Community Building for the NSF PFE: RIEF Program Year 1

Karin Jensen, Joseph F. Mirabelli, Kelly J. Cross, Allyson Jo Barlow

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


In an effort to increase the community of engineering education researchers conducting engineering education research and to support research in the professional formation of engineers (PFE), the NSF has awarded Research Initiation in Engineering Formation (RIEF) grants to engineering faculty with little or no experience conducting social science research. The RIEF grants support a two-year collaborative research project where an engineering faculty member is mentored by one or more engineering education researchers. Since 2016, the PFE: RIEF program has supported more than 35 projects across over 40 institutions. The present work describes preliminary efforts to build a community for new engineering educators and their mentors the NSF PFE: RIEF program. This community will facilitate interactions across teams to share experiences, resources, and expand networks. The goal is to build a community with multi-modal communication (i.e., in person meetings, online communication, etc.) to nucleate engineering faculty mentees and engineering education research to support the success of the NSF PFE: RIEF program. The community events will allow mentees to expand their networks in the engineering education research community by engaging with other mentors and mentee; a potential benefit of this expanded and deepened network is the promotion of future collaboration on engineering education projects that span institutions. This work is part of a larger project that seeks to understand best practices of mentor-mentee relationships between engineering education researchers and engineering faculty entering the EER field. The overall project is a mixed methods study with Cognitive Apprentice Model (CAM) as the guiding framework. Feedback collected from program participants on resources that would benefit their work and support the community will be presented. Additionally, participant feedback from an inaugural networking event held in October 2019 will be presented. Ultimately, the project seeks to develop a framework for an effective community for engineering faculty to develop in engineering education research that will expand beyond the NSF PFE: RIEF program. We aim to support the continued growth and diversification of the engineering education community, and bridge the gap between research and practice.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number352
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 22 2020
Event2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jun 22 2020Jun 26 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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