Program Evaluation for the National Science Foundation’s Research on Gender in Science and Engineering Program

Project Overview

For this project, Insight is conducting an evaluation of 3 separate grant opportunities administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of the Gender in Science and Engineering (GSE) program: research, diffusion, and extension projects. The overall goal of the GSE program is to support efforts that lead to a larger and more diverse domestic science and engineering workforce by increasing the number of girls and young women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Each of these 3 project areas plays an important role in educational systems as well as individual-level attitude and behavior change.

Insight’s evaluation will review contributions of the 3 grant program tracks, as well as the GSE program as a whole, for the development of knowledge, social, and human capital related to gender and STEM education. The overall goal of the evaluation is to determine how well GSE’s activities (e.g., research, diffusion, and extension) worked synergistically to meet their goal of promoting evidence-based educational practices that will lead to a larger and more diverse domestic science and engineering workforce through increasing participation of girls and young women in STEM over time.

This includes:

  • The study of gender-related differences in learning and in the educational experience
  • How pedagogical approaches and teaching styles, curriculum, student services, and institutional culture can contribute to causing or closing gender gaps to increase adoption

The results of this work will offer NSF an opportunity not only to evaluate the impact of the current and former GSE grantee activities, but also to improve the effectiveness of the program through an iterative process of feedback, adaptation, and reassessment.

Core Activities

Program Evaluation; Literature Reviews and Environmental Scans; Survey Design and Implementation; Survey Research; Data Collection; Qualitative Research; Data Analysis and Simulations; Performance Measuring and Monitoring; Stakeholder Engagement and Coordination of Advisory Committees and Technical Expert Panels; Report Development and Presentation; Developing/Synthesizing Recommendations


  • An initial report on the portfolio of GSE awards was submitted in January 2015.
  • The final report will be submitted in September 2015.