Skip to main content

Conference: Developing a National Research Agenda for STEM Academic Support

May 30–31, 2019, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Application deadline: February 1, 2019 - Applications are now closed.

The Developing a National Research Agenda for STEM Academic Support in Higher Education conference will bring together academic support administrators, STEM education scholars, and others engaged in supporting academic success of STEM students, for the purpose of collaboratively creating an enhanced national agenda for research on academic support in STEM at the college level. The conference will provide an interactive platform for participants to identify pressing research questions, to be explored and described in a culminating white paper. The conference will also enable participants to begin developing or furthering plans for research in their respective institutions, and to establish a diverse support network of scholars and practitioners who study and support academic success of STEM students.

The conference is a collaboration between Northwestern University and Washington University in St. Louis, and is supported by the National Science Foundation’s Improving Undergraduate Science Education (IUSE) program.

How do I know if this conference is appropriate for me?

This conference aims to bring together researchers and practitioners, as well as those who engage in both activities, to collaboratively develop a research agenda. Therefore, the conference is geared toward several groups:

If you identify with any of these groups, we invite you to submit an application to attend. Please see "Interested in joining us?" below.

How does the conference define academic support?

We define academic support as guided activity provided outside of the regular classroom, intended to enhance students’ ability to succeed in their courses. Generally, these support services are provided through student learning support centers, but in many instances they are provided through other institutional units (e.g., academic departments or schools within a university).

Benefits of attending

Conference participants will have the opportunity to

What will conference attendees do?

This will be a working conference, in which attendees actively and collaboratively engage in idea development. Individuals will work in small groups to identify and flesh out pressing national-level questions in STEM academic support in higher education, and to begin to develop or enhance their own local research plans. Administrators and researchers will work together to develop sound research ideas that help answer real questions and have the potential to generate knowledge that solves problems in the academic-support realm.  The 2-day conference will include

See an overview agenda.

When and where?

The conference will take place May 30 and 31, 2019 on the campus of Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.


There is no registration fee for the conference, so participants pay only for their own travel and lodging.  The conference will include meals at no cost to participants. There are limited funds available to partially support travel and lodging for those lacking institutional funds. If you would like to explore this option, please contact us via the email addresses below by January 25. Please note that the deadline to pursue funding support has now passed.

Interested in joining us?

Space is limited, so while we hope to be able to accommodate everybody who expresses interest in the conference, we are using an application system to ensure a diverse mix of professional roles and institutional types. To apply, please fill out the application form by February 1, 2019. Applications are now closed. Applicants will be notified shortly of whether a spot is available.


The conference is being organized by Marina Micari, Director, Academic Support & Learning Advancement, Northwestern University, and Jay Sriram, Assistant Director for Academic Programs, Cornerstone, Washington University in St. Louis. Conference development is supported by advisory and project committees.


Contact Marina Micari, or Jay Sriram,

Information for participants who have registered for the conference is available on the participant page.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DUE-1836657. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

 NSF logo