The Grand Challenge: Overcoming the Calculus Barrier to STEM Success

Portal ID:
5107
Status:
Closed
Opportunity Type:
  • Grant
Last Updated:
Categories:

Details

Purpose:

To help close equity gaps in STEM fields, Learning Lab is inviting faculty teams from California’s public higher education institutions to reconceptualize the role of and approach to calculus in a student’s first year introductory STEM experience. By the end of the grant period, awarded projects should demonstrate significant positive impacts for students and faculty alike.

Description:

Calculus is considered to be foundational to many STEM fields. Students are often required to enroll in this course series in their first year as they pursue life sciences, physical sciences, computational sciences, and engineering degrees. However, the college calculus sequence often poses considerable barriers for prospective STEM students. Retention and degree completion gaps are especially prevalent for Black/African Americans, Latinx, Native American, and Pacific Islander groups and women, despite showing high levels of interest in STEM. 

To help close these gaps, Learning Lab is inviting faculty teams from California’s public higher education institutions to reconceptualize the role of and approach to calculus in a student’s first year introductory STEM experience. Learning Lab intends to award up to five grants of approximately $1 million to $1.5 million over three years to support new, innovative ways to teach calculus, or reimagine the role of calculus in STEM majors where calculus is a prerequisite. 

Awardees will join the Grand Challenge Cohort through which they will share ideas, approaches, findings, data, and outcomes over the three-year grant period. Grounded in their experiences, awardees will collaboratively produce, by the end of the grant period, recommendations for model first-year STEM curricula with effective pedagogical approaches and faculty professional development components built in. A coordinating institution or project team will be selected to receive $500,000 over three years to foster collaboration among grantees and serve as the Cohort Facilitator.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Applicants:

  • Other

Teams must include faculty and/or administrative co-principal investigators (PIs/co-PIs) from at least two of California’s public higher education segments. Additional partnerships, such as with private independent/nonprofit institutions and/or industry partners, are permitted. One institution must be identified as a host institution, which will be responsible for receipt/administration of the grant funds.

Eligible Geographies:

Learning Lab funds are intended to be used in California. If the project necessitates the use of Learning Lab funds outside of California, provide a brief justification and estimate of the funding that will leave the state. The amount of funds that can leave the state will be subject to the final award agreement.

Important Dates

Application deadline The date (and time, where applicable) by which all applications must be submitted to the grantor.
Expected award announcement The date on which the grantor expects to announce the recipient(s) of the grant.
May 21, 2021
Period of performance The length of time during which the grant money must be utilized.
Up to 18 months

Funding Details

Total estimated available funding The total projected dollar amount of the grant.
$7,000,000
Expected number of awards A single grant opportunity may represent one or many awards. Some grantors may know in advance the exact number of awards to be given. Others may indicate a range. Some may wish to and wait until the application period closes before determining how many awards to offer; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
1 – 5
Estimated amount per award Grant opportunities representing multiple awards may offer awards in the same amount or in varied amounts. Some may wish to wait until the application period closes before determining per-award amounts; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
$1,000,000 – $1,500,000
Letter of Intent Required? Certain grants require that the recipient(s) provide a letter of intent.
Yes ( see Description for details )
Requires Matched Funding? Certain grants require that the recipient(s) be able to fully or partially match the grant award amount with another funding source.
No
Funding Source: The funding source allocated to fund the grant. It may be either State or Federal (or a combination of both), and be tied to a specific piece of legislation, a proposition, or a bond number.
  • State

Funding Source Notes:

Assembly Bill 1809 (Chapter 33, Statutes of 2018) established the California Education Learning Lab as a competitive grantmaking program for intersegmental faculty teams from California’s public colleges and universities to incorporate the science of learning and adaptive learning technology into their curriculum and pedagogy, with the express purpose of improving learning outcomes and closing equity gaps in STEM and other disciplines.

Funding Method: The manner in which the grant funding will be delivered to the awardee. Funding methods include reimbursements (where the recipient spends out-of-pocket and is reimbursed by the grantor) and advances (where the recipient spends received grant funds directly).
  • Advance(s)

Funding Method Notes:

Funding method will be subject to the final award agreement. 

How to Apply

State agencies/departments recommend you read the full grant guidelines before applying.

Resources

For questions about this grant, contact:
Lark Park, 1-866-325-3222, lark.park@calearninglab.org

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