Public Release: 

NSF announces first NSF Research Traineeship awards

Each project addresses an interdisciplinary topic of national importance

National Science Foundation


IMAGE: The University of California, Berkeley's NRT award prepares master's and doctoral students with tools to advance frontiers at the intersection of social, natural, and data science. Shown here is Solomon... view more

Credit: Risk Management Solutions

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is pleased to announce the first awardees for the recently launched NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program.

All of the NRT projects address an interdisciplinary topic of national importance, and six of the eight NRT projects strongly emphasize Data Enabled Science and Engineering, including analytics and Big Data. Innovative approaches to graduate training used across these projects include industry internships, international experiences, citizen science engagement, interdisciplinary team projects, and training in communication with the media, policy makers, and general public.

The principal investigators, institutions, and project titles are

  • David Ackerly, University of California, Berkeley; NRT-DESE: Environment and Society: Data Science for the 21st century (DS421)
  • Thomas Chen, Colorado State University; NRT-DESE: GAUSSI: Generating, Analyzing, and Understanding Sensory and Sequencing Information--A Trans-Disciplinary Graduate Training Program in Biosensing and Computational Biology
  • Kristen Fichthorn, Pennsylvania State University; NRT-DESE: Computational Materials Education and Training - Bridging ab initio Methods and Applications (COMET)
  • Vassiliki Kalogera, Northwestern University; NRT-DESE: Training in Data-Driven Discovery - From the Earth and the Universe to the Successful Careers of the Future
  • Henry Kautz, University of Rochester; NRT-DESE: Graduate Training in Data-Enabled Research into Human Behavior and its Cognitive and Neural Mechanisms
  • Laura Lautz, Syracuse University, NRT: Education Model Program on Water-Energy Research (EMPOWER) at Syracuse University
  • Derek Patton, University of Southern Mississippi; NRT: Training Next-Generation Scientists with Experimental, Theoretical, and Computational Competencies for Complex Interfaces (INTERFACE)
  • Colin Phillips, University of Maryland College Park; NRT-DESE: Flexibility in Language Processes and Technology: Human- and Global-Scale

The NRT program, which succeeds the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program, was developed to energize and advance cutting-edge research in high priority areas; increase the capacity of graduate programs to produce interdisciplinary STEM professionals with technical and transferrable professional skills for a range of research and research-related careers within and outside academia; and develop innovative approaches and knowledge that will promote transformative improvements in graduate education. Further information about the program plus the current solicitation can be found on the NSF website.

"With the launch of the NSF Research Traineeship program, we are building on what we learned with the earlier IGERT program and continuing to catalyze high priority interdisciplinary research," said Joan Ferrini-Mundy, who leads NSF's Education and Human Resources directorate. "NRT is focused on preparing future STEM professionals for multiple career pathways and aligning graduate training with both workforce needs and new training needs in rapidly changing science and engineering fields."



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