Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER) Associates

Eligibility: Associate Professors or Professors

Amount: Each associate will receive $1,000 in professional development funds; each member will receive $500 in professional development funds

Submission: Online Application

Due Date: April 26, 2024

Purpose and Description

DBER is an acronym that emerged in the 1980s and 1990s and was popularized by the National Research Council's 2012 publication known informally as the DBER Report (1). The report provides a set of compelling arguments for the value of disciplinary experts engaged in the study of teaching and learning within their respective disciplines. There are scholarly journals and sections within journals devoted to DBER across disciplines. DBER is yielding high-quality evidence- and theory-based products that are not frequently being methodically applied to the classroom. DBER Associates will support tenured, research-active faculty in improving their instruction and student learning outcomes guided by research on teaching and learning in their disciplines.

The community will facilitate the scholarly translation and adoption of DBER to Miami courses to increase the frequency and quality of evidence-based teaching practices at Miami University. DBER Associates will lead small disciplinary cohorts comprised of other senior faculty to make the most of the scholarly and creative practices and disciplinary expertise of each member as they plan and carry out the strategic implementation of knowledge produced through DBER communities from the represented disciplines in the FLC.

Each DBER Associate will lead a disciplinary cohort that includes two members. Please note that prospective DBER Associates must apply to join the FLC. Disciplinary cohort members are elected by each DBER Associate.

(1) National Research Council. (2012). Discipline-Based Education Research: Understanding and Improving Learning in Undergraduate Science and Engineering. S.R. Singer, N.R. Nielsen, and H.A. Schweingruber, Editors. Committee on the Status, Contributions, and Future Directions of Discipline-Based Education Research. Board on Science Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.


  • DBER Associates will be immersed in the consumption of their discipline's education research with the aim of identifying discipline-specific research products that align with their courses and those of two tenured colleagues.
  • Sessions introducing DBER Associates to the literature and helping them to access and decode resources will be facilitated by Ellen Yezierski, CTE Director. The group of DBER Associates will meet each month with Yezierski and focus on domain-general strategies to access, decode, and apply educational research.
  • DBER Associates will each form a disciplinary cohort with their two colleagues, meet monthly, translate discipline-specific research to strategies to improve teaching and learning in their courses, and consume and adopt research-based practices to implement in their teaching.


  • "This gave me an opportunity to step back and really consider learning theory in the context of my students and discipline. Having someone knowledgeable to help identify appropriate theories was extremely helpful, as was learning from the others in the group." —2019 DBER Associate
  • "This is a rare opportunity for well-established faculty to join with other teacher/scholars in other disciplines to recharge their pedagogical batteries. Using discipline-based education research and collaborating with colleagues allowed explication of new ways to stimulate students to engage more deeply with their studies." —2019 DBER Associate
  • [In reference to meetings among members of the disciplinary cohort]: “…the meetings “forced” us to set aside the time to gather having the sole purpose of discussing our teaching. Going into a meeting like this allowed us to put our guards down, be vulnerable, and ask any question without a fear of embarrassment or anyone thinking we were incompetent in some teaching functions…It created an environment for exploration, consideration, and learning... [The meetings] allowed us to dive into research that we normally would not see or search for. Unless pedagogy is a part of a research agenda or teaching topic, someone in our field must go out of their way to learn more. Our small group sessions put [our discipline’s] teaching research right in front of our eyes.” —2022 DBER Associate
  • "Despite being a senior faculty, I didn't know that there would be so many resources to faculty. DBER [Associates] would already be worth it only for the opportunity to share concerns and get suggestions and advice from experienced colleagues, but it is much more than that. We were directly with experts who can address and help find practical solutions to challenges we face in the classroom. And these challenges frequently go beyond the classroom, because everything we do is connected: Personal relationships, cultural differences, university relationships, etc." —2019 DBER Associate

2024-2025 Associates and Members

  • Ellen Yezierski, Center for Teaching Excellence; Chemistry & Biochemistry, Facilitator

2021-2022 Associates and Members

  • Mark Peterson, Anthropology, DBER Associate
    • James Bielo, Anthropology, member
    • Homayun Sidky, Anthropolgy, member
  • Brody Ruihley, Sports Leadership and Management, DBER Associate
    • Melissa Chase, Sports Leadership and Management, member
    • Robin Vealey, Sports Leadership and Management, member
  • Zara Torlone, French, Italian & Classical Studies, DBER Associate
    • Denise McCoskey, French, Italian & Classical Studies, member
    • Nicole Thesz, German, Russian, Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures, member
  • Karthik Vishwanath, Physics, DBER Associate
    • Samir Bali, Physics, member
    • Paul Urayama, Physics, member
  • Ellen Yezierski, Center for Teaching Excellence; Chemistry & Biochemistry, Facilitator

2019 Calendar Year Associates and Members

  • Ricardo Averbach, Music, DBER Associate
    • Jaime Morales-Matos, Music, member
    • Andrea Ridilla, Music, member
  • Alan Cady, Biological Sciences, DBER Associate
    • Carolyn Keiffer, Biological Sciences, member
    • Ann Rypstra, Biological Sciences, member
  • Kate de Medeiros, Sociology and Gerontology, DBER Associate
    • Jennifer Kinney, Sociology and Gerontology, member
  • Amber Franklin, Speech Pathology and Audiology, DBER Associate
    • Susan Brehm, Speech Pathology and Audiology, member
    • Donna Scarborough, Speech Pathology and Audiology, member
  • Bryan Smucker, Statistics, DBER Associate
    • Thomas Fisher, Statistics, member
    • Jing Zhang, Statistics, member
  • Ellen Yezierski, Center for Teaching Excellence; Chemistry & Biochemistry, Facilitator