Advice for Mathematics Education Research Travel Grant Applicants and Suggested Conferences

1. Applicants should clearly describe either

(a) what their topic of interest is (in mathematics for the mathematics education or social science researchers and in mathematics education research for the mathematicians) and how that is represented at the conference they wish to attend, or

(b) how the conference will help them get acquainted more generally with mathematics or mathematics education or related research (which ever is appropriate for them).

2. The application should include a reasonably detailed description of what applicants intend to get out of the conference beyond general exposure to the area of work and make the case that they have the background to participate in the conference. For example, if a mathematics education researcher applies to attend a conference to expand her knowledge of knot theory, she should explain how her mathematical preparation will enable her to benefit from the conference. Similarly, if a mathematician applies to attend a specialized conference in mathematics education research (about, for example, elementary school teachers’ use of representations in the teaching of multiplication), she should describe her level of familiarity with the relevant research and explain how she will benefit from the conference.

3. For mathematicians, the conference should be primarily about research. These funds are not intended for requests to attend practitioner conferences where the learning opportunities for participants are mostly about teaching techniques or instructional tools (e.g., a conference/workshop to learn about software for use in linear algebra classes, or a conference about a particular set of curriculum materials).

For researchers in mathematics education and related fields, the conference should offer opportunities to learn about mathematical issues related to the researcher’s work and/or initiate or continue communication with mathematicians engaged in activities relevant to that work.

(For further guidance click here for the Criteria and Rating form used by the reviewers.)

Suggested conferences:

Conferences that would likely be appropriate for researchers in mathematics education and related fields to attend:

  • Joint Mathematics Meetings (as long as the aim is to attend sessions about mathematics research, lectures on mathematics, and sessions on mathematics education, and not just the mathematics education research sessions). http://www.maa.org (click on link to Meetings) or http://www.ams.org/meetings.
  • MAA Meetings (again, as long as the aim is to attend sessions about mathematics research, lectures on mathematics, and sessions on mathematics education, and not just mathematics education research). See above links.
  • Meetings of international mathematics societies. Various sources, including http://www.ams.org/amsmtgs/internmtgs.html.
  • Meetings of specialized research societies or special topics conferences/workshops (e.g., most of the events listed on the AMS Mathematics Calendar, http://www.ams.org/mathcal/).
  • Any other meeting, conference, or workshop where the primary activity is the sharing of findings from mathematics research.

Conferences that would likely be appropriate for mathematics researchers to attend:

  • PME (Psychology of Mathematics Education) conference. http://igpme.org/.
  • PME-NA (Psychology of Mathematics Education – North American Chapter) conference. http://www.pmena.org.
  • NCTM Research Pre-session (not just the regular part of the NCTM conference since that is very practitioner-focused). http://www.nctm.org/conferences/, click on “Research Presession.”
  • ICME (International Congress on Mathematics Education). See http://www.icme11.org/ for information on a recent conference.
  • Any other conference, meeting, or workshop where the primary activity is the sharing of findings from mathematics education research or a related field. For some examples, see http://www.rume.org/conferences.html.

Note: Sometimes mathematics education research conferences have the word “research” in their title, and sometimes they do not. For example, some that are described as a conference or workshop on the “teaching and learning of mathematics” will be primarily about research while others may be geared exclusively to practitioners with few opportunities to learn about educational research. Mathematician applicants should have enough information about the conference they wish to attend to be able to make the case that the focus is primarily research.

You should provide a detailed and realistic budget, with information on the most economical fares (on U.S. carriers), etc. For foreign travel, U.S. air carriers must be used (exceptions only per federal grants regulations; prior AWM approval required). State clearly any other sources of funding—any sort of personal grant from a federal agency is likely to make you ineligible, but partial support from your institution is allowed. Don’t pad your budget in an attempt to reach the maximum allowed level of funding or under the assumption it will automatically be cut. Decisions on the level of funding provided to successful applicants are based both on funds available to the panel and on our evaluation of whether the level requested was appropriate.

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