LPF-CMP 2 Innovation Grants

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS: 2016 LPF-CMP 2 Innovation Grants – Due July 1, 2016


Purpose: The Institute offers innovation grants to Michigan State University (MSU) faculty in the colleges of Education, Natural Science, Engineering and/or Lyman-Briggs to pursue initial work in an area of STEM education research that has strong potential to receive external funding. Proposed projects should have already been submitted and reviewed by an external funder within the last 12 months. The external proposal must have received reviews that suggest the likelihood of funding on resubmission if supported by an LPF-CMP Grant.  In general, this should include "very good" reviews with some "good" reviews, but no reviews at "fair" or below.

Project principal investigators need to describe how the LPF-CMP 2 Innovation grants will allow them to address the critiques of their reviewed proposal and increase the likelihood of the proposal being funded.
Grants are available to support resubmission of proposals that focus on improving the teaching and learning of mathematics, science, and/or engineering through innovation and research, and may address learners P-16. Grants are available only for new proposals that have not received prior LPF Innovation funding.  Proposals that include faculty from more than one CREATE partner college, including both disciplinary and educational expertise are encouraged.

Number of awards: For 2016-2017 up to two awards will be made.

Budget: Proposals can request a maximum of $100,000 or 25% of the direct costs of the reviewed proposal, whichever is smaller. Department(s) must provide matching funds equal to 25% of the amount that LPF-CMP is asked to provide.

For example, if the original proposal was for a $500,000 award, that would be roughly $322,580 direct costs (assuming 55% overhead).  The maximum LPF award would be $80,645 (25% of direct costs).  The department would have to provide a match of $20,161 (25% of the LPF award).  The total LPF project budget would then be $100,806.

Criteria for Consideration: A copy of the original proposal and the critiques should be submitted. Proposals that can be considered for LPF-CMP 2 Innovation Grants should:
  1. Identify a significant problem in mathematics, science, or engineering education at the P-16 level.
  2. Provide a strong rationale for the proposed innovation that is grounded in the research literature on teaching and learning.
  3. Describe both the intellectual merit of work (how this work will potentially contribute to the literature in the field) as well as its broad impact (how this work will impact teaching & learning for students and why this is important.
  4. Describe the potential innovation and how it will address the problem identified in #1 above.
The application should also include (2-3 pages):
  1. A well-reasoned work plan that is feasible within the time and financial support provided.
  2. A budget and budget justification detailing how grant funds will be used.
  3. Clearly explain how this innovation grant will address concerns the reviewers expressed in the previous grant proposal, and how work funded by the innovation grant will enhance the likelihood of external funding.
  4. Briefly detail the background and expertise of the individuals on the team, and how each will contribute their expertise to the work.
  5. A letter of support from the PI’s department agreeing the required match. 
Additional Requirements:
  1. Sixth month and final reports are required
  2. Present at least one seminar at MSU that shares the results of the work
  3. Submit grant for future funding within 24 months.
  4. Submit proposal for at least one paper presentation at a professional conference
  5. Begin preparation of at least one manuscript for publication
Proposal due date: July 1, 2016
Notification: 30 days after due date
Project Start Date: September 1, 2016
Review & Oversight: Proposals and projects will be reviewed and overseen by CREATE and the LPF/CMP advisory board.
Submittal: Submit proposal online at http://create4stem.msu.edu/grant/lpf-submission.


Past awards


Principal investigator: Tanya S. Wright, Assistant Professor, Department of Teacher Education, MSU College of Education. Other collaborators: Amelia Wenk Gotwals, MSU College of Education; Tammy Long, MSU College of Natural Science

SOLID Start: Designing Curriculum to Promote Science, Oral language, and LIteracy Development from the Start of School

Abstract: Collaborators will use the CREATE for STEM Innovation Grant to support the planning and writing of two units of curriculum for kindergarten and to support piloting these units in classrooms. They will gather initial evidence of the effectiveness of the curriculum in supporting student learning in science, oral language, and literacy. This evidence will guide the iterative development and scale-up of curricular implementation in kindergarten and first grade. The goal is to write an IES Development Grant in the Reading and Writing Topic and an NSF Discovery Research K-12 proposal.


