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Gender programs at NSF

NSF is planning to “incorporate the substantive focus” of the Research on Gender in Science and Engineering (GSE) program in the Research and Evaluation on Education in Science and Engineering (REESE) program starting in FY 2012. The current GSE program officer, Jolene Jesse, will not move to REESE but will co-manage the “substantive focus” with a program officer from RESSE. A similar change is proposed for the Research in Disabilities Education (RDE) program.

For those who are not fluent in NSF speak, let me translate:
1. Under this plan, GSE will no longer exist; there will no longer be a program explicitly focused on gender at the k-16 level as NSF.
2. Research proposals with a gender in science and education focus will be submitted, presumably along with proposals without a gender focus, to a program with a much broader research focus (REESE). REESE has fabulous program officers but their expertise in gender research is limited.
3. REESE funds research proposals NOT diffusion and extension proposals. There is no indication that these very important efforts would continue.

At this point NSF has had very little feedback about this plan. I’m assuming it is because so few people knew about it. If you have some feedback, you might what to share it with the Education and Human Resources director Dr. Joan Ferrini-Mundy (jferrini@nsf.gov)

Current GSE grantees may want to come together at JAM (June 6-8) to discuss this proposed change. The community as a whole should think about possible future directions for gender focused research at NSF and to pull together and broadly disseminate data on the impact GSE diffusion and extension efforts are having.


Please feel free to share this information with others.


Remember that when the community did not like plans to change the minority-serving progrms, they went to Congress. However, first base (if you don't like it) is to ask the contact, EHR Director, for details. A few questions I would (but will not) ask: will there be FUNDING TRACKS the same as under GSE? Will the budget for them remain the same? Will the competition for funding for gender research and dissemination be merged (or submerged) with funding for non-gender research/dissemination? Everyone - NSF and Congress -- is interested in results. Talk about results/outcomes of the program in any pitch to defend funding, and a separate funding track. It is quite legitimate to ask to hear from the EHR Director about NSF commitment to this mission. JAM is coming up...

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