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NSF 10-014

Frequently Asked Questions for NSF 10-502 : Innovations in Engineering Education, Curriculum, and Infrastructure

Project Description




  1. Does my proposal have to focus exclusively on one of the three IEECI areas or can it include two or more areas?

The proposal should clearly focus on one area, although the areas may have some overlap. The proposal will be reviewed by a panel focusing on a single area.

  1. Within Area 1, is it expected that a proposal will address all 6 bulleted items?

No. A competitive proposal will be responsive to the first paragraph of the Area 1 description and at least one bulleted item. Since the items have significant overlap, the proposal may be responsive to several. For the engineering topics item it should be clear which topic is the major focus of the proposal.

  1. How can I find more information about the Engineering topics from previous IEECI exploratory areas?

Details can be found in previous announcements for IEECI. Each announcement has a link to the one before it, and previous announcements can also be accessed individually.

NSF 08-610

    1. Educational Opportunities Using Cyberinfrastructure and Virtual or Mixed Reality
    2. Integrating Sustainability into Engineering Education
    3. Future Directions for U.S. Doctoral Programs

NSF 08-542

    1. Strategic Supply-Chain Partnerships for Engineering and Technology Programs
    2. Insights into the Business of Engineering Education

  1. What are the most common weaknesses in IEECI proposals?

The following list is based on feedback from panelists and program officers:

    • Good idea but not set in context of results already reported in the literature: Reviewers want to see how research is connected to and builds on previous findings.
    • Not well organized: It was not clear to reviewers what would actually be done.
    • No clear research question: The problem and its importance should be well defined.
    • Limited scope, limited potential for broad impact: The project may, for example, be too narrow in its technical focus, relevant to a very small student population, or tied to unique constraints of an institution.  
    • Too vague: The methodology, research plan, and evaluation should be clearly detailed.
    • Not well aligned with IEECI: The proposal may focus on curriculum development with no proposed advance in understanding of how students learn.
    • Evaluation and assessment not well defined: The process for determining what works and the data to be collected should be clearly defined.
    • Weak or passive dissemination plan: Reviewers expect a dissemination plan to reach out to appropriate communities.
    • Lack of strong connection between research proposed and end-users in the classroom:   Reviewers look for effective dissemination and potential for broad impact.


  1. What is the duration limitation for an IEECI project?

The proposed duration should be consistent with the scope of the project within the constraints of the GPG.

  1. What is the maximum funding level per year?

The maximum TOTAL project funding level is specified in the announcement.  For multiyear projects, the allocation of the funds to budget years should be consistent with the timeline specified in the project description.

  1. Can I submit more than one proposal?

Yes.  There is no limit on proposals per PI or institution in the announcement.

  1. I am part of an NSF research center which includes an education mission. Can I submit an IEECI proposal?

Yes.  However, the proposed IEECI research must address research questions not already included in the center’s research.