The Cutting Edge of Undergraduate Biology Education Research.
Generating the evidence for Evidence-Based Teaching.

Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research (SABER)

The Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research was founded in 2010 by a committee of 30 scholars from across the United States.

SABER Mission Statement
SABER is a scientific community whose members develop theory and generate evidence with the goal of improving biology education. SABER fosters Biology Education Research (BER) and its dissemination by defining the standards for BER practice, supporting the BER community through training and faculty development programs, and fostering collaborations among BER investigators

SABER fosters Biology Education Research (BER) and its dissemination by supporting:

  • faculty as they employ scientific methodology in their teaching;
  • the generation of evidence-based knowledge to inform teaching practices;
  • development of BER training and faculty development programs;
  • national BER meetings;
  • standards of BER practice and evidence;
  • articulation and investigation of what constitutes a deep and meaningful understanding of biology
  • collaborations among BER investigators.

The first national SABER meeting was held July 29-31, 2011 at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities.


Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research (SABER) is supported by an NSF Research Coordination Network-Undergraduate Biology Education (RCN-UBE) Incubator grant. We see SABER as a society that will help coordinate and promote the many groups doing biology education research ( curriculum development, laboratory directors, faculty development, introductory biology, and all the sub-disciplines of biology) whose goals are to transform the undergraduate biology classroom and laboratory through hypothesis driven research.
----hypothesis driven research
----data driven classroom based research
----empirical research in this field
----rigorous biology education research
Create the evidence for evidence based teach
Assess student learning gains
Create research networks, foster collaborations
Guide preparation of Biology Education Specialists
Foster implementation of new teaching methods in the classroom

PI of Incubator RCN-UBE grant
Mary Pat Wenderoth
Biology, University of Washington
Incubator RCN-UBE grant
Teri Balser
University of WIsconsin
Incubator RCN-UBE grant
Clarissa Dirks
The Evergreen State College
Become a Member
SABER .- register on-line

To join the SABER list-serve
either Join SABER .- register on-line.
or attend a National meeting

Contact Dr. Mary Pat Wenderoth- mpw at (replace at with @).

Working meetings:

We are planning a series of small meetings that will bring together faculty who are part of a growing pool of biology education researchers. Based on their experience in conducting hypothesis-driven research in undergraduate biology education, and/or interest in doing this work in the future, they will join us for workshops focused on shaping the nascent network. The workshops will be held throughout the coming year (2010-2011). The first meeting was held Sept 10-11-12, 2010 at the University of Minnesota. This meeting structured the future of SABER by identifying recent advances in undergraduate biology education research, defining important areas for future investigations, and building a key network of researchers who will engage in collaborative endeavors aimed to advance evidence-based teaching and learning in undergraduate biology education. Future workshops will be held in conjunction with various professional society meetings, for example, Cell Biology, Experimental Biology, Ecological Society of America, etc. We hope that through this effort we can structure a vibrant network of Biology Education Researchers that will provide the vision to guide future research efforts, build collaborations with classroom practitioners from all levels of higher education and conduct hypothesis driven research that will garner the evidence needed to better inform our classroom practices in biology.

SABER has grown out of a grass-roots effort that began on a Biology Education Research wiki page. You may wish to visit and join that wiki page.

Groups that will be served by SABER
Biology Scholars Program (BSP)
Introductory Biology Project: NSF funded project to network Intro Biology faculty ( IBP)
Biology Curriculum Directors
Biology Leadership Conference (BLC)
Biology Faculty Development programs: HHMI Summer Institute: , FIRST IV project
Science Education for New Civic Engagement and Responsibilities (SENCER)
Society for College Science Teachers (SCST) affiliate of NSTA
American Physiological Society (APS) teaching section
American Society of Cell Biology- education program education program(ASCB)
American Society of Microbiology- Conference on Undergraduate Education (ASM-CUE)
American Society of Plant Biologists- (ASPB)
Ecological Society of America (ESA)- teaching section
Society for Integration & Comparative Biology (SICB)

Groups with which we will partner
Association for Biology Laboratory Education ( ABLE)
Physics Education Research Central (PERC)
Biennial Conference on Chemistry Education (BCCE)
Process Oriented and Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL)
American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)
International Conference on Engineering Education( EDUCON)
Conference on Research in Undergraduate Math Education (RUME)
International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (IS-SOTL)
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT)

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0955572.