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SCIED 590 presentation 1-18-2013. Discovery Research K-12 (DRK-12) NSF Solicitation 11-588. Current program: Letters of intent required (2 opportunities/yr) Full proposal deadlines (2 opportunities/yr) Note: NSF may be combining the DRK-12 and MSP programs in the near future. Synopsis.

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Discovery Research K-12 (DRK-12) NSF Solicitation 11-588

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discovery research k 12 drk 12 nsf solicitation 11 588

SCIED 590 presentation 1-18-2013

Discovery Research K-12 (DRK-12)NSF Solicitation 11-588

Current program:

Letters of intent required (2 opportunities/yr)

Full proposal deadlines (2 opportunities/yr)


NSF may be combining the DRK-12 and MSP programs in the near future


The DRK-12 program seeks to enhance the learning and teaching of STEM by preK-12 students, teachers, administrators and parents. The emphasis in DRK-12 is on research projects that study the development, testing, deployment, effectiveness, and/or scale-up of innovative resources, models, and tools.

DRK-12 invites proposals that address immediate challenges facing preK-12 STEM education as well as those that anticipate a radically different structure and function of preK-12 teaching and learning. DRK-12 especially encourages proposals that challenge existing assumptions about learning and teaching within or across STEM fields, envision the future needs of learners, and consider innovative ways to support learning.

There are four strands described in the solicitation: 1) Assessment; 2) Learning; 3) Teaching; 4) Scale-up.

estimated awards per year
Estimated Awards per Year
  • 15-20 Exploratory awards ($450,000 over 1-3 yrs.)
      • New projects
  • 15-20 total Full R&D awards ($3,000,000 over 4 yrs.) and Full R&D scaleup awards ($4,000,000 over 4 yrs)
      • Build on results of the most promising Exploratory projects or other non-NSF projects
  • 5 Conference/Workshop awards ($100K over 2 yrs)

Note: NSF anticipated funding $40M of new projects in 2012, which assumed a number of awards at < maximum budget allowed.

drk 12 program strands arzu
DRK-12 Program Strands (Arzu)
  • Assessment: assessments of student and teacher knowledge, skills, and practices.
    • summative assessment of student content knowledge, skills, attitudes, beliefs, motivation, …
    • formative assessment of student progress in learning STEM concepts, skills, and practices; and
    • assessments of STEM teacher content and PCK, effective teaching practices…
  • Learning: resources, models and tools to support all students' STEM learning, enhance their knowledge and abilities, and build their interest in STEM fields.
    • prepare students to understand increasingly sophisticated content in STEM subjects,
    • engage students in data collection, analysis, visualization, modeling and interpretation,
    • develop important, cross-cutting concepts and ideas needed to understand important interdisciplinary subjects,
    • help students learn STEM practices, modes of inquiry, and engineering design and/or
    • STEM learning activities that effectively engage and serve the diversity of learners found in contemporary U.S. classrooms.
  • Teaching: resources, models and tools to help pre- and in-service teachers provide high quality STEM education for all students.
    • innovative models to recruit, certify, induct, and retain STEM teachers;
    • new resources for helping pre- and in-service teachers develop content and pedagogical knowledge and skills;
    • tools for sharing teaching expertise within schools and districts and across the nation.
  • Scale-up and Sustainability: the factors that contribute to successful implementation, scale-up, and sustainability of proven, high-quality innovations in schools and districts in a cost effective manner.
    • the research designs must involve a statistically appropriate number and nesting of individuals, classes, or schools, and should give careful attention to measures of fidelity and adaptation when the intervention is implemented.
cadre community for advancing discovery research in education
CADRE: Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education
  • is a network for STEM education researchers funded by the National Science Foundation's Discovery Research K-12 (DRK-12) program.
  • connects researchers who are endeavoring to improve education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in, and outside of, schools.
  • helps the DRK-12 researchers to share their methods, findings, results, and products inside the research and development community and public.
  • has partnership with Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), Abt Associates, Inc. (Abt), and Policy Studies Associates, Inc. (PSA). UMass Donahue Institute serves as evaluator.
search for current projects in drk 12
Search For Current Projects in DRK-12
  • Go to CADRE Project Smart Search
  • Use key words to find specific projects


  • Go to
  • Then in the search box write specific key words for the type of strand, such as “projects for the learning strand”


  • Go to
  • Go to projects and then browse in projects if you know the project name, leading organization, PI’s names or key words to describe projects.
exploratory awards 450 000 over 1 3 years 15 20 awarded michele
Exploratory awards: $450,000 over 1-3 years, 15-20 awarded (Michele)
  • What is it?

Allows researchers an opportunity to clarify concepts, assemble theoretical/conceptual foundations, preform early investigations or focus on adapting innovative resources, models, tools and/or prototypes.They are generally short in duration, produce empirical evidence which is basis for future research.

