page narrative that includes:
    • Justification for project based on the literature and SIUE undergraduate education needs.
    • Research question/hypotheses.
    • How the project relates to the STEM Center mission.
    • How the project relates to the applicant’s area of expertise.
    • Brief description of data collection and analysis to be conducted.
    • Detailed timeline (note work must be completed by June 2017 and ready for presentation).
    • Projected deliverables, including research report, SIUE University presentation venue, potential external grant submissions, peer-reviewed journal articles, and presentation at a conference.
    • Curriculum Vitae

Applications are due April 10, 2017 and award(s) will be made by April 21. IRB approval should be sought as soon as the applicant is notified of the award.

Note: A contract will be made between the applicant and the STEM Center to reflect a commitment to the deliverables proposed in the project. Travel funding will be available after the completion of the research report. 

Decisions will be made by the STEM Center director in consultation with the STEM Center and Graduate School staff.  Applicants are encouraged to contact the Director Sharon Locke (slocke@siue.edu) with any questions prior to submitting the application.

Applications are due to Dawn Olive by mail at SIUE Box 2224, in person to room VC RM 1006 or via e-mail at stemadmin@siue.edu by 4:30 on April 10.

Evaluation:

Applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  • Significance of project for informing STEM education practices at SIUE.
  • Potential for findings of national significance.
  • Clarity of project narrative and research question(s).
  • Fit of project to STEM Center mission.
  • Feasibility of project.
  • Fit of project to faculty member’s expertise.
  • Impact of proposed deliverables.
  • Potential for external funding.
  • Approval by Chair/Director and Dean. 

Final awarding of the fellowship is contingent on availability of funding in FY18.

External Funding:

It is anticipated that the funded project will be suitable for a proposal submission to the National Science Foundation’s Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) program; however, other funding programs are possible. More information on the IUSE program is available at https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=505082&org=DUE&from=home. Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the STEM Center Director with any questions about potential external sources of funding.

References:

Bangera, G. & Brownell, S.E. (2014). Course-based undergraduate research experiences can make scientific research more inclusive. CBE Life Sci Educ 13, p. 602-606. 

Freeman, S., Eddy, S. L., McDonough, M., Smith, M. K., Okoroafor, N., Jordt, H., & Wenderoth, M. P. (2014). Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201319030.

Graham, M.J., Frederick, J., Byars-Winston, A., Hunter, A.-B., Handelsman, J. (2013). Increasing persistence of college students in STEM. Science 27 341 (6153), p. 1455-1456.

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