Closing date for applications: 13.00, 10 April 2015

The Centre for Research, Innovation and Coordination of Mathematics Teaching invites applications from individuals or groups working in Norwegian universities and university colleges for small grants ('seed corn'), to support research into the teaching and learning mathematics in higher education in Norway.

The purpose of these grants is to stimulate research into pedagogical and didactical issues that will inform the development of teaching and learning mathematics in higher education. The research should stimulate dialogue between teachers, learners and users of mathematics and mathematics education researchers.

The maximum amount that can be sought for any single project is 50 000 NOK. Projects must focus on innovative approaches to teaching mathematics related to the current working groups within MatRIC (Digital assessment & video, simulation, and modelling - see www.matric.no). Grant holders will normally be expected to participate in at least one of these groups.

Project proposals will be evaluated in terms of feasibility and likelihood of achieving the goals set out in the proposal. The amount of money being made available for this MatRIC action is limited and in the event of oversubscription proposals will be ranked in order of merit. Unsuccessful applicants will receive feedback to enable the submission of a stronger proposal when new opportunities to apply for a MatRIC grant are announced.

NOTE: It will be the grant holder's responsibility to obtain where necessary approval of the Norwegian Social Science Data Services (http://www.nsd.uib.no/personvern/ )

Projects should be completed within one year of the grant being awarded. Successful proposers will be required to produce a short report (in Norwegian or English) of the research; this will be published on the MatRIC web pages. 50% of the grant will be withheld until this report is published. In addition, proposals must make clear how the research will support one or more of the following:

  • Publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal
  • Publication in a professional journal (not necessarily peer reviewed)
  • A proposal for a larger award within a national or international research programme, e.g. NFR-FINNUT, EU-Horizon2020, etc.

Proposals need not be of great length. 2-3 sides of A4 should be sufficient, exact specification is not being defined to make the process easier for the proposer. However, to ease the review process, please use Times New Roman, 12 point font, single line space, 2cm margins, and leave an additional space 6 points between paragraphs. In addition the proposer should include a c.v. with publication list.

Proposals should be presented following the information contained below.

Proposal may be written in Norwegian or English.

Proposers with limited experience of educational research can strengthen their application by identifying an experienced mentor. Proposals evaluated 'high quality' except for the experience of the proposer may be successful with the condition that the MatRIC leadership appoint a research mentor.

For additional information contact simon.goodchild@uia.no

We hope to advise the outcome of evaluation of proposals by 4 May 2015. Feedback on unsuccessful proposals will follow at a later date.

Proposals should be sent as a .pdf attachment by e-mail to:

Line Eielsen Malde, MatRIC Project Manager, line.e.malde@uia.no

Important information and guidance

Proposals should include, in the following order:

Name.

Institution. (University/University College)

Faculty & Department.

Principal area of teaching/research.

Focus of proposed research. (subject, teaching and learning approach)

Purpose of the proposed research. (this could be a research question, problem statement, description of knowledge to be developed, etc. Some 'unpolished' suggestions are given on the next page)

Relevant background of the proposer. (e.g. experience in using this teaching/approach, educational research, etc. A c.v. with publication list must be included)

Proposed research design & methods.

Budget. (how much is being requested, how it will be used)

Time-line.

Please answer the following:

Will the research lead to a paper submitted to a refereed scientific journal?

Will the research be reported in a professional (non-refereed) journal?

Will the research provide relevant background for a proposal for a project within a national or international programme (e.g. NFR, EU, etc.)? If 'YES' give describe the programme and explain how the MatRIC research will contribute.

Will the MatRIC grant be supplemented by funds from other sources?

How many hours will be given to the MatRIC project from regular FoU time or funded from other sources (e.g. Department or Faculty)?

Please include in the proposal a signed and dated statement from Dean:

"This proposal has the approval and support of the Faculty and the grant will be administered by the faculty in accordance with the budget set out in the proposal above. It is understood that 50% of the grant will be paid at the outset and the remaining 50% will follow after a report of the project is accepted by the Centre for Innovation, Research and Coordination of Mathematics Teaching (MatRIC)"


Suggested research questions/themes

The following are intended to give only a flavour of the possible research questions or topics that might be considered. They are not intended to be 'exemplary', or to define the scope of MatRIC Research grants.

What characterizes the coordination by students (or teachers) of complementary/alternative learning resources (lectures, video, simulations, textbook, problem solving classes, lecture notes etc.) in their learning (teaching)?

What differences emerge in students' experience of mathematical concepts as they use (specified) complementary/alternative learning resources?

What differences in attention to mathematical ideas occur when students learn through (specified) complementary/alternative learning resources?

What characterizes students' tolerance to mathematical challenge in the context of learning with (specified) complementary/alternative learning resources?

What are students preferred learning approaches? What changes in learning approaches occur as (specified) alternative learning resources are made available?

What independent choices for complementary learning resources (e.g. web-based material) do students make? What is the nature of the students' integration of (specified) complementary/alternative learning resources?

What is the nature of students' interactivity and exploration using simulations of mathematical concepts and topics? What evidence is there for purposeful exploration made possible by the simulation?

Comparative studies – (randomized trials) in which different groups of students are exposed to (specified) alternative learning resources.

Studies into students' attitudes, learning approaches, learning goals – in the context of (specified) complementary/alternative teaching/learning resources.

Studies into the nature of students' engagement with (specified) complementary/alternative learning resources – e.g. a concept presented in a lecture, a video tutorial a simulation.

Studies into students use of feedback from formative digital assessment packages.