Program Description

UHM internal competition guidelines for the NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) limited submission opportunity are described below. Please circulate to faculty investigators. Prior to submitting a pre-proposal for UHM’s internal competition, applicants are encouraged to consult with their Dean/Director to ensure they meet eligibility criteria.

Program Synopsis

The NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program is designed to encourage development and implementation of bold, new, and potentially transformative models for STEM graduate education training. The NRT program seeks proposals that ensure 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. There are three priority research areas for the FY2017 competition: (1) Understanding the Brain (UtB), (2) Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS), and (3) any other interdisciplinary research theme of national priority.

The IGE Track focuses on test-bed 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. Whereas the Traineeship Track promotes building on the current knowledge base to develop comprehensive programs to effectively train STEM graduate students, the IGE Track supports testing of novel models or activities with high potential to enrich and extend the knowledge base on effective graduate education approaches.

The NRT program addresses both workforce development, emphasizing broad participation and institutional capacity building needs in graduate education. For both tracks, 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.

The official NSF announcement for this funding opportunity appears on NSF’s website:

Anticipated Funding Amount and Duration of Awards

NRT Traineeship Track Awards (14-15 anticipated) are expected to be up to 5 years in duration with a total budget up to $3 million. NRT IGE Track Awards (14-20 anticipated) are expected to be up to 3 years in duration with a total budget between $300,000 and $500,000.

Limit on Number of Proposals

UHM may submit no more than 4 proposals–2 for the Traineeship Track; 2 for the IGE Track. UHM may participate in two Traineeship Track proposals and Two IGE Track 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.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI

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

UHM Internal Competition Guidelines

Pre-proposals for this internal competition should include the following in the order listed below in one PDF file using the filename: Last name_NSF-NRT_pdf

  1. Cover page. Include the following information:
    1. PI name, position title, department, address, email address, phone number
    2. Name(s) and departmental affiliation(s) of Co-PI(s) and other Core Participants
    3. Lead institution and any other participating institution(s)
    4. Project title: For Traineeship Track proposals, the title should begin with either “NRT-UtB: _____” for projects targeting Understanding the Brain; “NRT-INFEWS: _____” for projects targeting the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems; or “NRT: _____” for projects addressing other interdisciplinary research theme. For IGE Track proposals, the title should begin with “NRT-IGE: _____”.
  2. Project summary (Limit 2 pages).
    1. For Traineeship Track pre-proposals, provide a summary description addressing the research area and theme, the training plan, and the integration of research and training; expected number of NRT trainees (receiving stipend; # not-receiving stipend); whether the program will serve master’s students, doctoral students, or both; and broader impacts of the proposed program.
    2. For IGE Track pre-proposals, provide a summary description including: the graduate education model or approaches that will be piloted and tested, or the existing pilot to be adopted/expanded; disciplinary field(s) involved; knowledge that will be generated to inform implementation and adaptability of transformative approaches to STEM graduate education; how project is responsive to a need and/or opportunity; and broader impacts of the proposed model/approach.
  3. 2-page Biosketch for each PI and any Co-PI(s)

Submit the PDF file to by 4:30 PM, Thursday, September 29, 2016. Submissions will be reviewed by an Internal Advisory Committee convened by Velma Kameoka, iAVCR. NSF’s letter of intent deadline is December 09, 2016. NSF’s full proposal deadline is February 7, 2017.