IUSE/Professional Formation of Engineers: Revolutionizing Engineering Departments

Published Date
April 5th, 2024
Close Date
September 10th, 2024
Total Funding
Award Ceiling
Award Floor
Expected No. Awards
Opportunity No.


National Science Foundation (NSF)

Eligible Applicants


Funding Category

Science and Technology and other Research and Development

Funding Instrument


Opportunity Category


Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement



The National Science Foundation is offering a grant opportunity titled "IUSE/Professional Formation of Engineers: Revolutionizing Engineering Departments". This grant aims to build upon previous efforts in engineering education research and improve the undergraduate engineering experience. The grant supports projects that focus on organizational and cultural change within engineering departments, involving students, faculty, staff, and industry. The grant offers four tracks: RED Planning, RED Adaptation and Implementation, RED Innovation, and RED Innovation Partnerships. These tracks aim to develop new approaches, implement evidence-based strategies, and create partnerships to transform undergraduate engineering education. The grant encourages proposals that address areas of national interest such as advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, sustainability, and quantum engineering. Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) and other eligible applicants may submit proposals. The grant has a closing date of September 10, 2024. For more information, visit the NSF Publication 24-564 at http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf24564.


Revolutionizing Engineering Departments (hereinafter referred to as RED) is designed to build upon previous efforts in engineering education research. Specifically, previous and ongoing evaluations of the NSF Engineering Education and Centers Division program and its predecessors, as well as those related programs in the Directorate for STEM Education, have shown that prior investments have significantly improved the first year of engineering students’ experiences, incorporating engineering material, active learning approaches, design instruction, and a broad introduction to professional skills and a sense of professional practice – giving students an idea of what it means to become an engineer. Similarly, the senior year has seen notable change through capstone design experiences, which ask students to synthesize the technical knowledge, skills, and abilities they have gained with professional capacities, using reflective judgment to make decisions and communicate these effectively. However, this ideal of the senior year has not yet been fully realized, because many of the competencies required in capstone design, or required of professional engineers, are only partially introduced in the first year and not carried forward with significant emphasis through the sophomore and junior years. The Directorates for Engineering (ENG) and STEM Education (EDU) are funding projects as part of the RED program, in alignment with the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) framework and Professional Formation of Engineers (PFE) initiative. These projects are designing revolutionary new approaches to engineering education, ranging from changing the canon of engineering to fundamentally altering the way courses are structured to creating new departmental structures and educational collaborations with industry. A common thread across these projects is a focus on organizational and cultural change within the departments, involving students, faculty, staff, and industry in rethinking what it means to provide an engineering program. In order to continue to catalyze revolutionary approaches, while expanding the reach of those that have proved efficacious in particular contexts, the RED program supports four tracks: RED Planning (Track 1), RED Adaptation and Implementation (Track 2), RED Innovation (Track 3), and RED Innovation Partnerships (Track 4). Two- and four-year institutions are encouraged to submit to any track as appropriate for their goals and context. RED Planning (Track 1) projects will support capacity-building activities at institutions of special interest to NSF’s mission, specifically two-year engineering-centered programs building transfer partnerships, two-year or four-year institutions in EPSCoR jurisdictions, Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs), and Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs)seeking to level the number of degrees acrossof the full spectrum of diverse talent in engineering. Planning projects should provide the support for such institutions to explore the development of a RED Projects in Tracks 2, 3, & 4. RED Adaptation and Implementation (Track 2) projects will adapt and implement evidence-based organizational change strategies and actions to the local context, which helps propagate this transformation of undergraduate engineering education. RED Innovation (Track 3) projects will develop new, revolutionary approaches and change strategies that enable the transformation of undergraduate engineering education. RED Innovation Partnerships (Track 4) projects will achieve the same goals as Track 3 projects across multiple institutions. Of particular interest to this track are projects partnering two-year institutions with other eligible institutions. Projects in tracks 2, 3, & 4 will include consideration of the cultural, organizational, structural, and pedagogical changes needed to transform one or more departments to ones in which students are engaged, develop their technical and professional skills, and establish identities as professional engineers or technologists. The focus of projects in these tracks should be on the department’s disciplinary courses and program. RED project initiatives are expected to be institutionalized at the end of the funding period. Proposals are especially encouraged that address areas of increased national interest including but not limited to advanced manufacturing, advanced wireless, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, microelectronics and semiconductors, net zero technologies, sustainability, systems engineering, and quantum engineering.

Contact Information

Opportunity Lifecycle


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