Research Agenda


My research program is guided by the “Resources for Equitable Activation of Chemical Thinking” (REACT) Framework, which centers the learner’s engagement with the chemistry discipline during a particular experience (Vincent-Ruz, accepted). Each project initially focuses on a subset of paths within the larger REACT framework. The larger framework will shaper later work and is important for providing a reminder of remaining sources of disadvantages that must eventually be addressed. I proposed this framework leveraging my past work scientific sense-making1, motivation2–6, and educational interventions7,8  (Figure). The REACT framework follows a dynamic, multi-level structure of culture, that allows for the examination of the nested structure from macro to micro levels and how they interact with each other (Culture of Chemistry, Learning Environment & Learner). The dynamic model also acknowledges that grassroots efforts can have an important impact on a bottom-up approach.

The framework is meant to guide both the design of empirical research studies and the analysis of data. At the core of the framework is a measurable disciplinary outcome: maximizing learner’s engagement in chemical thinking9,10. Chemical thinking refers to the way a learner applies chemistry knowledge and practices with the objective of analyzing, synthesizing, and transforming matter.10 Consider students in your class, the way they engage in chemical thinking will determine not only what they will learn but also shape future perceptions about chemistry and career choices.




  1. Cannady, M. A., Vincent-Ruz, P., Chung, J. M. & Schunn, C. D. Scientific Sensemaking Supports Science Content Learning Across Disciplines And Instructional Contexts. Contemporary Educational Psychology 59, 101802 (2019).
  2. Vincent-Ruz, P., Binning, K., Schunn, C. D. & Grabowski, J. The Effect Of Math Sat On Women’s Chemistry Competency Beliefs. Chemistry Education Research And Practice 19, 342-351 (2018).
  3. Vincent-Ruz, P. & Schunn, C. D. The Nature Of Science Identity And Its Role As The Driver Of Student Choices. International Journal Of STEM Education 5, 48 (2018).
  4. Vincent-Ruz, P. & Schunn, C. D. Identity Complexes And Science Identity In Early Secondary: Mono-Topical Or In Combination With Other Topical Identities. Research In Science Education 1-22 (2019).
  5. Vincent‐Ruz, P. & Schunn, C. D. The Increasingly Important Role Of Science Competency Beliefs For Science Learning In Girls. Journal Of Research In Science Teaching 54, 790-822 (2017).
  6. Witherspoon, E. B., Vincent-Ruz, P. & Schunn, C. D. When Making The Grade Isn’t Enough: The Gendered Nature Of Premed Science Course Attrition. Educational Researcher 48, 193-204 (2019).
  7. Vincent-Ruz, P., Grabowski, J. & Schunn, C. D. The Impact Of Early Participation In Undergraduate Research Experiences On Multiple Measures Of Premed Path Success. Scholarship And Practice Of Undergraduate Research 1, 13-18 (2018).
  8. Vincent-Ruz, P., Meyer, T., Roe, S. G. & Schunn, C. D. Short-Term And Long-Term Effects Of Pogil In A Large-Enrollment General Chemistry Course. Journal Of Chemical Education 97, 1228-1238 (2020).
  9. Banks, G. Et Al. Uncovering Chemical Thinking In Students’ Decision Making: A Fuel-Choice Scenario. Journal Of Chemical Education 92, 1610-1618 (2015).
  10. Sevian, H. & Talanquer, V. Rethinking Chemistry: A Learning Progression On Chemical Thinking. Chemistry Education Research And Practice 15, 10-23 (2014).