2019 - IUSE / Professional Formation of Engineers: Revolutionizing Engineering Departments (IUSE/PFE: RED)

Limited Submission Funding Opportunity for Texas A&M Faculty and PIs

National Science Foundation

IUSE / Professional Formation of Engineers: Revolutionizing Engineering Departments (IUSE/PFE: RED)



Limited Submission Program (LSP): This funding opportunity and the Limited Submission Program (LSP) is open to all Texas A&M University faculty and principal investigators who meet the eligibility requirements. Texas A&M and The Texas A&M University System agencies jointly administer this process to select the proposal(s) that will be submitted to the sponsor in response to this solicitation.


Institutional Eligibility:  Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) – Two- and four-year IHEs (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the US, acting on behalf of their faculty members.  An organization is allowed up to two submissions per competition.


PI Eligibility:  For both tracks, the Principal Investigator must be a department chair/head (or equivalent) to provide leadership for the change process. Additionally, there must be a RED team that includes (at a minimum) an expert in engineering education research who can provide guidance on evidence-based practices, and an organizational change expert who can advise on strategies for developing a culture of change and on strategies for creating meaningful collective ownership of the effort among faculty, students, and staff. The engineering education and organizational change experts may be at different institutions from the proposing institution. Funding for these experts at other institutions may be supported as consultants, through a sub-award, or through a separately submitted collaborative proposal.


The proposal will be prepared and submitted by Sponsored Research Services (SRS).


Proposal Limit: 2


Summary:  The goal of the RED program is to catalyze revolutionary, not incrementally reformist, changes to the education of the next generation of engineers. Revolutionary means radically, suddenly, or completely new; producing fundamental, structural change; or going outside of or beyond existing norms and principles. The complex problems facing society in the 21st Century demand changes to the way engineers are educated. For example, solving the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Grand Challenges will require engineers who not only have deep technical knowledge, but also an understanding of the societal and global contexts in which those problems occur1. Obstacles to change that have been cited include underlying departmental and curricular structures, faculty reward systems, and faculty development. Among the common challenges facing engineering departments are how to weave both technical and professional skills throughout the curriculum, including skills defined by the ABET outcomes; how to promote and incentivized faculty engagement in the change process; and how to create cultures of inclusion that are welcoming to students and faculty of all types. Revolutionary change is needed in the structure of departments and the way students are educated to meet these challenges.


The RED program is intended to address the holistic formation of engineers. Engineering has many unique aspects that differ from other STEM disciplines. Engineering undergraduate programs prepare students for professional practice; in engineering, the BS degree provides eligibility to qualify for the Professional Engineer license2. Furthermore, in the high-tech environment upon which the global economy is based, the perennial debate about workforce shortages of engineers requires a more precise understanding of dynamic industry needs and of the abilities of departments to address them. Therefore, NSF is taking a holistic look at how engineers are being prepared for lifelong careers in technical and socio-technical professions. The RED program seeks to respond to the call from different stakeholders (e.g., industry, the public, government, and the profession itself) for professional formation of engineers with a broad set of professional abilities. It seeks to address the fact that the percentages of persons from underrepresented groups entering into – and remaining in – the practice of engineering are still unacceptably low, impacting the future health of the national workforce.


Professional Formation of Engineers (PFE) refers to the formal and informal processes and value systems through which people become engineers. This includes the ethical responsibility of practicing engineers to sustain and grow the profession in order to improve quality of life for all people. Professional formation includes, but is not limited, to:


  • Introductions to the profession at any age;
  • Acquisition of deep technical and professional skills, knowledge, and abilities in both formal and informal settings/domains;
  • Development of outlooks, perspectives, ways of thinking, knowing, and doing;
  • Development of identity as a responsibly technical professional; and
  • Acculturation to the profession, its standards, and norms.




November 9, 2018

Deadline for an email of intent including the title of the internal proposal and a one to three sentence description of the project. 


Send email of intent to limitedsubmissions@tamu.edu

November 14, 2018

Deadline to submit an internal proposal.


All proposals for the LSP must be submitted electronically using the e-proposal on-line application system.


Be prepared to upload your internal proposal. The sections will include a one-three page research plan summary, two-page bio-sketch (per PI), and preliminary budget.


The e-proposal site is password protected. Texas A&M principal investigators may use their NetID and password to access the system. If you do not have a NetID, click HERE for help to activate your NetID. You will need your UIN and your date of birth.  Once you log-in to e-proposal, choose “;Limited Submission Grant”; from the Available Grants section.

If you have any questions, please contact:

 shelly.martin@tamu.edu  or 979.862.2233.


December 5, 2018

Target date for the notifications to PIs of the result of the internal competition.

January 24, 2019

Sponsor deadline for the full proposal.



Internal Selection Procedures:

Texas A&M has established a procedure to identify limited submission opportunities and internally select proposals for Texas A&M submissions.  Please contact us if you have any questions about the limited submission process.