Awarded Projects for October 2022

Congratulations to Mary Bratsch-Hines for her award from Take Stock in Children; Ashley Pennypacker-Hill for her award from the Florida Department of Education ; Paige Pullen and Philip Poekert for their subcontract U.S. Department of Education flow through award from Pinellas County Schools; and Paige Pullen for her awards from the School Board of Sarasota County and Early Learning Coalition of Broward County.

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Submitted Projects for October 2022

Best wishes to Pavlo “Pasha” Antonenko for his subcontract NSF flow through proposal to the University of Kansas; Anthony Botelho, Nigel Newbutt, and Catherine Cavanaugh for their proposal to the National Science Foundation; Anthony Botelho and Catherine Paolucci for their proposal to the National Science Foundation; Mary Bratsch-Hines for her proposal to Childcare Resources of Indian River; Kent Crippen and Julie Brown for their proposal to the National Science Foundation; Maya Israel, Catherine Paolucci, and Anne Corinne Manley for their proposal to the National Science Foundation; Maya Israel and Joanne Barrett for their proposal to the National Science Foundation; Kristy Boyer and Maya Israel for their proposal to the National Science Foundation; Maya Israel and her proposal to the National Science Foundation; Megan Ennes, Maya Israel, Bruce MacFadden, and Mariela Pajuelo Rubina for their proposal to the National Science Foundation; Kathrin Maki, Pavlo “Pasha” Antonenko, and Do Koh for their proposal to the National Science Foundation; Philip Poekert and Zandra de Araujo for their proposal to the Kansas Department of Administration; Philip Poekert, Taryrn Brown, Chonika Coleman King, and Hyunyi Jung for their proposal to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Paige Pullen for her proposals to the Early Learning Coalitions of Palm Beach County and Hillsborough County; Seyedahmad Rahimi, Pavlo “Pasha” Antonenko, Anthony Botelho, and Kristy Boyer for their three proposals to the National Science Foundation; Kristy Boyer and Seyedahmad Rahimi for their proposal to the National Science Foundation; Eunjin “Jinnie” Shin, Wei Li, Pavlo “Pasha” Antonenko, Zandra de Araujo, and Paige Pullen for their proposal to the National Science Foundation; and Wanli Xing, Anthony Botelho, and Eunjin “Jinnie” Shin for their proposal to the ASSISTments Foundation.
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National Academy of Education (NAEd)/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships

The NAEd/Spencer Foundation is accepting applications for their non-residential Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, which supports early career researchers working to address critical areas of educational research. For the 2023-2024 academic year, the NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship Program will fund 25 individual fellows, each receiving $70,000 for one academic year of research, or $35,000 for two contiguous years, working half-time. Professional development retreats will also be held, along with mentorship from current NAEd members or senior scholars in their fields. To be eligible, candidates must have earned their PhD, EdD, or equivalent research degree between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2021, and should have experience in educational research. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, November 16, 2022. 


New Automated Determination Tools for UF Researchers

On October 18th, 2022, Dr. David Norton, the Vice President for Research at UF, announced the launch of the new online automated determination tools for nonhuman research, exempt research, and non-medical quality improvement (QI) projects. These tools work by asking yes/no or multiple-selection questions to determine if an activity meets nonhuman, exempt, or QI requirements. If the activity meets these requirements, researchers can submit the form and receive immediate determination approval rather than submitting these projects through UF IRB for review or approval.

IES Announces New Research and Development Center Competition

The National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) released a funding announcement for the 2023 fiscal year inviting applicants to submit research proposals to the new Research and Development Center (R&D) Center on Supporting Students with Disabilities in Postsecondary Education – the Postsecondary Center. The competition is working to establish the Postsecondary Center as a program of exploratory research and conducting national leadership and capacity-building activities, seeking to provide an evidence base and the research capacity capable of addressing the most pressing needs of postsecondary students with disabilities. More information regarding the IES programs, application process, and deadlines can be found here.


