NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) Program 2015

The NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program is designed to encourage the development of bold, new, potentially transformative, and scalable models for STEM graduate training that ensure that graduate students develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to pursue a range of STEM careers. NRT projects should develop evidence-based, sustainable approaches and practices that substantially improve STEM graduate education for NRT trainees and for STEM graduate students broadly at an institution. NRT emphasizes the development of competencies for both research and research-related careers. Strategic collaborations with all sectors are encouraged.

The 2015 solicitation extends and broadens the scope of the NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program launched in 2014. Proposals are invited in two tracks: the Traineeship Track and the Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) Track.

NSF Review Criteria (both tracks): Intellectual merit; Broader impacts; Integration of Research and Education; Interdisciplinarity; Evaluation.

Anticipated Funding: a total of 24-30 awards: 10 Traineeships; 14-20 IGEs

Key Dates

  • March 18, 2015     Pre-proposals due to ORSP
  • March 23, 2015     ORSP go-ahead to up to 3 pre-proposals for full development
  • March 25, 2015     Optional Letter of Intent due to NSF
  • April 15, 2015        Full Project Description draft due to ORSP for enhanced review
  • April 29, 2015        All proposal components due to ORSP for compliance review
  • May 6, 2015          Proposals due to NSF, 5PM local time

Limited Submission This is Limited Submissions program to which UM ORSP’s standard procedure applies (http://www.research.olemiss.edu/resources/limitedsubmissions). Those interested in competing for one of the 3 slots should submit a pre-proposal in the form of an NSF-style Project Summary and NSF-style (but abbreviated—5 pages max, plus any references) Project Description, plus one letter of support by an appropriate academic administrator (e.g., Chair or Dean) to ORSP’s Jason Hale by 3/18. The proposer should decide what to leave in, what to leave out, and what to shorten, of the Project Description components called for by the solicitation. Any additional arguments (to UM/ORSP audiences) for the proposal should be made within the 5 pages. If we have more pre-proposals than slots, we will follow our standard Internal Review Process to select up to 3 pre-proposals to move forward.

Disclaimer: If and where any information contained this announcement differs from information found in the NSF solicitation, the NSF solicitation is correct. Please notify ORSP of any inconsistencies between the two documents.

Traineeship Track (limit: 2 Proposals per Institution; up to 5 years, up to $3M)

Goals of Traineeship Track:

  • Catalyze/advance interdisciplinary research in national high priority areas
  • Prepare STEM grad students for successful careers within or outside academia
  • Develop models promoting transformation/improvements in graduate education

Training activities must be completed by all NRT Trainees, and be made available to all STEM graduate students. Ex. courses, workshops, internships, etc. to develop:

  • broad technical skills (techniques, languages, cultures of fields within the theme)
  • transferrable professional skills
  • mentoring from diverse internal and external mentors from different sectors

Key Features of Traineeship Track:

  1. Develop evidenced-based, innovative/transformative STEM graduate  education  approaches
  2. Extend NRT program elements to non-NRT trainees for broader STEM impact
  3. Disseminate outcomes and insights gained from NRT training approaches
  4. Facilitate/advance interdisciplinary research in national high priority areas
  5. Comprehensive training of STEM graduate students, including professional & technical skills for research/research-related careers within/outside academia
  6. Evidence-based strategies to broaden participation of diverse students
  7. Robust formative assessment that routinely informs and improves practice

Research Themes for Traineeship Track: If an institution is submitting two Traineeship Track proposals, the 2nd proposal must be in the Data-Enabled Science and Engineering (DESE) theme; the 1st (or only) proposal in this track can be in any crosscutting, interdisciplinary theme of demonstrated national high priority.

Additional Review Criteria for Traineeship Track: Professional Development, Broadening Participation from Underrepresented Groups in STEM.

Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) Track (Limit: 1 Proposal; 2–3 years, $300-$500K)

The IGE Track is dedicated solely to piloting, testing, and evaluating innovative, new approaches to graduate education, and to generating the knowledge required for the customization, implementation, and scaling of the most successful, transformative approaches. Master’s or doctoral students or both can be the target population. The IGE Track will not focus on foundational research examining how graduate students learn (see EHR Core Research Solicitation 13-555), but rather will promote pilot efforts that are informed by evidence, including findings from learning-sciences research, and that serve as a bridge to broader implementation and scale up.

Activities may include, but are not limited to, faculty training, student training, inventive partnerships, virtual networks, student professional development, mentoring, or bridges from undergraduate education to graduate education.

Goals of IGE Track:

  • Catalyze rapid advances in STEM graduate education broadly as well as those responsive to particular disciplinary/interdisciplinary STEM field needs, and
  • Create knowledge to inform model implementation/adaptability/scalability.

Key Features of IGE Track:

  • Design/pilot/test innovative/transformative approaches to STEM graduate education
  • Examine the potential to extend a successful, evidence-based approach to another discipline or context
  • Develop test-bed projects informed by learning science and knowledge about STEM graduate education

Leadership teams (PI/Co-PIs) comprising professional expertise in the learning sciences/pedagogy, as well as in the principal science domain(s), are encouraged.

Additional Review Criteria for IGE Track: STEM education, disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and workforce needs; knowledge generation