Elizabeth Harrington of the Washington Free Beacon exposes a dubious use of federal funding in the field of engineering.

The National Science Foundation is spending over $350,000 studying “microaggressions” in college engineering programs using an “intersectional perspective.”

The joint project is being conducted by Iowa State University and North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. The project was awarded this summer, though research will not begin until Jan. 1, 2019.

The study will “build a gender and race microaggressions psychometric scale” to evaluate engineering students’ behavior. The project is billed as “An Intersectional Perspective to Studying Microagressions [sic] in Engineering Programs.”

“The research is motivated by the persistently low representation of gender and racial minorities in engineering education and seeks to study the subtle behaviors, or microaggressions, that students experience in engineering programs,” according to the grant for the project.

The researchers claim there is a dearth of studies on “microaggressions” in engineering labs and suggest that “verbal, nonverbal, environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional,” may be the cause of fewer female and minority students enrolling in engineering programs.

Goals of the study include raising awareness about “microaggressions” and making “minority students feel safe” in engineering labs.