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University of Wisconsin–Madison

NSF Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) Program 2021

To:Chairs and Administrators, Departments in the Biological, Physical and Social Sciences; Associate Deans for Research; College/School Research Administrators
From:Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research & Graduate Education
Date:August 06, 2020
Subject:NSF Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) Program 2021 NSF 20-595


Deadline for Internal Review:September 08, 2020

Project Description

The Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) program is designed to encourage the development and implementation of bold, new, and potentially transformative approaches to STEM graduate education training. The program seeks proposals that explore ways for graduate students in research-based master’s and doctoral degree programs to develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to pursue a range of STEM careers.

IGE focuses on projects aimed at piloting, testing, and validating innovative and potentially transformative approaches to graduate education. IGE projects are intended to generate the knowledge required for their customization, implementation, and broader adoption. The program supports testing of novel models or activities with high potential to enrich and extend the knowledge base on effective graduate education approaches.

The program addresses both workforce development, emphasizing broad participation, and institutional capacity building needs in graduate education. Strategic collaborations with the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government agencies, national laboratories, field stations, teaching and learning centers,informal science centers, and academic partners are encouraged.

As a special emphasis under this solicitation, IGE seeks proposals that will result in a single cooperative agreement for the development and implementation of an IGE Innovation Acceleration Hub. The Hub will facilitate IGE awardee communications about research activities and outcomes and provide a platform for external stakeholder engagement.


An eligible organization may participate in two Innovations in Graduate Education proposals per competition. Participation includes serving as a lead organization on a non-collaborative proposal or as a lead organization, non-lead organization, or subawardee on a collaborative proposal. Organizations participating solely as evaluators on projects are excluded from this limitation. Proposals that exceed the institutional eligibility limit(beyond the first two submissions based on timestamp) will be returned without review regardless of the institution’s role (lead, non-lead, subawardee) in the returned proposal.

Standard IGE Grant or Continuation:

Amount per award: $300,000 – $500,000
Duration of award: 3 Years
Number of awards: 6 to 10

IGE Innovation Acceleration Hub:

Amount per award: $500,000 in year 1, remaining funds disbursed in years 2-5.  Maximum award amount is $1,000,000
Duration of award: 5 Years
Number of awards: 1


Internal Competition Application Instructions

Applications for Internal Review

To submit your application, attach a single PDF to an email to:

  • Cover page – Project Title, Name and Department of PI, application type (IGE Project Proposal or IGE Innovation Acceleration Hub Proposal IGE) (1 page)
  • CVs of Lead PI and Project Team
  • Research project summary of no more than 4 pages providing a description of how the proposed project meets the goals of the solicitation

Sponsor Deadlines

Applications are due to NSF by November 04, 2020.