ECR Projects

Explore past and current fundamental STEM education research projects across the three research areas that NSF's EDU Core Research (ECR) program funds, as well as across ECR funding types. Other search filters draw from both NSF's data and the ECR Hub's hand coding of award abstracts.

Ninth-grade biology students create cell models using clay.

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STEM Workforce Development STEM Workforce Development  Broadening Participation in STEM Broadening Participation in STEM

A Study of Interactional, Organizational and Professional Mechanisms of Disadvantage in the Underrepresented and Marginalized STEM Workforce

Effective Years: 2015-2023

This award is supported the EHR Core Research (ECR) program. ECR emphasizes fundamental STEM education research that generates foundational knowledge in the field. This research project is making contributions to the field in the areas of STEM workforce development and broadening participation in STEM. The proposed work is advancing basic understanding about the intersectional mechanisms of disadvantage, at the interpersonal, organizational and professional levels, for underrepresented groups in STEM. There is a pressing need to ensure that a diverse STEM workforce is engaged to advance our nation's progress in science, engineering and education, to address national societal needs through STEM research and education, and to contribute to the 21st century U.S. workforce. By better understanding the professional, workplace and interactional variables that contribute to mechanisms of disadvantage, marginalization and underrepresentation of STEM professionals, our nation can better address barriers to success, can more strongly facilitate the integration of STEM education and research, and can enhance our engagement of a diverse 21st century workforce.

Project leaders at the University of Michigan and Temple University are collaborating to collect survey and interview data from STEM professionals about social and cultural variables found at the interpersonal, organizational and professional levels that produce disadvantage and marginalization in the workplace. They are examining demographic variables, such as race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexuality, and disability, and the researchers are conducting numerous measures of workplace policies and practices, of interactional climates on the job, and of professional cultures. The data is being used by the researchers to better understand the interactions among these data to advance knowledge about disadvantage for underrepresented STEM professionals in the U.S. At the completion of this exploratory study, it is anticipated that results will inform future basic and applied broadening participation in STEM research about our nation's underrepresented STEM workforce. The results of this work are expected to be shared with education and STEM researchers in professional publications and shared with STEM professional organizations, employers and the public in study briefings.