NSF Advanced Technological Education Principal Investigators Garnering Useful Instruction on Developing [Project] Effectiveness (ATE PI GUIDE)

Project Status
February 21, 2013
National Science Foundation
Effort to make explicit the tacit knowledge within the Advanced Technological Education principal investigator community.
  • This project is actively engaging the community of experienced principal investigators (PIs) of the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program in reflecting on what guidance would have proven most helpful to them when they were starting out, providing a persistent resource for new ATE PIs.
Key Contacts
  • Beth Cady
    Senior Program Officer, Online Ethics Center and Engineering Education
    National Academy of Engineering

CASEE is exploring a "many-to-many" peer mentorship scheme that makes explicit the tacit knowledge within the ATE PI  community using a combination of in-person and electronic means. In particular, key skills in the nuts and bolts of project management (e.g., managing people, managing funds, and managing operations), and change management (e.g., building and sustaining support among key constituencies, anticipating and adjusting to changing operational conditions, and institutionalizing the project's activities within the core operations of host units) are explored as being required for optimal implementation of complex projects.

The project is developing a web site that features: (a) at least 10 short video segments of the experienced PIs discussing these two topics, (b) written case studies, and (c) a moderated electronic community of practice to build peer mentoring networks among novice and experienced PIs. It is expected that these tools will also be useful to prospective PIs and those recently declined for awards. The variety of materials to be offered on the site (text and video) can be expected to appeal to a variety of learning styles.

The project is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (via grant DUE-1036255).