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University of Wisconsin–Madison

NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) 2016

To:Chairs and Administrators, Departments in the Biological, Physical & Social Sciences; Associate Deans for Research, School/College Research Administrators
From:Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research & Graduate Education
Date:October 05, 2015
Subject:NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) 2016 NSF 16-503


Deadline for Internal Review:November 02, 2015

Project Description

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 and the Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) Track. 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.


UW–Madison may submit up to three proposals – two Traineeship Track proposals and one Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) Track proposals. If an institution submits two Traineeship Track proposals, at least one must be a DESE proposal. In either case (DESE or non-DESE), the traineeship theme of a Traineeship Track proposal must be interdisciplinary.


Internal Competition Application Instructions

Applications for Internal Review

To submit your application, follow this link:

Information Requested;

  • Name and contact information for the PI
  • List of participants and affiliations
  • Proposed Track
  • Proposed theme – DESE, other
  • 2 – 3 Page Description of the proposed project addressing the intent of the NSF NRT Program Solicitation

Sponsor Deadlines

Letters of Intent are due to NSF by December 09, 2015. Applications are due to NSF by February 09, 2016.