SIAM News Blog

NSF: Request for Information About Programming

The following was shared by the National Science Foundation on October 28, 2021.

Dear Colleagues,

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE), Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI), Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS), and Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) request input from interested parties about the value and need for an interdisciplinary program that trains undergraduate students at the intersections of biological science, mathematics, and computer sciences. This Request for Information will help inform NSF as it considers programs for educating the workforce of tomorrow.

Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before December 31, 2021.

Please refer to the Federal Register document: "Request for Information: Undergraduate Training in Biology Mathematics and Computer Science."

Comments may be submitted via e-mail to Mary L. Crowe, [email protected]. Submissions should include the "RFI Response: Undergraduate Training Program in Biological, Mathematical and Computer Science UBMC" in the subject line of the message.

Response(s) to the question(s) below should focus on effective models with specific efforts in at least one of the following:

  • Multiple entry and exit points along a career pathway.
  • Use of technologies including virtual to enhance training.
  • Cohort development in cross-disciplinary research and/or course experiences.
  • Workforce needs in converging areas considering the breadth from the skilled technical workforce to Ph.D. level scientists.

Questions To Address

Respondents can answer any of the questions 1-8; responses to all questions are not required.

  1. What are the biggest needs and challenges faced by institutions working to develop interdisciplinary courses/programs in the converging areas of biology, mathematics, and computer science?
  2. What are the biggest needs and challenges faced by industries in these rapidly evolving and converging areas of STEM?
  3. What topics might be included in an NSF program solicitation aimed at supporting these rapidly evolving converging areas?
  4. Should a new program include the opportunity for research experiences for undergraduates in these converging areas? If so, what areas might be specifically targeted? Where (early, later, throughout) should these experiences be incorporated in a student's educational pathway and why? Is there a place for industry-based internships as well as institutional research experiences?
  5. What are effective ways to promote interdisciplinary work within a broad range of institutions and disciplinary faculty? What might be challenges that a solicitation might address?
  6. Whether you are currently part of a consortium-based model or would be interested in participating in one, describe the benefits and drawbacks of such a partnership. What type of consortium structure maximized the creation of effective and lasting relationships within distinct disciplinary areas of institutions and between institutions in regard to promoting interdisciplinary STEM education? What would the role of the management entity look like, and what partners would be involved?
  7. What efforts might support STEM participation by a diverse set of students, especially those from groups underrepresented in STEM, through the creation of accessible, inclusive STEM learning opportunities and promoting STEM careers in these converging areas?
  8. What are effective ways in assessing program impact relative to topics mentioned above?

In addition, please provide the following Point of Contact information for all responses:

  • Company
  • Address
  • Point of Contact
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Business Size
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