  • Applications are available Friday, September 30, 2022
  • Letters of intent are due Friday, October 21, 2022
  • The application deadline is Thursday, January 12, 2023


UF Research Promotion Initiative

UF’s Office of Strategic Communications and Marketing (SCM) is accepting submissions for its Research Promotion Initiative (RPI). The RPI supports researchers by sharing works that have been accepted but not yet published to be featured on UF news and social media platform, as well as pitched to external media organizations. Additionally, winners of the RPI will receive a funding award of $1,000 for research-related activities. Research from all areas is invited to apply, and research related to artificial intelligence is strongly encouraged to enter. Every two weeks, the RPI committee selects a winner to be highlighted on UF news and marketing channels. Entries that are not selected for the funding award may still be considered to be promoted by SCM and/or the applicant’s college or unit communications office.


Research Spotlight: Elizabeth Washington

Q & A with Elizabeth Washington, Ph. D., Professor in the School of Teaching and Learning

What research are you currently working on?

The overarching theme of my research lies at the intersection of democratic citizenship education, controversial issues teaching, the teaching of difficult/traumatic history, and social justice teaching in a democratic society, mainly for grades 6-12 social studies curriculum and teaching. This is also where my research, curriculum development, and teaching coalesce.

Drawing from a rich body of research that includes the work of Diana Hess, Paula McAvoy, Wayne Journell, Li-ching Ho, Steven Camicia, Judy Pace, and others, I am driven by such questions as What do “traumatic” and “difficult” history mean? How can preservice teachers best be prepared to teach difficult history and controversial issues? How do we make sense of what issues/topics should be treated as controversial in the classroom? What can we learn from content analysis of specific curriculum materials for teaching controversy–especially in terms of the range of perspectives they provide? What controversial topics might help students gain the skills and attitudes necessary to tackle even tougher topics? What is the nature of the arguments about these topics/issues in the larger society? How might we facilitate more inclusive discussions of controversial issues? What factors complicate teachers’ efforts to conduct inclusive discussions? What identity risks and attacks are likely to come up as students consider certain topics, and how do we help students deal with possible risks? What are some issues related to teacher political disclosure that help us sort through the larger issues of how disclosure can be done responsibly, professionally, and ethically? What can we learn from international and cross-cultural settings about teachers’ decision-making regarding their rationales, chosen topics, instructional practices, and perceived obstacles and pathways to teaching about issues that carry implications for democracy and social justice?

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Research Spotlight: Zandra de Araujo

Q & A with Zandra de Araujo, Ph.D., Chief Equity Officer and Mathematics Principal in the Lastinger Center for Learning

What research are you currently working on?

My current research focuses on teacher professional development and equitable mathematics instruction. I currently have two large research grants I am working on. I am the principal investigator of the Practice-Driven Professional Development (PDPD) Project (NSF #2206774, $2,533,289). The PDPD Project researches and develops professional development aimed to help teachers enact incremental changes to their existing instruction in algebra.

On the second project, led by Dr. Hyunyi Jung, I am a co-principal investigator. The project, Empowering Students with Choice through Equitable and Interactive Mathematical Modeling (EIM2, NSF #2200928, $1,978,280), helps students engage in equitable mathematical modeling. Equitable mathematical modeling is the process of using mathematics to analyze and quantify scenarios through a lens of equity and studying the outcomes of that process.

In addition to these two funded projects, I continue to study teachers’ instruction in mathematics with students classified as English learners.

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Research Spotlight: Melinda Leko

Q & A with Melinda Leko, Ph. D., Professor in the School of Special Education, School Psychology, and Early Childhood Studies

What research are you currently working on?

Currently, I am working on an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Development project in professional development to support students with disabilities. My colleagues and I are developing a professional development (PD) innovation for emergency-certified special educators working in rural settings. The PD is being delivered remotely and includes individualized coaching and a community of practice. The PD content centers on social/emotional/behavioral high-leverage practices (HLPs) to support the needs of students who exhibit challenging behaviors. Read more


Research Spotlight: Ashley Pennypacker Hill

Q & A with Ashley Pennypacker Hill, Ed. D., Director of Elementary Programs and Associate Professor at P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School

What research are you currently working on?

Currently, I am working on building student leadership opportunities, increasing positive family engagement, building systems of support for students, co-facilitating teacher learning communities, developing strategies to support school climate, and implementing restorative practices with students, teachers, and families.

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