  • Example #1: Ocean Tracks: Investigating Marine Migrations in a Changing Ocean, $311K, Description: Ocean Tracks harnesses the promise of emerging CI (computer imaging) to engage high school students in the use of data visualization tools to study the movement patterns and habitat usage of marine animals.
  • Example #2: Enhancement of Wet Lab Capabilities for Coral Reef Stress Research and Education, $204K, Description: The broader impacts include producing new, high quality results on topics that are of the highest concern for society; providing a training ground for young scientists, who are the future of scientific discovery; attracting the best scientific minds and increasing the capacity of the station by establishing new partnerships and collaborations.
full r d and scale up awards 3 4 000 000 over 4 years 15 20 awarded
Full R&D (and scale-up) awards: $3-4,000,000 over 4 years, 15-20 awarded
  • What is it?

Built from promising exploratory work, this award allows for a longer term, more in-depth study that reaches a broad audience.

  • Example #1: Collaborative Proposal: Universal Design of Inquiry-Based Middle and High School Science Curriculum, $1.2M, Description: The Center for Applied Special Technologies (CAST) has pioneered the development of technology to differentiate instruction, for students with a wide range of disabilities. The University of Michigan and Education Development Centers are developing and testing comprehensive science curricula for the middle school and high school. They bring their joint expertise together to create heuristics for universally designed science materials for middle and high school instructional materials.
  • Example #2: Exploring the Effects of Teacher Research Experiences (RE) on Classroom Inquiry, $3.4M, Description: The research goals are to (1) analyze the essential features of RET programs, (2) examine participants' understanding and enactment of inquiry, (3) study interactions with the personal characteristics of participants, and (4) assess the influence of inquiry teaching on student learning in science.
conference workshop awards 100k over 2 years 5 awarded
Conference/Workshop awards: $100K over 2 years, 5 awarded
  • What is it?

Awards fund focused conferences, symposia and workshops which produce usable information for researchers or practitioners.

  • Example #1 Workshop: Improving capacity for game-based research to scale, $99K, Description: This workshop addresses the need to connect a wide range of experts involved in game development and research to develop and disseminate best practices.
  • Example #2 Mini-Symposia: The Results of the African Diaspora: Developing Black Scholars in Science Education for the 21st Century in the United States, Part II, $100K, Description: The project goal is the development of a network of science education faculty members to conduct research on issues related to science learning and teaching of rural and urban students in the United States and to increase numbers of African American science education and science faculty members from traditionally White and Historically Black Colleges and Universities who are prepared to design and conduct rigorous research studies.
drk 12 portfolio overview jenay
DRK-12 Portfolio Overview (Jenay)

In 2012, a portfolio overview of the first four cohorts of projects funded by DRK-12 was published. 91% of the 272 eligible projects met the criteria for the study, which asked:

  • What are the sizes of the projects DRK-12 is funding?
  • Who is being funded?
  • What types of projects is DRK-12 funding?
  • Where is the program focusing its investment?
  • What research is being conducted?
  • Are projects evaluating their work?
  • How do projects plan to disseminate their work?
drk 12 portfolio overview
DRK-12 Portfolio Overview
  • Populations targeted: Mostly K-12, only 5.7% Pre-K and 4.4% Other
  • Disciplines
    • 75.0% Science and/or Math
    • Math and science data broken down by subjects and grade levels are in the report.
  • Research and Development Cycle: Design, develop, and test (63.7%); Implement, study efficacy, and improve (8.1%); Scale up and study effectiveness (4.8%); Synthesize and theorize (12.1%); Explore, hypothesize, and clarify (11.3%)
  • Resources, Models, and Technology: Resources - instructional or related materials (85.1%); Models - having a more indirect or distal influence on learning and instruction (37.5%); Technology - developing or studying technologies (42.7%)
  • Distribution Across Areas of Interest
    • Most projects focus on developing, revising, or studying resources in math or science.
    • The report includes data for the number of projects in major discipline areas that are developing or studying resources, models, and technologies by grade. Data outside of K-12 settings is not included.
drk 12 portfolio overview1
DRK-12 Portfolio Overview
  • Research Conducted: 49.6% of projects use both qual. and quant. methods.; only 10.1% of projects are longitudinal.
  • Project Evaluations
    • The majority of projects plan to use an advisory board, a summative evaluation, and/or formative evaluations.
    • “A notable percentage of projects reported insufficient detail on evaluations to be classified into these categories.”
  • Dissemination Activities
    • Most projects identify what types of material they will disseminate and to whom; 12.5% of projects either did not provide this information, or it was too vague for researchers to code.
    • The most widely reported vehicles of dissemination are presentations/posters, journal articles, and websites.
  • Anticipated Products
    • The most commonly reported products are those related to teacher professional development, student learning, and research findings.
science curriculum special interest group sig synthesis yann
Science Curriculum Special Interest Group (SIG) Synthesis (Yann)


  • to further explore the types of science curricula being developed by DR K-12 grantees, and
  • to better understand the types of technologies being employed

What’s available (176 projects, as of Aug 10, 2010):

  • descriptive summary
  • categorization of research questions
  • categorization of projects' use of technology

science curriculum sig synthesis
Science Curriculum SIG Synthesis

Descriptive Summary (Selected)

