BCSER: IRM: Institute for Meta-Synthesis: A Practicum through the Lens of STEM Equity and Inclusion Literature (IMS-SEIL)

IMS-SEIL is an institute on qualitative meta-synthesis methods for STEM education graduate students, postdocs, early career researchers, and faculty.

Lead Staff:
Mia Ong
Nuria Jaumot-Pascual
Project Staff:
Christina B. Silva
Lisette Torres-Gerald


This is a three-year project that will build capacity in qualitative literature meta-synthesis methods and synthesis proposal development skills, with a special focus on STEM equity and inclusion literature. The focus will be on training graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, early career researchers, and faculty in STEM education research how to conduct qualitative meta-synthesis research.

Research Activity

This project has three main components:

  1. Interactive Module Series. The team designs a series of six modules on qualitative meta-synthesis that include five delivery formats (intensive, workshop, seminar, webinar, and on-demand). The content of the modules, both theory and hands-on activities, will be outlined in downloadable User Guides that participants will access before their session(s).
  2. Coaching and Technical Support. The team offers coaching and technical support for a subset of participants. Those who have participated in all six modules will be invited to apply to receive an additional 10 hours of one-on-one or paired support through reviews and feedback on their own research project.
  3. Reflection, Evaluation and Improvement. The team will conduct ongoing data collection to reflect on the process of designing the IMS-SEIL modules, implementing them, and adapting them to different delivery formats and lengths.


The modules developed in this project will demonstrate how a synthesis study can bridge the social science and STEM disciplines, and bridge studies utilizing different theoretical frameworks of formerly disparate data, to examine multiple perspectives and gain new insights. Participants will learn about the state of research in STEM equity and inclusion, which will raise their awareness while compelling them to conduct their own meta-synthesis work. Ultimately, participants will be equipped with skills for constructing competitive synthesis grant proposals and executing successful synthesis projects improving the field’s understanding of qualitative meta-synthesis, preparing more researchers to use qualitative meta-synthesis methods, and enriching future STEM education research through the implementation of more qualitative meta-syntheses publications.