NSF Research to Improve STEM Teaching, Learning, Workforce Development for Persons with Disabilities


National Science Foundation Dir. for Education and Human Resources

UI Contact: 

NSF Research to Improve STEM Teaching, Learning, and Workforce Development for Persons with Disabilities
Dear Colleague Letter  https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2021/nsf21114/nsf21114.jsp?WT.mc_ev=click&WT.mc_id=USNSF_25&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

NSF invites proposals focused on advancing knowledge and developing innovative research-based interventions to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics STEM teaching, learning, and workforce development for individuals with disabilities. Research about persons with disabilities in STEM and STEM education includes fundamental and applied research, with a particular focus on efforts to understand and address disability-based differences in STEM teaching, learning, workforce preparation and employment. Proposers are encouraged to explore a wide range of fundamental and applied research and development projects that may address, but are not limited to, areas such as:

  • The cognitive and neurological underpinnings of learning disabilities (such as attention, working memory, spatial reasoning, or executive function) in the context of STEM education and/or employment;
  • Theoretical constructs about self-regulated learning by students with disabilities (such as meta-cognition, strategic action, learning motivation, and self-efficacy) in the STEM disciplines;
  • Computer and on-line training programs for improving mathematics learning and performance for students with dyslexia and other specific learning disabilities;
  • Developmental trajectories of persons with specific learning disabilities in STEM education and professional disciplines over time;
  • Research on the development and/or accessibility of exhibits, media products, and after-school programs, or innovative models, programs, technologies, assessments, resources, or systems in informal STEM learning environments;
  • Instructional practices for young students with disabilities who are not responsive to typical mathematics and/or science classroom instruction;
  • The auditory processing and learning mechanisms employed by students with visual impairments, and/or visual processing and learning mechanisms employed by students who are deaf or hard of hearing, in the context of learning in the STEM disciplines;
  • The development of measures in the STEM disciplines that support valid and reliable observations (e.g., progress monitoring tools or dynamic assessments) for students with disabilities;
  • Effective professional development for teachers of students with disabilities;
  • The stereotype and identity threat that persons with disabilities experience in STEM classrooms, research settings, and workplaces;
  • The institutional, societal, and organizational characteristics that influence STEM learning, educational, and career pathways for students with specific types of disabilities;
  • The systemic and institutional characteristics and approaches related to access, equity and inclusion for persons with disabilities in STEM education and the workforce, especially those who are also female and/or members of racial and ethnic groups that are underrepresented in STEM disciplines; and
  • How to improve STEM outcomes for individuals with specific learning disabilities, including dyslexia.