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Statement on the Importance of Participation of Scientists in K-12 Science Education




Genetics Education Research Program


Drs. Dina Newman and Kate Wright, Rochester Institute of Technology, were awarded $10,000 for their proposal Development and Evaluation of an Assessment Tool for Central Dogma Conceptual Understanding, which received enthusiastic support from ASHG's Information and Education Committee. Their project—to develop a concept inventory to assess undergraduate students' understanding of the central dogma of molecular genetics—was selected from a strong pool of interesting and worthy proposals and will advance our understanding of genetics teaching and learning. The development of reliable, validated assessments to evaluate student understanding is essential for the advancement of scientific teaching because they facilitate rigorous comparisons of curriculum and pedagogy. ASHG hopes that by supporting such comparisons, the life sciences will follow in the footsteps of the physics and astronomy communities, which have ushered in a wave of improvements in undergraduate instruction.


Request for Proposals (2014)

Deadline: June 11, 2014


This announcement describes the ASHG Genetics Education Research Program (GERP), its eligibility criteria, and the procedures for submitting a proposal.  Please review these guidelines and submit your proposal in the requested format.


The Grant Program
The Application Process
Grant Review Process


Previous Awardees


The Grant Program


Promoting Genetic Literacy in Teachers and Students
The purpose of the Genetics Education Research Program is to support proposals for investigating research questions related to genetics education, grades 7-20.


We fund projects that promote:

  • Teacher development: knowledge and training

  • Student learning and knowledge gain

  • Activity creation and assessment

  • Development and evaluation of assessment tools

  • Analysis of the impact of pedagogy

We give priority to projects that:

  • Have strong assessment strategies

  • Collect and report empirical data

  • Have broad impact across multiple curricula       

  • Address misconceptions in genetics

Examples of specific RFPs:

  • Determining the efficacy of an “inverted curriculum” in genetics instruction (see Dougherty,   M.J. (2009). Closing the gap: Inverting the genetics curriculum to ensure an informed public. Amer J Hum Gen. 85, 1-7.

  • Projects that address and correct specific misconceptions in genetics (student and/or teacher misconceptions)

  • Creative ways in which to teach about complex traits



The Application Process


Request for Proposals
The ASHG invites proposals, under an annual, competitive RFP process and awards grants to promote and strengthen genetic literacy in grades 7-20, for student populations and/or teachers.


Eligible Applicants
Applicants (and mentors, if applicable) must be ASHG members who are current on their dues.  They must be affiliated with a non-profit organization that engages in educational research, and they must have adequate institutional infrastructure to manage the grant professionally.  Applications may originate with established investigators (e.g., current PIs) or with trainees (e.g., graduate students or postdocs), as long as they have the support of their mentor.


ASHG will fund one annual grant not to exceed $10,000.  Funds may be used over a two-year period.


Application Procedures and Content
Please submit an application containing all of the items specified below. Applications may be mailed to:



Education Department
Attn. GERP
The American Society of Human Genetics
9650 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD  20814

or sent as an attachment in an e-mail to:


Please include all of the following:

  • Cover letter

  • Narrative: no more than five pages using 11-point font and one-inch margins

  • Project description

    • Statement of problem

    • Goals and objectives

    • Target population

    • Project activity(ies)

    • Assessment strategy

  • Project budget: Two pages: one-page Excel and one-page justification. Click here for Budget Guidelines and Budget Template.

  • CVs for the PI and key staff: two-page maximum per individual

  • Description of organization and statement of support: one-page maximum

  • All research involving human subjects requires IRB approval prior to release of funds.

Project Evaluation
All proposals should include a sound plan for evaluation.  Proposals of a purely exploratory nature, with no means of evaluating specific outcomes, are not eligible for funding, nor are projects that seek support only to teach new content or current content in a new way. Proposals involving teaching are eligible provided they assess specific and measurable change, for example, measuring changes in student learning, attitudes toward genetics, or similar. Proposals involving teacher learning, teacher knowledge gain, and teacher attitudes toward genetics are also eligible.


Proposals that seek supplementary funding, for example, to extend or bolster support for a graduate student engaged in current research may be eligible provided the research is deemed meritorious and pending availability of funds. Proposals that uniquely target the topic of the solicitation will receive highest priority. Novel research projects that propose ASHG support as part of a larger, combined funding package will be eligible as long as the topic of the solicitation features prominently in the research.


Grant Review Process


A subset of the Information & Education (I&E) Committee will review proposals, make selections, and forward recommendations to the full I&E Committee for approval. During initial review, additional reviewers may be contacted as needed.


I&E (through the ASHG Director of Education) will submit the top selection to the Executive Committee of the ASHG Board of Directors for final approval.

Review criteria will include but not be limited to:

  • Quality of assessment

  • Reasonableness of budget

  • Reasonableness of project scope

  • Qualifications of the PI

  • Potential impact of the project





Deadline for 2014 proposals: June 11, 2014
Announcement of award:  August 2014



The American Society of Human Genetics, Incorporated

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