University of Southern California


NSF 15-528– Cultivating Cultures for Ethical STEM (CCE STEM)

Slots:                                                     One

Only one proposal may be submitted by an eligible organization, as defined above, in which a member of their organization serves as the PI. Potential PIs are advised to contact their institutional office of research regarding processes used to select proposals for submission. Organizations submitting more than one proposal will be notified and given one week from notification to select one proposal for consideration. If one is not selected in that time period, all of those proposals will be returned without review. There is no limit on the number of proposals under which an organization may be included as a non-lead collaborator or sub-awardee.   

LOI:                                                        N/A                       
Internal Deadline:                           January 12, 2015; 5pm
External Deadline:                          March 12, 2015
Award Information:                        Type:  Standard Grant
Estimated Number of Awards: 6 to 8
Anticipated Amount: $3,150,000

The anticipated funding amount each year is $3,150,000 for an estimated 6-8 Standard Grants. The maximum award duration is 5 years. The maximum amount for 5-year awards is $600,000 and the maximum amount for 3-year awards is $400,000.

Submission Process:                     PIs must submit their application utilizing the Office of Research’s
Application Portal:  

Link to Award:

Building on the Foundation’s prior support for ethics-related research and program development, in 2004 the NSF Directorates for: Biological Sciences; Computer and Information Science and Engineering; Education and Human Resources; Engineering; Geosciences; Mathematical and Physical Sciences; Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences, and the Office of International and Integrative Activities joined together to create the Ethics Education in Science and Engineering Program (EESE). Via a series of solicitations (NSF 05-532; NSF 06-524; NSF 07-541; NSF 08-530; NSF 11-514), EESE funded projects that developed ethics education materials and approaches for STEM researchers being trained as graduate students at US institutions and their affiliates. Results included courses, case studies, and modules–materials which are now available at one or more of the online ethics resource centers that NSF has funded:

Purpose: Cultivating Cultures for Ethical STEM (CCE STEM) funds research projects that identify factors that are efficacious in the formation of ethical STEM researchers in all the fields of science and engineering that NSF supports. CCE STEM solicits proposals for research that explores the following: ‘What constitutes ethical STEM research and practice? Which cultural and institutional contexts promote ethical STEM research and practice and why?’ Factors one might consider include: honor codes, professional ethics codes and licensing requirements, an ethic of service and/or service learning, life-long learning requirements, curricula or memberships in organizations (e.g. Engineers without Borders) that stress social responsibility and humanitarian goals, institutions that serve under-represented groups, institutions where academic and research integrity are cultivated at multiple levels, institutions that cultivate ethics across the curriculum, or programs that promote group work, or do not grade. Do certain labs have a ‘culture of academic integrity’? What practices contribute to the establishment and maintenance of ethical cultures and how can these practices be transferred, extended to, and integrated into other research and learning settings?

Successful proposals typically have a comparative dimension, either between or within institutional settings that differ along these or other factors.

CCE STEM research projects will use basic research to produce knowledge about what constitutes responsible or irresponsible, just or unjust scientific practices and sociotechnical systems, and how to best instill students with this knowledge.

Successful proposals typically have a comparative dimension, either 1) between or within institutional settings that differ along the factors suggested or other factors (Standard Research Grants), or 2) over time– before and after an intervention (Institutional Transformation Research Grants (ITRG)). For ITRGs, investigators are expected to gather and report baseline data in the first annual report. Both Standard and ITRG proposals can be collaborative.

Note: NSF does not consider proposals for medical research and hence, the program will not consider proposals focused on ethics for medical students or in medical education. It will consider proposals that address medical informatics, biomedical engineering, systems engineering and social scientific studies of health and medicine.

Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s):

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