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Rubric for Proposal Grading

Principal criteria:

In order to be successful, proposals should describe EPD that:

  1. Is appropriate for the target AAS membership.
  2. Reaches the greatest diversity of AAS membership.
  3. Centers on research-informed and research-validated instructional and mentoring strategies.
  4. Considers mechanisms by which these strategies could support equitable and inclusive learning environments.
  5. Is informed by best practices in professional development, such as creating opportunities for participants to consider concrete examples of instruction or mentoring, encouraging multiple perspectives to be voiced and debated, and infusing discussions with ideas from current research.
  6. Has an assessment component that will capture the number of people reached as well as their demographic breakdown (stage in career, institution, gender, ethnicity), will gather feedback from participants about the EPD experience, will determine what was successful (or not), and provides lessons learned and/or other knowledge that could be useful for other EPD experiences.
  • The AAS will provide a webform to collect a qualitative report and quantitative assessment data for all successful proposals. Reports will be due within 60 days of the EPD event.

Additional criteria:

  • The Education Committee is charged to ensure that the overall AAS-EPD grants program features a complementary array of EPD experiences, topics, and target audiences.
  • There are ongoing professional development programs already funded by the AAS, with differing amounts of commitment and support. In case of overlap between a new proposed grant and a co-existing program, there will be an effort to find an equitable solution, including consultation with relevant AAS committees.

Beneficial, but not required, elements of a successful proposal:

  1. Partnerships with other elements of the AAS, including, but not limited to, the AAS equity and inclusion committees (CSWA, CSMA, WGAD, SGMA), other relevant AAS committees (e.g., employment and public policy), the AAS Executive Office staff, and the AAS Vice-Presidents.
  2. Partnerships with closely related professional scientific societies such as AAPT, NSTA, APS, and AGU.
  3. Collaboration with ongoing professional development, mentoring, education, and public-outreach programs from other funding agencies or organizations (e.g., programs from NASA, the NSF-AAPF program, bridge programs at universities).
  4. Online dissemination of a portion of the materials to other AAS members who may have been interested in the EPD experience but were unable to attend.
  5. Consideration of recommendations from other AAS committees and other groups of astronomers concerning teaching, mentoring, and written communication. One example is the Inclusive Astronomy 2015 Recommendations; the subsection “Adopt active and inclusive learning practices” is extremely relevant for this program. Another example is the recommendations of the AAS Working Group on Accessibility and Disability, entitled Improving Accessibility of Astronomical Publications.

Other things to be aware of that may be relevant for your proposal:

  • Summer meetings of the AAS have been known to have a lower number of students and other early-career attendees than winter meetings. The potential relevance of summer EPD workshops to junior members should therefore be taken into consideration when writing a proposal.
  • Successful EPD proposals that are re-applying to repeat an EPD program at a future meeting do not have to create artificial differences between one iteration of a workshop series and the next. However, some discussion of lessons learned and improvements in implementation will be considered a positive feature.
  • The Education Task Force has recommended that the AAS begin to curate education-related web resources in the future. Since that infrastructure does not yet exist, there is not a requirement. However, there may be one in the future.
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