Deadline: January 22, 2019

Agency/Sponsor: National Science Foundation


The RCN-UBE program originated as a unique RCN track to “catalyze positive changes in biology undergraduate education” and seeks to improve undergraduate biology in different areas by leveraging the power of a collaborative network. The theme or focus of an RCN-UBE proposal can be on any topic likely to advance the goal of enhancing undergraduate biology education. Collectively, the program has contributed to developing and disseminating educational research resources and modules, to forging of new collaborations, and to sharing of best practices and ideas for scalability and sustainability of activities.

RCN-UBE proposals may focus on but not limited to:

  • active- and inquiry-based learning;
  • incorporating authentic research experiences in undergraduate courses, with an emphasis on introductory and lower division courses.
  • service learning, community engagement, and internships;
  • incorporating emerging sub-disciplines into the biology curriculum (e.g., informatics research, proteomics, statistics, systems biology, and computational biology);
  • incorporation of novel interdisciplinary training in the curriculum;
  • improved learning and student outcomes in introductory courses;
  • integration of quantitative reasoning in biology curriculum;
  • biological literacy for non-majors;
  • strategies for engaging biology faculty and graduate students in professional development activities;
  • improving assessment of student learning, and/or biology programs;
  • improving the transition of students from two-year to four-year institutions;
  • engagement of underrepresented and underserved students to broaden participation; and
  • integration of teaching and research

RCN-UBE is designed to promote new collaborations among biologists and educators with diverse expertise and who share a common interest in a new or developing area of biology education, including the interface of biology with other disciplines. RCN-UBE awards do not support primary research and are not meant to support existing networks; nor are they meant to support the activities of established collaborations. By encouraging the formation of new interdisciplinary groups and networks, the RCN-UBE program will advance fields and create novel directions and opportunities in biology education and research.

Funds: up to $500,000 or up to 5 years or Incubator proposals for $75,000 for one year

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