Initial Publication Date: December 13, 2017

Pre-application Proposal for Creating a Research Action Cluster (RAC)

See Previously Funded RACs »

The purpose of the Research Actions Clusters is to seed work that has the potential to transform undergraduate STEM education by leveraging the unique capacities of centers or a network of centers. Each selected RAC can apply for up to $15,000 for the activities of the RAC for one year, and may apply for additional funding in following years.

The NSEC seeks to support 1-3 RACs for AY 2018 cycle.

Applications for RACs must meet these criteria

  • span multiple campuses (university system/s) and include evidence of institutional buy-in
  • solve a problem that is hard to address as single campuses
  • benefit the broader community (NSEC or nationally)
  • focused enough that it can be conducted by a RAC
  • leverages the unique capacities of centers or a network of centers
  • come from participating NSEC institutions by completing a center profile.

Guidance on drafting a proposal

We welcome proposals that will lead to future work, such as collaborative proposals to NSF or other funders.

The NSEC community over the last two years has identified themes of interest. It is not necessary that you address one of these themes, but we provide them to you as reference.

  • Retention and Success: what are roles of Centers, effective practices and systemic that can be taken to scale?
  • Quality Education: how do we enhance undergraduate education by defining 'quality education'?
  • Research and Assessment: how can centers promote unique research questions, discipline-based (and interdisciplinary) education research and assessments?
  • Partnerships Beyond the University (K-12 schools, 2 and 4-year colleges and universities, state networks, and/or industry): is there a new model of coordinated education that is possible?
  • Engaging Campus Members in the Change Process (Faculty, Administrators, Students): what approaches can systematically and sustainability coordinate our change efforts?
  • Broadening Participation: what are the unique capacities and levers of centers and NSEC for broadening access, inclusion, participation, and success in STEM fields?

Required application materials

Application is here »

You will be asked for the following information:

  • individuals and institutions in the proposed RAC. Please note that at least 3 centers are required.
  • Statement of how the proposed RAC advances the transformation of undergraduate education within the applying institutions. Statement should include how the action research group aligns with their institutional mission and strategic priorities and their access to disciplinary based education researcher expertise, committed senior faculty, and ongoing support from their campus administration.
  • letter of support from each provost
  • problem to be addressed
  • proposed intervention or activities
  • anticipated outcomes and/or deliverable
  • and a budget narrative


Full proposals (5pp) will be due August 13, 2018. The deadline has been extended from August 8. Please submit this application to Kacy Redd at by the deadline.