Principal investigator: Jon R. Stoltzfus, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, MSU College of Natural Science. Collaborator: Christina Schwarz, Department of Teacher Education, MSU College of Education

Developing Tools to Elicit and Analyze Scientific Modeling Practices in Groups of Undergraduate Students

Abstract: This project will study the use of scientific modeling at the undergraduate level. The investigators will develop, assess, and analyze authentic modeling tasks in the undergraduate biology course ISB204. The goal is to engage in exploratory research that will (1) create a modeling task that elicits authentic modeling practices from students with a range of modeling experience, (2) produce assessment measures of student modeling (3) develop analytical techniques suitable for future research evaluating the impact of instructional practices and spaces on student modeling practices, and (4) build a foundation for future development of instructional technologies that facilitate incorporation of model‐based instruction in large‐enrollment undergraduate courses.


Principal investigator: Angela Calabrese Barton, Professor, Department of Teacher Education, MSU College of Education. Other Collaborators: Scott Calabrese Barton, Associate Professor, College of Engineering, Marcos Caballero, Assistant Professor, College of Natural Science, Robert Geier, Associate Director, CREATE for STEM Institute, Michigan State University; Edna Tan, Assistant Professor, Science Education, University of North Carolina - Greensboro

InvestigAction: Underrepresented Middle School Youth Becoming Community Engineering Experts

Abstract:  InvestigAction addresses two key challenges faced by middle school youth from underrepresented backgrounds in the US: 1) providing opportunities to learn engineering meaningfully, and to apply it to understanding and solving real world problems (“learning”), and 2) enhancing the desire/ability to see oneself as contributing to engineering practice (“identity”). Project objectives: 1) develop and initially test the InvestigAction framework and four associated tools for student learning and productive identity work in engineering, in the context of teaching energy systems engineering and two engineering practices: a) Defining a problem and b) Designing a solution; 2) study the pivotal, iterative juncture between “investigation” and “action” as a space of learning and identity work in engineering; 3) collaborate with classroom teachers to understand how the framework and tools might be refined and transported into formal classrooms, grades 6 and 7; and 4) use our findings to prepare an NSF CORE proposal focused on classroom-based design research (initially smaller scale studies, then include larger scale classroom studies).



Principal investigator: Beth Herbel-Eisenmann, Associate Professor, MSU College of Education. Other Collaborators: Tonya Bartell, Assistant Professor, Kristen Bieda, Assistant Professor, Sandra Crespo, Associate Professor, Higinio Dominguez, Assistant Professor, Corey Drake, Associate Professor, Department of Teacher Education, College of Education, Michigan State University; M. Lynn Breyfogle, Bucknell University

Privilege and Oppression in the Mathematical Preparation of Teacher Educators (PrOMPTE)

Abstract: Assembled a group of mathematics education faculty members from around the U.S. at a small conference to engage in conversations about systems of privilege and oppression in the work that we do as mathematics teacher educators. The conference allowed us to break the silence and provided a venue in which to plan and take thoughtful action. The conference itself was organized for both reflection and action. As a result of this conference, multiple collaborations have been forged for publications, presentations and grant writing involving collaborative work with a range of beginning and experienced faculty members from many institutions throughout the U.S. Many of these collaborations are new working relationships that did not exist prior to this conference.


Hosted follow-up discussions at PME-NA conference (2012) and AMTE (2013).


  • Special issue in the Journal of Urban Mathematics Education, Vol 6, No 2 (2013), Published
  • Case book for use with MTEs & preparation of MTEs, to be published through AMTE, In progress
  • Proposal for editing a JRME monograph focused on privilege and oppression in mathematics education, In progress
  • Manuscript to submit to Teaching Children Mathematics titled “Children’s power plays: Supporting equitable interactions during mathematics group work, In progress
  • Manuscript to submit to Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education or Journal of Teacher Education, In progress


  • AMTE Learn & Reflect Strand was added to the AMTE annual meeting in 2013 and will also occur at the 2014 annual meeting
  • CREATE for STEM Institute conference poster presentation, May 2013, February 2014
  • AMTE Annual Meeting 2014, Extended Session “Cases for Teacher Educators: Facilitating Conversations with Prospective Teachers about Inequities in Mathematics Classrooms”

Grant funding

  • Grant proposals to NSF, In progress