Focus Areas

The Institute is developing a community of scholars engaged in fundamental and discipline-based educational research (DBER) on the Michigan Tech campus. This community includes researchers drawn from faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate populations.

By providing a virtual gathering place for education researchers on the Michigan Tech campus, the Institute promotes cross-disciplinary collaboration that will enhance the University’s potential to attract extramural funding for research and promote improvements in graduate and undergraduate education. The Institute focuses on:

  • Fundamental STEAM education research
  • Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER)


RISE provides a home for education-based STEAM research projects, such as the recently-funded Mi-STAR, to help sustain a project's web presence and activities.

Numerous students, faculty, and staff at Michigan Tech engage in both funded and non-funded discipline-based education research, and would benefit by having a virtual hub for their activities that would promote internal collaboration and promote Michigan Tech’s capabilities to external audiences.

Additionally, the Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences educates future teachers and provides professional development for current STEAM teachers. The Center for Science and Environmental Education Outreach has numerous programs designed to provide outreach to students and families. Several small working groups engage in DBER. The Institute is bringing all of these projects together in an intentional, inter- and cross-disciplinary manner. The Institute also helps to demonstrate the importance of promoting and contributing to the attainment of excellence in education at Michigan Tech.


The Institute promotes collaborations with K-12 districts, schools, and educators; community colleges, other colleges and universities; and other state, regional, and national stakeholders.

It is anticipated that the Institute will collaborate with the Michigan Department of Education and other governmental agencies, the Michigan Science Teachers Association, the Michigan Math/Science Centers network, the Michigan STEAM Partnership, other universities, corporations, foundations, and organizations that are interested in supporting and implementing research and research-based improvements in STEAM education.

Support Services

The RISE Institute promotes the sharing of resources among centers and provides support to centers through the activities of its directors. The financial resources obtained by the Institute through the normal indirect cost recovery budgeting process are used to support the development of proposals and administration of projects that are aligned with the RISE Institute’s mission.

The Institute provides assistance with:

  • Grant collaboration: budget, logistics, arrangements, grant writing process
  • K-12 networking: teachers, school systems, researchers
  • Participant recruitment: identifying and selecting participants
  • Budget management
  • Participant services: housing, meals, transportation, on-campus services
  • Strengthening broader impact statements

Collaborative Centers

The RISE Institute serves as a virtual hub in support of Center activities, such as the new Computing Education Center. Center Directors are expected to sit on the Executive Committee of the RISE Institute. In addition, the Director of RISE and/or an affiliated individual with assessment expertise will serve on the Center Executive Committee. Centers within the RISE Institute receive the IRAD return for both the Center and Institute when funding is directed through the Center. When funding associated with programs that originate in the Center is directed through the Institute, the Institute will be responsible for directing a 10 percent share of the IRAD to the Center. This will occur when Center proposals make use of significant Institute resources.


Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation

The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation has charter goals to improve the educational, religious, economic, and cultural lives of Michigan’s people as their needs can be defined in a world which constantly presents different challenges and opportunities.

National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…"