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

Project Overview

Insight conducted an evaluation of three grant opportunities the National Science Foundation (NSF) administers 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 promote 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 the three project areas plays an important role in educational systems and individual-level attitude and behavior change.

Insight’s evaluation reviewed contributions of the three grant program tracks and 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 was to determine how well GSE’s activities (e.g., research, diffusion, extension) worked synergistically to meet the GSE goal, including—

  • 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 offered NSF an opportunity to evaluate the impact of the current and former GSE grantee activities and improve the effectiveness of the program through an iterative process of feedback, adaptation, and reassessment.


Initial report (2015), final report (2015)