NSF Cultivating Cultures for Ethical STEM (CCE STEM)

The following is a limited submission opportunity with only ONE proposal as a lead institution is allowed. If you are interested in this program please email Michelle Wonsey a single PDF by February 13, 2018 with the following pre-proposal requirements:

1.      A two-page summary that must include your research/project:

a.      goals
b.      objectives
c.       methods, and
d.      a short statement of competitiveness (i.e., what you think will discriminate your proposal from the competition, including anything you have done to pre-position yourself/your team for this funding opportunity)

2.      A pro forma budget, including any cost-sharing and facilities requirements and how you plan to meet them; use template: https://www.umass.edu/research/form/pro-forma-budget-template

3.      A short-form CV for the PI and each senior staff person

4.      Current and Pending Support of PI’s

Program Description:

The Cultivating Cultures for Ethical STEM (CCE STEM) program accepts proposals for innovative research projects that both foster and substantially contribute to understanding what it takes to foster ethical STEM research in all of the fields of science and engineering that NSF supports, including within interdisciplinary, inter-institutional and international contexts. CCE STEM research projects will use basic research to produce knowledge about what constitutes responsible or irresponsible, just or unjust scientific practices and sociotechnical systems, and how to best instill students with this knowledge.

Projects can include qualitative and/or quantitative approaches. Proposals should specify plans to deliver findings to appropriate research and educational communities and assist them to implement projects or programs based on the findings. CCE STEM awardees must share their findings with others via the Online Ethics Center for Engineering and Science (Award #1355547) and at the biennial PI meetings held at NSF. PIs are responsible for covering the expenses of participating in these PI meetings throughout the tenure of their award and should indicate this in their budget.


Proposed research should seek to provide answers to the following: ‘What constitutes ethical STEM research and practice? Which cultural and institutional contexts promote ethical STEM research and practice and why?' Factors one might consider include: honor codes, professional ethics codes and licensing requirements, an ethic of service and/or service learning, life-long learning requirements, curricula or membership in organizations (e.g. Engineers without Borders) that stress responsible conduct for research, institutions that serve under-represented groups, institutions where academic and research integrity are cultivated at multiple levels, institutions that cultivate ethics across the curriculum, or programs that promote group work, or do not grade. Do certain labs have a ‘culture of academic integrity'? What practices contribute to the establishment and maintenance of ethical cultures and how can these practices be transferred, extended to, or integrated into other research and learning settings?

Successful proposals typically have a comparative dimension, either 1) between or within institutional settings that differ along the factors suggested or other factors (Standard Research Grants), or 2) over time-- before and after an intervention (Institutional Transformation Research Grants (ITRG)). For ITRGs, investigators are expected to gather and report baseline data in the first annual report. Both Standard and ITRG proposals can be collaborative.

Note: NSF does not consider proposals for medical research and hence, the program will not consider proposals focused on ethics for medical students or in medical education. It will consider proposals that address medical informatics, biomedical engineering, systems engineering and social scientific studies of health and medicine.