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.

Home > ECR Projects Search > Project Detail
STEM Learning and Learning Environments STEM Learning and Learning Environments  Broadening Participation in STEM Broadening Participation in STEM

Understanding Persistence through the Lens of Interruption: A Framework for Transformation (UPLIFT)

Effective Years: 2022-2027

This collaborative project will study the impact of interruptions on Black women’s collegiate STEM experiences and their persistence and matriculation in STEM majors. Interruptions are defined as overt and subtle external acts and internal dialogues and decisions that result in a loss of focus, momentum, and confidence and require time to rebound. Each interruption requires resources to rebound (e.g., time), but continual interruptions impact Black women’s ability to rebound and persist in STEM over time. Conducting research that centers the voices of Black women who experience these interruptions will generate new insights into redesigning institutional and other structural factors that often serve as barriers to persistence and success in STEM majors.

The research design entails a longitudinal, mixed-methods design wherein they follow 45 Black women who are STEM majors across three colleges in Georgia. Through interviews, focus groups, audio diaries, and the use of survey methods to collect quantitative data, the research team intends to develop a framework of interruption for Black women in STEM. The goals of the framework include: (a) to define interruption, (b) to identify constructs of interruption related to intent to persist, and (c) to determine the relationship between the domains of power and the experiences of interruption by undergraduate Black women in STEM. The creation of a clear definition of interruption and a robust conceptual framework has the potential to generate knowledge that will help address systemic racism across disciplines and settings.

This collaborative project is funded through the Racial Equity in STEM Education program (EHR Racial Equity). The program supports research and practice projects that investigate how considerations of racial equity factor into the improvement of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and workforce. Awarded projects seek to center the voices, knowledge, and experiences of the individuals, communities, and institutions most impacted by systemic inequities within the STEM enterprise. This program aligns with NSF’s core value of supporting outstanding researchers and innovative thinkers from across the Nation's diversity of demographic groups, regions, and types of organizations. Funds for EHR Racial Equity are pooled from programs across EHR in recognition of the alignment of its projects with the collective research and development thrusts of the four divisions of the directorate.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.