July 2022 Newsletter

Dear Colleagues,

NSF receives many Design and Development proposals but fewer DRK-12 proposals for Exploratory projects. This month we're featuring a Spotlight on Exploratory Research, where in addition to highlighting Exploratory projects, we also feature projects funded to build on Exploratory research. Our blog shares shares tips for those considering submitting an Exploratory proposal to advance research into new areas.

We’re excited to welcome the newest DRK-12 awardees to the DRK-12 community. We hope you’ll read about their research plans and find connections to your own work. We’re also happy to feature the 2022 DRK-12 Summer Reading List. Thank you to everyone who submitted information about their recent publications through our survey or by contacting cadre@edc.org. These publications offer another way for us to learn about DRK-12 findings and STEM teaching and learning innovations. Awardees can also share their work through #NSFstories (be sure to tag @cadrek12). Learn more about NSF’s Science Happens Here initiative.

This month’s federal and policy updates related to STEM education include the release of new state-level data available from the Science and Engineering State Indicators data tool and related report, and the White House announcement of the National Partnership for Student Success (NPSS). NPSS is designed to help expand tutoring, mentoring, and other evidence-based student support programs to address, in part, pandemic-related learning loss. You can also catch up on the National Academies’ Committee on Equity in PreK-12 STEM Education meetings. Finally, NSF announced an $8.6 million partnership with leading foundations to improve U.S. STEM education.

The CADRE Team

Exploratory Research | Spotlight

Parent helping student with mask.

The DRK-12 program invites proposals for six project types: (1) Exploratory, (2) Design and Development, (3) Impact, (4) Implementation and Improvement, (5) Syntheses, and (6) Conferences. Exploratory research is at the beginning of the evidence-building continuum, establishing the basis and development of an intervention. This research explores relationships between an intervention’s design features and learning outcomes.

This Spotlight features descriptions of DRK-12-funded Exploratory projects and projects that have built on a previously funded Exploratory research, and a blog post with more information about this project type, including how it is different from Early-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER).

In this Spotlight...

Summer Reading List | 2021-22 DRK-12 Publications

BookshelfCADRE has compiled a list of recent (2021 and 2022) publications affiliated with DRK-12 projects. Filter by grade level, content area, and/or topical focus to find reading pertinent to your interests.

We also invite you to explore an impressive list of STEM education publications authored by early career researchers in the CADRE community (CAREER awardees, CADRE Fellows, and CADRE Postdocs). Find them in the Early Career News section of our website.

Visit the DRK-12 Research and Products page to explore CADRE's full collection of project resources. Email cadre@edc.org if you have project resources to add.

New DRK-12 Awards | Project List

Since our last newsletter, additional DRK-12 projects have been funded. View the full list of recent awards below.

Congratulations to the newest DRK-12 awardees and welcome to our community! We look forward to getting to know you and hearing about your work as it progresses.

Tip Icon

Project Tip: Building a Mentoring Plan

Mentoring early career scholars is an important component of our work if we wish to extend and grow the field of STEM education research. Whether you work with students, postdoctoral researchers, or early career scholars, consider how you will mentor them:

  • How will you orient the scholar to the work, set expectations, and evaluate progress?
  • How will you engage them in learning more about project development, management, evaluation, and dissemination?
  • How will you support their career development?

Mentoring plans to support postdoctoral researchers at lead or collaborating institutions are required in NSF proposals via an uploaded, one-page description of the mentoring activities that will be provided (unless the postdoctoral researcher is functioning in a Senior Personnel capacity). As stated in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedure Guide (PAPPG), mentoring plans are evaluated under the Broader Impacts review criterion.

Both mentors and mentees can benefit from contributing to a mentoring plan, formally or informally. Listen to a former mentor and mentee discuss how to build a successful mentor-mentee experience. For additional insights into successful mentoring and developing mentoring plans, visit CADRE’s resources in Mentoring for Post-Secondary Scholars. These resources and more are posted to CADRE’s NSF Proposal Toolkit.


News from NSF

News from NSF Networks

News from DRK-12 Projects and Awardees
Awards & Recognition



Do you have news to share? Email cadre@edc.org.

Upcoming Opportunities

The following funding and publication opportunities, listed by deadline, may be of interest to you and your DRK-12 project members.


For more NSF funding opportunities, see CADRE's list of Upcoming NSF DRL EHR Solicitation Deadlines.


For other publication opportunities, including those with ongoing submissions, see CADRE's list of Publications for STEM Educators, Policymakers, and Researchers.
For more conference information, see CADRE's list of Conferences for STEM Educators, Policymakers, and Researchers.

Career & Professional Development

    For job, funding, and capacity-building opportunities for doctoral students, postdocs, and other early career scholars, visit our Early Career News & Opportunities page.
    A complete archive of our newsletters and announcements is available on cadrek12.org.

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