101 Science Projects +55 Science Projects (with technology); 20 without science content

Grade Band

  • Elementary (35%), Middle S. (54%), High S. (45%)

Content area (top 3)

  • Biology (35%), Geoscience (21%), Physical science (18%), Other: 6 categories ranging from 7% to 15%

Focus (top 3 in each category)

  • Resource (92%): PD (58%), curricula (38%), student materials (33%)
  • Technology (55%)
  • Model (27%): LP (10%), PD framework (7%), ideal educational practice (6%)
science curriculum sig synthesis1
Science Curriculum SIG Synthesis

Categories of Research Questions:

  • Project implementation
  • Teacher outcomes/Student outcomes
  • Classroom/school/district outcomes
  • Project evaluation

Science Project Technology Categories

  • Online gaming/interactive learning/virtual env. (43%)
  • Online network/collaboration tool (20%)
  • Assessment (18%)
  • Software on PC (11%)
  • Other (7%)
nsf fastlane system peter
NSF FastLane System (Peter)
  • FastLane is the NSF online website through which NSF conducts its relationships to researchers and potential researchers, reviewers, and research administrators and their organizations.
  • Most work is carried out in the FastLane modules:

Proposals, Awards, and Status

Proposal Review

Panelist Functions

Research Administration

Financial Functions

Honorary Awards

Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Postdoctoral Fellowship and Other Programs

activities on fastlane
Activities on FastLane
  • For the Public and First-Time User
    • Search NSF Awards and Funding Trends
    • Apply for Graduate Research Fellowships
    • Submit nominations and letters of references for awards
    • Register with FastLane
    • Work on the FastLane Demonstration Site
  • For the Researcher and Educator
    • Prepare a letter of intent in response to an NSF solicitation
    • Prepare and update a proposal
    • Check on proposal status
    • Submit post-award notifications and requests to NSF
    • Report on award projects
    • Sponsor a proposal for a postdoctoral fellowship
    • Submit letters of reference for a proposal
activities on fastlane1
Activities on FastLane

For NSF Reviewers and Panelists

  • Review a proposal
  • Participate in a panel to make proposal-funding recommendations to NSF
  • Make travel and EFT arrangements to participate in a panel

For Your Organization’s Sponsored Project Office

  • Certify, sign, and submit letters of intent, proposals, and post-award requests
  • Manage the NSF accounts for members of your research organization
  • Manage and view reports on your organization’s interaction with NSF

For Your Organization’s Business Office

  • Request electronic funds transfers from NSF for an award
  • Prepare and submit the required quarterly Financial Cash Transaction Report
data management plan dmp matt
Data Management Plan (DMP) (Matt)


  • Is a plan of what data will be collected and managed.
  • Includes types of data, software, curriculum, and policies for access, re-use, re-distribution.
  • Makes plans for the archiving and preserving of data.
  • Is monitored annually and in the final report.
  • Must be described in future proposals under, “Results of Prior NSF support.”
  • Does not require material necessary to be confidential to the researcher or personal/medical information that could identify a particular person in a research study.
data management plan dmp
Data Management Plan (DMP)

NSF requires the DMP:

  • To stimulate new advances.
  • So there is prompt evaluation of the results.
  • To provide the Principal Investigator (PI) an opportunity to consider:
    • Types of data
    • Possible complications
    • Mechanisms for sharing
    • Other types of necessary information
data management plan dmp1
Data Management Plan (DMP)


  • Annual Report
    • Progress
    • Citations
    • Conference proceedings
  • Final Project Report
    • Data produced
    • Data to be retained
    • Verification of availability for sharing
nsf proposal budget information leah
NSF Proposal Budget Information (Leah)

Budget Guidelines: Basic Information

  • Realistic budget for the proposed project
  • Must include budget narrative that describes and validates each of the expenses
  • Equipment purchases are limited:
    • Generally do not allow equipment found in K-16 schools, R&D organization, which includes computers
    • Must have a justification for all equipment requests
  • Salary compensation for senior project personnel is limited to two months, which includes all NSF funded projects.

Salaries & Wages; Fringe

  • Senior Project Personnel Salaries & Wages Policy
  • Administrative and Clerical Salaries & Wages Policy
  • Post-docs, graduate and undergraduate research
  • Fringe costs are allowable


  • Equipment is defined as an item of property that has an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more* and an expected service life of more than one year.
  • Allowable items ordinarily will be limited to research equipment and apparatus not already available for the conduct of the work.


  • Travel (domestic and foreign) and its relation to the proposed activities must be specified and itemized by destination and cost.

Participant Costs

Transportation, per diem, stipends and other related costs for participants or trainees (but not employees) in connection with NSF-sponsored conferences, meetings, symposia, training activities and workshops. Costs can also include other not included under the headings above (materials and supplies, publication costs, computer services and consultant services).

Total Direct, Indirect (“F&A”), Cost Sharing

  • Typical PSU indirect rate is 49%
  • Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited
  • Mandatory cost sharing will only be required for NSF programs when explicitly authorized by the NSF Director, the National Science Board, or legislation.



Meals and Coffee Breaks*