Skip to main content
University of Wisconsin–Madison

NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) Program 2020

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:September 09, 2019
Subject:NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) Program NSF 19-522


Deadline for Internal Review:October 09, 2019

Project Description

The NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program is designed to encourage the development and implementation of bold, new, and potentially transformative models for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduate education training. The NRT 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.

The program is dedicated to effective training of STEM graduate students in high priority interdisciplinary or convergent research areas, through the use of a comprehensive traineeship model that is innovative, evidence-based, and aligned with changing workforce and research needs.  Proposals are requested in any interdisciplinary or convergent research theme of national priority, with special emphasis on the research areas in NSF’s 10 Big Ideas. The NSF research Big Ideas are Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR), The Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier (FW-HTF), Navigating the New Arctic (NNA), Windows on the Universe: The Era of Multi-Messenger Astrophysics (WoU), The Quantum Leap: Leading the Next Quantum Revolution (QL), and Understanding the Rules of Life: Predicting Phenotype (URoL).

The NRT program addresses 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. NRT especially welcomes proposals that will pair well with the efforts of NSF Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (INCLUDES) to develop STEM talent from all sectors and groups in our society ( Collaborations are encouraged between NRT proposals and existing NSF INCLUDES projects, provided the collaboration strengthens both projects.

Amount per Award: Total Budget of up to $3 mil
Duration of Award: 5 Years
Number of Awards: 14 to 15


UW–Madison may participate in two proposals.  Participation includes serving as a lead organization, non-lead organization, or subawardee on any proposal.

An individual may serve as Lead Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-PI on only one proposal submitted to the NRT program per annual competition.


Internal Competition Application Instructions

Applications for Internal Review

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

Please include the following information:

  • The name and contact information for the Principal Investigator (PI)
  • List of internal and external participants and affiliations
  • Proposed Research Theme
  • Research project summary of no more than 4 addressing the intent of the NSF NRT Program Solicitation.

Sponsor Deadlines

Letters of Intent are due to NSF by December 06, 2019. Applications are due to NSF by February 06, 2020.