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National Science Foundation - Research Traineeship (NRT) Program

We are soliciting internal letters of intent from investigators or teams of investigators looking to submit proposals to the National Science Foundation, National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) Program. The NRT program includes two tracks: the Traineeship Track and the Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) Track. As an institution we may submit two proposals for the Traineeship and one proposal for the Innovations track for this limited submission competition.
This solicitation is seeking high-risk/high-reward research and education proposals. The NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program is designed to encourage the development and implementation of bold, new, potentially transformative, and scalable models for STEM graduate education training. The NRT program seeks proposals that ensure that graduate students in research-based master’s and doctoral degree programs develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to pursue a range of STEM careers. The NRT program includes two tracks:

  • The Traineeship Track is dedicated to effective training of STEM graduate students in high priority interdisciplinary research areas, through the use of a comprehensive traineeship model that is innovative, evidence-based, aligned with changing workforce and research needs, and scalable. For this solicitation the Traineeship Track has one priority interdisciplinary research theme — Data-Enabled Science and Engineering (DESE); proposals are encouraged also on any non-DESE interdisciplinary research theme that is a national priority.
  • The IGE Track is dedicated solely to piloting, testing, and evaluating novel, innovative, and potentially transformative approaches to graduate education, both disciplinary and interdisciplinary, to generate the knowledge required for their customization, implementation, and broader adoption. Whereas the Traineeship Track promotes building on the current knowledge base to more effectively train STEM graduate students, the IGE Track supports test-bed projects with high potential to enrich, improve, and extend the knowledge base with attention to transferability and innovation.

For both tracks, strategic collaborations with the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government agencies, national laboratories, field stations, teaching and learning centers, museums, and academic partners are encouraged.

NRT Traineeship Track Awards (10 anticipated) are expected to be up to five years in duration with a budget up to $3,000,000. NRT IGE Track Awards (14-20 anticipated) are expected to be up to 2-3 years in duration with a budget between $300,000 and $500,000. NSF expects to fund approximately 24 to 30 awards in FY 2015, depending on the quality of submissions and pending the availability of funds.

A full description of the NSF, National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) Program may be found on the NSF website.

Faculty members or teams of investigators interested in submitting a NRT proposal to NSF must first submit an internal mandatory letter of intent to the Office of Research. Letters of intent should be no more than one page and identify the project scope, principal investigators, collaborators, and partner organizations. Along with the LOI, provide a one page project description, and an NSF Biosketch for all PI’s and Co-PI’s.

Internal letters of intent must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. February 27, 2015 as a word or pdf document to, with NSF NRT and the last name of the lead PI(s) in the subject line.

If the Office of Research receives more than one letter of intent, we will run an internal competition using the letters of intent and supplemental materials to determine the project that will move forward with submitting a letter of intent to the NSF by March 25, 2015 with the full proposal being due on May 6, 2015. Anyone who does not submit a letter of intent to the Office of Research will not be permitted to submit a letter of intent or full proposal to NSF.