Failure is widely accepted as an integral component of STEM research, yet current college STEM instructors rarely take intentional steps to help students develop the resilience and perseverance they need to cope with and overcome failures. While psychologists and education researchers have insights into how perseverance and resilience develop in general, deeply understanding these processes for STEM students and creating practical tools to help students achieve these outcomes will require input from scientists and science faculty. Failure as a part of Learning, A Mindset Education Network (FLAMEnet) brings together a diverse group of researchers and stakeholders to design, implement, and evaluate new approaches to cultivating resilience and challenge-seeking attitudes in undergraduate STEM students. These approaches broadly impact society by contributing to the training of a highly skilled workforce that is prepared to advance science and technology to meet our increasingly complex needs.

FLAMEnet's diversified membership includes psychology and education researchers to ensure that the resources developed are solidly grounded in current theoretical frameworks, and STEM instructors who provide valuable input and secure buy-in from the STEM community. Furthermore, the diversity of the network members inspires the creation of an equally diverse set of resources and intervention strategies that are applicable within and beyond the biological sciences and across institutional contexts. Building on previous RCN-UBE incubator funding (DBI 1827160), we will: 1) Develop resources and instructional materials to aid students in cultivating academic resilience; 2) Support travel for network members during implementation and dissemination of interventions; 3) Expand FLAMEnet membership with annual workshops to share results, develop and refine academic interventions, and promote dissemination of interventions to colleagues at network member institutions. Taken together, these activities will enhance our ability to impact STEM education and the development of the future STEM workforce.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI)
Standard Grant (Standard)
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Sophie George
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Emory University
United States
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